Dear 15 Year Old Me. I’m writing to tell you: It GotBetter.
You made your admission, to yourself. It was in your headbefore, but yesterday felt like your first real recognition of it. You held onto that sink so tightly as you leaned over it. You faced yourself in the mirrorthat hung above it. The sink held you up as your knees weakened. Your grip gottighter, your stare more intense. You felt like you were looking into yourheart, your soul. You stared for what like felt like hours but was onlyseconds. You hardly blinked. Then the tears came. “I am gay.” You sobbed aloud.Your posture slumped as you heard those words over and over in your head. “Whatare you going to do?” you asked yourself. The sink caught your tears. You weren’texpecting an answer.
Panic set in. It overwhelmed you. It was a feeling ofloss. All the things you thought you would never have raced through your head; thewedding, the spouse, the family, the children, the home. You thought you wouldnever have the life that you could see everyone else living. You were differentand you acknowledged it yesterday. How were you going to carry this secretforever? How were you going live a lie? You felt so alone. This would never bea part of you. You thought you couldn’t do it. Why you?
You will look back in time. You will wonder, were you talkingto yourself in that mirror, or was your ego talking to you. You know that partof you that wants to fit in with society and feels safe when it thinks you’re justlike everyone else?
It all makes sense to you now. The haircuts, the soccer, thehanging with the boys, the anxiety around girls, the aversion to dresses, thedislike of dolls, the love of He-Man, that particular teacher, that obsessionwith Madonna, those scrapes on your knees, no interest in make-up, no dreams ofyour wedding.
I know you acknowledged it over the sink yesterday, butyou haven’t accepted it yet. That will come later. But you will accept it. You’lleven embrace it. You may not believe that right now, but it’s all ahead of you.You’ll fall in love. I know you’ll smile when I tell you she’s beautiful. You’llfall in love a couple of times in fact. Each love will add to your life andhelp you learn things you never would have without their contribution. Begrateful for them and be grateful towards them.
You will make many gay friends. Some of them become yourbest friends. I know you don’t know any gay people right now and that’s scarybut don’t you worry, they come in abundance. You never lose your Libra love of thesocial life. Your twenties are colored by fun.
I know you wish you weren’t gay. I know you wish it wasn’thappening to you. I know you feel hard done by. You learn in time that you don’treally feel like that at all. Believe me when I tell you that you ultimatelyembrace who you are. You’ll come to feel so proud and so strongly about it thatit will pain you to hear of others going through what you went through and howyou felt. You will make it part of your life’s work to help others accept andembrace every part of them. You come to see the good in it. You even make ityour own.
I have to ask you something now. I need you to be brave.Look nowhere for strength but inside your heart. The strength is already there.You just need to look for it. When you find it, you’ll come out to your familyand friends. You’re lucky. They already knew. Nothing changes, except how youfeel about yourself. It’s a weight lifted, a sense of freedom. Life no longerfeels like a lie. You feel free.
It’s the last piece of the jigsaw. You’re now complete.You’ll feel it.
In return, my promise to you is that; it does get better.My dear Robyn, it got better. You’re now twenty-nine. You’re now very happy.You never looked back. And you wouldn’t change a thing.
Just remember. You are unique, there’s only one of you.If you ever worry that you are different – just think how boring it would be ifwe were all the same! You will take pride in expressing your individuality. You’llmarch in parades. You will fly the flag of pride. You’ll witness States andCountries around the world embrace change and embrace equality. You’ll do yourbit. You’ll be part of it. You may even marry and start a family some day. Theyare your choices. You lost nothing.
I hope you believe me. You just wait and see.
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