Content warning: childhood bullying, the R-word and other slurs, discussion of verbal abuse and harassment

I’m an intelligent person. I’m not saying this to put authoritative weight behind my arguments, since intelligence does not always confer authority. I’m saying this to contextualize my life experiences, because this essay will draw heavily from those experiences. As a child, I was given various tests and told that I should qualify for the “gifted and talented” program. After a few months, it became clear that I lacked certain traits that program requires, such as a strong motivation to work…