Dear Me: Letters To Our Younger Selves On National Coming Out Day

Young Trish,

It’s taken Older Trish a while to forgive herself, er, myself for not having seen it all sooner. You could really help me out if, perhaps, you’d at least question your sexuality once. Listen, I get it; you live in a place and a time where the girls that will eventually be your type are hiding awkwardly behind the long hair and feminine outfits they think they have to wear to fit in; or they’re like you, buying oversized band T-shirts and even more oversized wide-leg jeans to help identify you as “alternative.” You know you’re different, but you don’t really know why. You just feel it.

I know you think you’re just too big for the school, the town, the state; that someday, when you’re 18, you’ll be on the first train out of Michigan and into the closest big city where there will be some kind of mysterious guy that will finally be worth feeling something about. But I’m going to save you a lot of frustration right now: You won’t find this hypothetical guy. Or you’ll find him in a few different male forms but not be truly interested in any of them. It’s not you; it’s them. Well, I guess it is you, technically.

But here’s what you can do about it, me. While you are at your next concert, in your next theater production, or at your next soccer or basketball camp, look at the women around you. Behind that ponytail is a baby butch just waiting to take some scissors to her mane. The girls that have masculine swagger are only going to grow more into it, not out of it; and you’re going to be swooning over it. And when you skip your prom to go watch that band who has a super hot frontwoman in Detroit, you can acknowledge it’s because you want to make out with her. When you look her up on AOL to see if she has a boyfriend and get mad when she does, it doesn’t make you weird; it makes you gay. And that is amazing.

You have so many different sides to you, and you don’t have to choose. You can be artistic and athletic. You can enjoy dressing however makes you happy without worrying about what size it says or what will keep you looking normal. But I’m telling you, if you want to have sex before college, you should probably find the one other lesbian in town and find some feelings to write angsty poetry about. Seriously, I read your shit while I was at home last, and it was lacking. You were “in love” with a gay guy. It was never going to work.

And you might think there aren’t any lesbians in your school, but I’m telling you there are. They are friends with you on Facebook. Eventually you’ll learn about Facebook.


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