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IF YOU CAN’T ACCEPT ME, YOU CAN’T LOVE ME EITHER

For a school project this year, I have had the honor of getting to know The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Even though I am not religious, they have been kind, respectful, and welcoming to me.

However, one conversation threw me off. I was told that they don’t recognize same-sex marriage. The church doesn’t accept it, and they don’t think it’s what will make someone happy in life. Despite this principle, the church chooses to love same-sex couples regardless.

How do you make sense of that?

When I was told this, I knew it wasn’t my place to start an argument. I was just there to learn and observe, not to change anyone’s mind. On the other hand, I do have access to Her Campus as a platform where I can use my voice. So this is a poem for the queer community and for anyone who shares their belief—for anyone who (I’m sorry to say) is on the wrong side of history.

* * *

Not men or women

Not skirts or pants

Not gender-specific at all

Simply just love

Regardless of gender

I chose love

And therefore I chose acceptance

Say you love me still

If that makes you sleep at night

Keep using unfair arguments

If you think it will get you to heaven

But know this:

For the longest time, I didn’t accept

Not others

But myself

For the longest, I didn’t love

Not others

But myself

Shame, secrets, wrong

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Was what I told myself

Is what you preach

Attacking my identity

My whole integrity

And I do blame you

While I wish I didn’t have to

So make a stand

Make a choice

I’m sorry you can’t do both

I’m sorry you can’t hide anymore

But this is our time

The oppressed

We demand: either you accept and love, or you walk away and say goodbye.

Elise Sandvik

UC Berkeley '23

Hi! I'm currently studying global studies, and spend most of my time working with human rights. Besides that I have a love for fashion, art and creativity in general – and most important: storytelling. Ever since I discovered the art of journalism, I haven’t been able to put my pen down. Not just because I love writing, but because there are just too many stories to be told. Each unique, personal, and inspiring stories about individuals, projects, interests, or hobbies. These sorties deserve to be told – they deserve to be heard. Thank you for taking the time to read them. Elise
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