Kennedy Grindle

People don’t like when you’re different. Throughout my time here at RHP, I generally liked music, trends, and other topics that most people thought were weird. In middle school, I loved country music and people always made fun of me for it. My fear of being seen as odd or different made it so I never brought up these topics or listened to the music out loud so that people wouldn’t joke about it. 

Later in high school, I became really fascinated with drag and drag queens. People thought I was weird for being interested in the art form and nobody understood why I would like something like that. Once again, my self criticism urged me to never bring it up because I didn’t want people to talk negatively about me. My music interests eventually changed to rock and roll and luckily, I found others that listened to it. However, there was still that part of me that didn’t want to talk about my music taste because Greta Van Fleet and Led Zeppelin aren’t bands that most teens listen to nowadays. Some people’s lives revolve around music, like mine, so when I felt like I had to hide my music tastes, it made me very upset.

At last, during my junior year, I realized that I really shouldn’t care what others think. Drag queens and rock and roll are things that make me so happy, and if someone doesn’t like those things, then they don’t have to engage in it. Now, I talk about the four amazing times I saw Greta Van Fleet and when I met Katya, my favorite drag queen, all the time. Even though I never would’ve talked about those things a couple years ago, I never once changed my interests because others didn’t like it. I always stayed true to myself and I’m so glad I did. Now, I will talk about drag and my favorite musicians all I want because they make me happy and that’s all that really matters. 

If you’re going to take anything from this speech, take this: Don’t ever change what makes you happy for other people. You will be so much happier when you just stop caring about what other people think.