Do not state your political opinion. Do not state your religion. Do not stand up for anything you believe in. Do not speak  too loud or too soft. Do not go here. Do not go there. You cannot and will not go to that college. Do not wear those clothes. Do not.


The thing about not being able to do those things I listed above is that those are the things that define you that allow you to be free. If we live in a world that claims to be advanced, that claims to be more accepting, why is it so common to have boundaries, to have limits, to have bans?

I almost got in trouble for stating my political views. The terrible thing? I was working. That guy was my boss. I didn’t get to do a lot of things that day. Why? Was it bad that I gave him my view for who I think should be the next president of the United States?

Why can’t I say what my religion is without the fear of anger from others? Why can’t I just say what I believe without judgement?

I cannot tell you how many times people told me to be quiet or to speak up. The volume I decide to speak in is my decision, and what I decide is something I deal with.

I feel like I’m put on chains when people restrict me from going places, but I feel, just as my friend put it, “a bird in a cage”, when my parents told me I couldn’t even apply to some colleges. Especially that college I have dreamed of going to since I was in seventh grade. I have the grades. Yet they tell me to stay in a nearby college. Restricted, conflicted, and chained.

I’m not allowed to wear this. I’m not allowed to do that. I can’t go there. I can’t go here. I am banned from anything and everything that represents me as an individual in a world that declares its love for what makes people different.

So why do I have these bans placed on me?


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