Learning to re-know myself beyond my own programmed ideas of perfection, has been a struggle my entire life. Being the only person of color in a very large all white high school, wearing thick glasses and having too many teeth to fit perfectly into my mouth, created a lot of shame about my physical self. Then, discovering my gayness on top of all that, was almost too much for my young mind to process. They were the building blocks for a shaky foundation. It's when I began defining my value based on what others thought of me, and focusing too much on how I wanted to be perceived by them, leading me further and further away from my true self and deeper into my unconscious dream of fear and separation.