1. We can navigate what level of ‘out’ is safe while walking away from a bar at 3 a.m.
2. We know exactly how many seconds we have to change the subject when a random relative starts a conversation with: “Well, that Trump guy ain’t so bad now.”
3. We have the power to spot another queer person and give them that I know that you know that I know look from across the room.
4. We’re able to look straight ahead and avoid eye contact with the protester holding the JESUS SAVES sign at Pride.
5. We’ve got the ability to dam our tears when we realize that our child will never be accepted by their homophobic grandparents.
6. We can project neutrality when we tell our parents that we’re getting married and they respond with: “Well… we’ll have to think about whether we’ll be attending or not…” — before we even tell them they’re invited.
7. We know all the words to I Will Survive — non-ironically.
8. We recognize that the way we present ourselves is an extension of how we want ourselves to be viewed in the world.
Sometimes that looks like not batting an eyelash when an adult shows up to a bar wearing nothing but a bedazzled tutu and other times that looks like snapping and clapping for gender warriors on the dance floor.
9. We found a couch to sleep on and still made it to school the next day when our parents kicked us out of the house in 10th grade.
10. We can pull our partner off the floor after another phone call from a distant relative who threatened to out them to their employer.
11. We’re able to remain patient whenever someone asks us if we’re a boy or a girl.
12. We have the persistence to keep fighting the courts when they rule that we are unfit parents post-transition.
13. We’re able to continue to love our family when they say: “We love you, but we don’t support you.”
14. We can tune out the stares of the straight establishment while we hold our partner’s hand in public.
15. We can quell the anxiety we face in the first few weeks of a new job when we have to make the judgement call: “Is it okay to talk about my family?”
16. We can find the words to explain to our daughter why her friend’s parents won’t let her spend the night.
17. We can shoot daggers out of our eyes at our mildly homophobic family member from the altar as the officiant says: “Is there any reason this couple should not be wed?”
18. We can function on water, aspirin and hope the Monday after Pride.
19. We can tone down our blinding rage when commenters on the internet suggest that maybe the Orlando shooter had the right idea.
20. We can slay. All day. Everyday.
21. We can grit our teeth and bare it when our straight friends say they didn’t realize there were more than 200 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation introduced in the US last year.
22. We can hold the most neutral face possible when our Great Aunt Ethel — who STILL doesn’t know — tells us that we should be settling down and getting married.
23. We can find a doctor who doesn’t have moral objections to treating us.
24. We can explain that our headaches have nothing to do with our genitals when we’re finally able to go to the doctor’s.
25. We can explain to our visiting mothers why there’s a bottle of poppers in our kitchen drawer.
26. We can navigate the complicated code switching between queer and nonqueer spaces.
27. We have the ability to not give a single fuck who uses the bathroom beside us.
28. We can listen to a coworker tell an Anti-LGBT joke and coolly respond: “I don’t think that’s funny.”
29. Within any given interaction, we can decide who is worth educating about our culture and who is unteachable.
30. We’re able to keep our calm when we see hate-filled messages in a popular movie and have a straight person say: “Can’t you take a joke?”
31. We know when to engage and when to sashay away.