I have held a lot of titles in my life but none of them seem to have a negative aura as much as “Lesbian”.

 I am a lesbian but that hasn’t stopped me from being a Christian, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, a preacher’s kid, someone’s partner, a college graduate, a professional athlete, a manager in a Fortune 500 company, a singer, a writer, a motivational speaker, a mentor, a provider, a truth seeker, a genuine soul, a goal driven individual and most importantly, it hasn’t stopped me from being a human being.

 I listed all of those titles to show people that no title is greater than the individual holding the title. And all individuals are equal. Some titles are earned and some titles are just who we are but there is no title that determines the outcome of your life. And just because I added a title which many refer to as “lesbian” does not make any of my other titles less important.

 I can admit that I haven’t always been proud to be a lesbian but as I have matured, I realize that I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I am indeed a lesbian and that title I will happily claim. I didn’t earn this title but it is rather just who I am. Many days I questioned my religion and where I would end up not realizing that my spiritual relationship with God was more important than the religion I had grown up to know. As many others have experienced, the place I wasn’t proud of being a lesbian was in the church. I didn’t understand how this title of mine held so much weight in this special place. I have never understood how one can be considered respectfully successful but the second you add one of the following titles: lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, the perception you once looked at them changes. An individual shouldn’t have to hide a title in order to be considered more. Do we turn away from family, friends, partners for their individual titles? I would hope not. So why should one of my titles have others turn their nose up to me.

 I could go on and on about the discrimination and blatant mistreatment of not only myself, but others all because an LGBT title. I just hope that others reading this will be proud of all of their titles and wear them with confidence. Show people that a title can be given and taken away from anyone but that will not change the individual as a whole. Be sure that no matter what titles you possess, you love.

I will leave you with this… you have to know yourself to grow yourself. I know each and every title I add to my life’s journey only shapes me into the individual I am destined to be. It is up to me to make sure those titles don’t restrain, prohibit or alter WHO I WANT TO BE. I am me. Accept your titles.

 Be You, Be True, And Love, Brittney Vaughn

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