Thank You Shonda Rhimes, For Reminding Me That I’m Not Alone

Dear Shonda Rhimes,

You make me cry. A lot.

And not just the normal dabbing-your-eyes with the edge of your sleeve. You make me heave heavy sobs, locked in my room, clutching a my teddy bear to my chest.

But you don’t make me sad. Not at all.

I’ve admired you for a really long time… probably since I started sneaking in on my mom when she was watching Grey’s Anatomy (and that was almost 10 years ago). To me, you are a fairytale. I never thought that someone like you could exist. I didn’t think that a black woman could tell the stories of so many different people on one of the most watched channels in the country.

I know you’ve heard lots of stories. I know that they all probably sound just like mine. But somehow, I still feel the need to tell it.

Your You Are Not Alone speech was another thing that made me cry.

Maybe it’s because, no matter what I do, I can’t shake this feeling of loneliness. I could be surrounded by friends or family and still feel alone. I, too, am often the only black girl in my class. I’m not gay, but I’m not straight, either — somewhere in between. I’ve never felt like I belonged.

I often wondered why I was even here, if I didn’t fit anywhere. I’d always thought that everyone had their place. Everyone was meant to do something, to be something. But I wasn’t anything.

I was a black girl with big boobs and hair that would never be as pretty as the other girls. I was a girl who got crushes on both boys and girls, who wrote stories upon stories and studied films instead of playing sports. A “chubby, not so cute, nerdy, shy and in pain” young black girl, if you will.

Like you, I think of characters. I sit in corners and write until I’m no longer in this world — I’m in my own. It used to be the only reason why I’d stay.

When I read your speech, I was happy. It’s still a new feeling for me, to be honest (and quite dramatic.) I had been happy for several weeks.

It’s still something that I’m remembering every day — that I’m not alone. Thank you for reminding me.

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