Hiya!!! My name is Amanda and I am 34 years old. I was born in a small town called Gastonia about 30 mins outside of Charlotte, NC. I am the oldest of 5 children and was raised in a very negative, abusive, toxic, unstable, and hateful home. I was raised to be homophobic, racist, and all things else closed minded.
I was the first person in my family to break these cycles. I became the first person to graduate, the first person to go to college, the first person to date outside of my race, the first person to come out, the first to change and confront limiting political and religious views, the first person to have a mind of my own and fight for what I believe in instead of believing what I was taught. I became disowned by my family because of these things.
After being disowned by my family and then going through divorce and losing friends, I’ve felt alone and isolated for the last few years. It’s been very difficult. I lost a brother due to a heroine overdose, then I lost my dad due to an accident he caused under the influence, and I just recently lost my mom to Covid. I was not able to make amends or have closure with any of them and I haven’t had a relationship with the remaining of my family in a long time. I joke around and say that I am the white sheep of a black sheep family.
Despite this, I am grateful that I was chosen to be the one to be different, break toxic and limiting generational beliefs. I’m thankful I see things differently, the way they should be seen – inclusive and equal. I am honored to raise my children (now 12 and 14) to stand up for what’s right and navigate all of my future generations to a new family legacy. I’m changing my entire bloodline, thought patterns, and belief structures. It’s totally worth going through loneliness, solitude, and isolation for as long as I have or need to in order to make this happen.
But, in finding a very special woman a few months ago who shared with me about the OH community, I now no longer have to be or feel alone. I may not know anyone personally who is an advocate, but I am getting to know so many beautiful humans now. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with other OH advocates and even help some of them in different ways. Being a part of this community, a community who is open, accepting, and loving, has brought me so much joy and has begun to fill a huge void in my life.
Although I am a new advocate, just joined last month, I am working on completing challenges, joining local groups, participating in discussions and I will be joining the zoom calls and look forward to meeting more advocates and getting involved with volunteering. This community is such a blessing. This community reminds me that I may have lost my birth family but I get to choose my forever family, my tribe! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul. I will continue to represent, share, and participate more and more each week, month, and year. For once in a very long time, I have love and joy in my life. <3