And I know I shouldn't complain, not really. I'm white, and cis, and so I've never had hate speech tossed at me. I've never had to fear for my life. And on top of that, I have people who love me. In a lot of ways, I'm really lucky.
But there's a look, people get sometimes. It's not the same as the "oh, she's so quirky" look, or even the "you poor awkward thing, why did anyone let you out of the house?" look. The latter makes it clear they're slightly charmed, and the latter inevitably falls somewhere between amusement and pity.
No, the "alien" look is far more clinical, as if you're being genuinely studied. It's worse than an insult, sometimes, because the person honestly looks they have no idea what on earth you're doing standing in front of them. It's a look that says, at least to them, you don't quite pass as being human. And because they never actually say the words, you can't even fight it.
It burns. And it scars. Because no matter how many people are kind to you, who look at you and see nothing wrong, there is a part of you that will always remember that, in some people's eyes, you don't count.
To anyone who has ever looked at anyone like that, whether it's because of their race, their faith, their gender, their sexual preference, or the fact that they're the quiet kid in the back of the class who smells kind of funny, don't you dare think that you're any better than those people who hurl insults at them or try to hurt them. Don't you dare think your silence buys you any kind of civility, or that your thoughts don't condemn you just as thoroughly as your words would. Because you cut them just as thoroughly, your brothers and sisters who are just as human as you are (and how dare you even for a second think otherwise) and you should be just as damned for it. You are the reason the world is broken.
And if you've ever been looked at like that, by anyone, please know that they're wrong. The fact that they can't see you correctly is their failing, not yours, and I wish I could be there to punch all of them in the face for daring to be dismissive of your magnificence. Because you are magnificent. You are precious, you are beautiful, you are amazing, and whoever you are I know this to the very depths of my soul. I pray that each and every one of you find someone who looks at you and sees the wonder that you are, because you deserve it.