Dear 14-year-old Laura,
I just want you to know that the fuzzy warm feeling you get when you think about your best friend Julia, is real. That excitement when you have plans together, is anticipation to be with her. When you fantasize about being a boy and doing things to her that only boys do, that is denial.
I know you feel sick to your stomach and are not sure what it is, don’t let it stop you. You need to let it out. That night you sat in her kitchen, fumbling your words, trying to speak, it was one step closer. The fact that she wasn’t open minded and told you to shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of her house, was her being scared.
I know you don’t understand and just need a friend. I wish you wouldn’t go back to that place in hiding, we need you to help change peoples minds. We need you to be different, who cares what people think? They need to get over it, they don’t know what you’re going through! Break down walls, break barriers, break through the one worlds misconception of love. We are so many more people, and we are going to do this together. It’s time to come out and to be proud, you are you and fuck ‘em if they don’t get it.
You have had a very lucky and blessed situation when it came to coming out. Sure, you managed to do it on the front page of the most widely, distributed newspaper in Canada, but hey! How else would you have wanted it?
So now that your mom knows your gay from walking in on you going down on your girlfriend for the first time and the country knows your gay from your newspaper debut, please carry your sexuality with confidence and pride. Keep your head up and don’t let anyone ever tell you how to live your life.
The most important thing I need to tell you though, is actually not about you, it is about others. I need you to remember that YOU ARE LUCKY. Not everyone had it as easy as you. Some people were picked on at school, kicked out of their house, fired from their job and the list goes on. I want you to remember that from here on out it is YOUR job to help these people. When they get kicked down, you will help them back up. When they don’t have a voice, you will help them find one.
You had the courage and strength to come out and now you need to help them find that strength too.
Love, your older, but still not mature friend,
Now that you’ve read what we would like to send back in time to ourselves, it’s your turn. What advice, words of wisdom, encouragement, or anything else would you like to share with your younger self?