Being emo


Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood.

I stand out at Paul Robeson High School in Englewood, where I am a freshman. It’s not always easy.

One recent day, I walked in the lunchroom and everyone yelled out, “Freak!” and called me a Satanist. I ended up not even eating lunch that day. I had on the school uniform, but I was also wearing red contacts and fingerless gloves and my nails were painted black. I dress this way—and my peers yell at me—because I am emo. Let me explain what it means to me to be emo.

First of all, the word emo is shorthand for emotional. That means emo people are in touch with their emotions. People who are emo may dress differently, wearing dark clothing, and listening to different types of music than other teenagers.
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