I am a chameleon.
Ever since I can remember, I had the ability to blend in with any group. The bigger the crowd, the better my assimilation. It's not a conscious act on my part. It is as natural as breathing and as difficult to control. I can hold it at bay for brief moments but eventually my natural tendency kicks in and I become part of the landscape.
Gestures, accents, gender, ethnicity, even skin colour - none of those matter. I mimic them as easy as you breathe.
Whether it's a gang of ginger-haired terrors one minute or tea-drinking grannies sharing knitting patterns the next, I have one of those faces. It's familiar to everyone. Often because it's most like the one that looks back at you from a mirror every morning.
I am whoever is around me. Sitting at home, alone, I am barely myself. Music, books, decor are all from the people I have been over the years. I look in the mirror and see no one. Just a blank face waiting for colour and expression. I do not know my right from your wrong. I am no one and everyone.
I do my best to be around good people. Caring people full of kindness, empathy and compassion. I have been on both sides of most debates. Been bullied, beaten and spat upon because of my gender, colour of skin or clothing. Being a chameleon means I know fear, hatred and violence. I try to choose the side of love but that often results in more beatings.
I have hidden in my room, away from all the different skins, but that was as lonely as blending in the crowd. Self-loathing is more destructive than external hate.
Tonight, I will shake off the oppressive mantle of self-doubt and join the biggest party of revelers I can find. People who know how to have fun in the face of opposition, pride in who they are, and dance regardless of who is watching. Tonight I will be a gay Latino and love life.