dear people who don’t believe in me,


you cannot use my age as a way to stop listening to me.
if you do, i will stop and breathe.
i will remember that i have valuable thoughts to share, and
that i will be the one who will have no choice but to speak one day.
and at a moderate volume, with a tone that is fair,
i will continue speaking.
you cannot use my race, or you might say, my lack of one specific race, to discount me.
if you do, i will find others, no matter their colour, or clothes, or names.
we will come back, and explain; without fear.
i don’t really care much anymore where you think i come from.
mostly, i only care about where we go from here.
so i will continue speaking.
you cannot use my sexuality to demean me.
if you do, i might be uncertain, because this part of me is fairly new.
but i will let you know that we have more than a few, and
i will bring a few just to help you
see, since of course, we’re human too.
thus i will continue speaking.
you cannot use my gender as a reason to pretend that i don’t matter.
if you do, i will remember how many others experienced this before me,
and i will speak, for them, and
for those whom i hope won’t ever hear your philosophy.
because we resist and we persist.
in this way, i will continue speaking.
if you continue to turn away, to discount me, to pretend that i don’t matter.
i might get angry.
that’s okay.
i think you might too, if you were me.
but you cannot silence me because of who i am.
you see,
i see a future where there is no ‘you’ and ‘i’, or ‘us’ and ‘them’.
i see a future when we work together,
when we put in the incredible amount of work needed
to make this planet better, so that
age and race, sexuality and gender
cannot be used as excuses to stop listening,
or to turn away.
because i promise you,
we have things to say.

It’s really hard to be ignored. It’s even harder when you’re speaking about something, or from a perspective that is so
inherently who you are. It’s even harder when people promise you they’re hearing you, and then turn around and do
the exact opposite. This is a letter to everyone who doesn’t listen to me, who discounts me, who demeans me, who
pretends that I don’t matter. This is a letter to the people who don’t believe in me. More importantly, this is a letter to
remind everyone who has felt like me that you can persevere. No matter what. I’m with you 🙂

Written by Naia Lee
To see more of Naia’s work check out or @livehopelyfe on Instagram and Twitter, and follow Hopelyfe Movement on Facebook.
*All views expressed in this blog post belong to the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of CYH.