My asthma medication made me stocky. I don’t have any proof, but I think it was laced with steroids. (To be fair, I probably would have been stocky anyway, but that’s beside the point). When I was younger, I was hospitalized regularly because of frequent attacks. My parents were concerned because I loved the part in The Velveteen Rabbit where they set everything on fire, and Flatliners was my go-to favorite movie. Whenever I caught a cold it would trigger my asthma, and I’d find myself struggling to breathe. I remember taking slow, measured steps throughout the house– counting the rhythm against the pace of my breathing.

When I was a child, I hated my body. I didn’t like being looked at or scrutinized. As I grew older, I craved the attention. People assumed I was strong. They thought I was a gymnast or a dancer (I shoulda been a dancer). I felt important and powerful. It made me believe that my asthma wasn’t real and that it couldn’t actually kill me.

From Outrage to Reform is about the struggle. It’s about the struggle for power and the struggle for control. It’s about the privilege we hold and the privilege we deny. It’s about race and racism, pride and prejudice.

It’s about believing whole-heartedly in public education, but choosing to work for and attend private schools. It’s about failing out of law school with a 1.9 GPA and struggling to find yourself in the aftermath. It’s about choosing Hillary because of Trump. It’s about missing the funeral of a friend who committed suicide because you can’t get time off from work. It’s about loving salmon, but being allergic to seafood.

It’s about body image and identity development; culture shock and complicity. It’s about falling in love and failing to keep it. It’s about growing up and falling down; losing faith and finding it. It’s about the choices we make when we don’t think we have any, and the consequences we inherit as a result.

It’s about learning what to keep and what to throw away—learning who to give up on, and wondering if that would make the difference. It’s about deciding what we want for ourselves and figuring out how to get there.

It’s about saying yes when we should’ve said no, and working to the ends of our own rainbows. It’s about the kind of rage that sets our insides on fire and forces us to respond, to act, to move. It’s about who we are and what we hope for our children.

From outrage to reform—the beautiful struggle.

-Anj. Gunter
November 8, 2016

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