21 Heartwarming And Helpful Tips From LGBTQ People To Their Younger Selves
"The future’s even brighter than you dreamed."
1. "Hey J, don’t worry. Even though there are going to be 10 long years of therapy ahead, hang in there. On the other side are the strength and passion to live a life fuller than you could have imagined. In fact, it’ll bring you a love so strong that a pandemic can’t keep you apart. The future’s even brighter than you dreamed."
2. "Dear me: You aren’t male or female. You are in-between and that’s okay. You aren’t the only one who feels this way. In fact, there’s an actual label and a flag. You aren’t alone."
3. "I wish I could tell my 11-year-old self that they weren’t weird for having a crush on Luna Lovegood AND Draco Malfoy. They weren’t weird for wishing they looked like Han Solo more than Princess Leia. In fact, they are perfect the way they are."
4. "You will get to transition, but you don't need to wait until then to start being happy. Also, don't worry about figuring yourself out 100%. Uncertainty and fluidity aren't a crime — they make you the beautiful person you are."
5. "Younger me: You're asexual. No, it's not just for plants and small animals, it means you're not sexually attracted to anyone. You are also aromantic, meaning — oh, you got that already?"
6. "Dear younger me, don't let your stubbornness get in the way of getting help. You have major depression and anxiety — and getting meds to help level out your brain is nothing to be ashamed of. You matter. You are a beautiful, kind soul and deserve happiness."
7. "Younger me: Stop being homophobic and transphobic. You’re not straight or cis, so stop. You’re a gay trans man, not a straight girl."
8. "Dear me, being bi means one thing: You're attracted to men and women. It doesn't make you less of a man. It doesn't make you a slut. It isn't a phase — you aren’t on your way to gay or straight, but instead right where you belong."
9. "Hey dumbass, the reason that you keep thinking about that scene in Total Drama Island where Gwen's skirt rips is because you like girls! Just because you also have a crush on a dude doesn't mean that you don't like women too. Also, talking to girls is still scary — but I promise we're gonna find ourself a girlfriend soon. Love, an older dumbass."
10. "Dear younger me, don’t listen to what they told you. What they said about homosexuality being a sin is total bullshit. After you realize you’re a lesbian, I promise your life doesn't end. You’re still the same girl, with the same interests, same hopes. This will not end you. I won’t lie: it’s going to be hard, but the world is a better place now, younger me. Don’t try and take your own life. It always gets better."
11. "Dear younger me, you felt that your sexuality was a burden and against your religion. However, I can tell you that you will live a free life as a gay, practicing Muslim. You will come to find peace knowing that your parents and family still love and support you. You will always be surrounded by those who care for you."
12. "You are not a late bloomer. You don’t have to be ashamed to say it: You’re ace, both asexual and awesome."
13. "Don’t settle! My first serious lesbian relationship happened with a girl I was completely incompatible with. I got so caught up in the fact that there was actually another lesbian at my school that I let my excitement about having my first same-sex relationship obscure all of the very clear red flags saying we shouldn’t be together. While you may be eager to jump into a relationship after finally figuring your sexuality out, make sure the reasons you’re with someone are the right ones."
14. "Being bisexual, you'll get a lot of flack from heterosexual people who think you're not straight enough, and a surprising amount from gay peers who think you aren't gay enough. Don't listen to them, you are enough!"
15. "Dear K, invest in relationships. There might come a time when your blood family doesn’t understand you, or when they stop talking to you altogether. You will need community at that time. That’s where your chosen family comes into play. We all come with baggage — but it’s easy to deal with it when you have someone sitting next to you."
16. "Don’t hate yourself too much. One day your deepest, darkest secret won’t cause you pain anymore. Mom and Dad will still love you."
17. "Hi younger me, ignore all the bullies from your childhood and just continue to unapologetically be yourself. You are a lesbian and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You will be accepted by people who care about you."
18. "Yes, there is a word for how you feel: it’s lesbian (or gay AF). Even though you don’t see this represented in your small world right now, it’s out there. Stop trying to find the 'right guy' for your parents' happiness and focus on yourself. Because guess what? When you finally do that, there’s going to be this amazing woman and kissing her is going to be the beginning of your wonderful life. To hell with what your 'family' thinks. The real people who are your family don’t give two shits that you’re gay."
19. "Hey younger me! I know growing up you always felt something off when being addressed as a female by either others or yourself. There is a word for it: You are transgender. When you finally come out to Mom, it will be scary — but that doesn't mean she stopped loving you. You can get through this — it does get easier!"
20. "Little baby me, you're gonna experiment with sexuality and gender and you’re not going to know who you are for a long, long time — and that's okay. It's okay to not know. It's okay to question things. What isn't okay is for people to rush you. Stand up for yourself and give yourself a break."
21. Finally, "Dear little, scared me, you don’t have to have it all figured out now. If you stop trying to fit into a box, you will save so much time. Guess what? You were born to be so much more. Lesbians do not have to fit a certain 'look' to be gay. You are perfect as you are."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.