Regarding National Coming Out Day (yesterday)

A friend posted this, and I found it so poignant that I wanted to share it. Name redacted pending permission ha! —

Happy ‪#‎NationalComingOutDay‬, my ‪#‎LGBT‬ siblings! While I’m not telling you what to do–I think we all know that you need to pay for that service of mine–I’m going to share this, a letter I wrote today to the version of myself who came out about a decade ago. And just so you know, I’m proud of all of you.

Dear [name redacted] of 2004/2005,

I want to thank you for taking the first, most simultaneously painful and liberating steps towards becoming YOU. I know that telling your family that you’ve killed their dreams of having you live a “normal” life was very difficult, and it took bravery that many people never come close to conjuring up, let alone acting upon.

You went from daily (or more frequently than that) acts of praying that you would wake up and be straight so that your life could be easier, to organizing LGBT events at school. You even held hands with your first girl in public and decided not to let others’ issues affect your ability to be who you are; you took 18+ years of self-deprecation and burgeoning shame and denial and said, “to Hell with it.”

The conversations you’re having right now with friends and family are very hard, I know, and/but you’re having them. You’re doing it. You dared to stop forcing yourself to do and be what others expect and want. I know to this day things can still be hard–including navigating around the fact that certain family members simply do not talk to you anymore, but you have YOU–all of you. And I couldn’t be more proud.

YOU are the living, breathing epitome of pride, and I hope you never forget that.

Thank you.
Love,
ME

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~ by Benji on 12 October 2015.

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