Before I get into today’s fashion posts I wanted to put out something personal. I don’t often talk about myself on here, but it is definitely something very important to me. I know that some people may be put off by this, but the process of writing this open letter to myself and shooting the photos that go along with it was a truly freeing experience. I went back to my high school. It was there 10 years ago that I first started coming out, a process that never truly ends. As I was reflecting on that I decided that I wanted to really celebrate 10 years of freedom and this platform has really allowed me to do just that.
Dear 15 Year Old Me,
Happy National Coming Out Day! That isn’t actually a thing yet, but it is coming. I know that you were terrified about coming out. By now you have told everyone, or been outed. It went well I know, but you are still fearful of the future. I can tell you right now it gets better.
You’ve been tormented. Called every name in the book. Those word have hurt you deep. You have let other people define who you are. That isn’t what you need to do. It doesn’t matter what other people think. You are the only one who can define you.What does the future look like to you?
You spend the rest of high school learning who you are as a person not letting your sexuality define who you are to yourself or anyone else. That is probably the most important lesson you learn in high school. You have finally stopped caring what anyone else says about you and it actually makes the intense bullying that you endured over the first 15 years of your life end. The scars start to heel. They never go away, but instead of being ashamed you wear those emotional scars as a badge of honor. You didn’t know it then, but that really made you a strong person.
When you get to college you are going to have all kinds of experiences. Good ones and bad ones. People are going to try and put you in a box based on who you love, don’t let them. You are not a stereotype. You don’t believe in stereotypes.
You are going to have your first three boyfriends. None are going to be the loves of your life. They are all going to end badly one way or another. That is when you learn who your best friends are. They are the ones who you can call and text at any time. They help you pick the pieces up when you have the heartbreak of your life when you turn 21.
Your family is going to be so much more supporting all through the next 15 years than you ever expected. Even the people who you were most afraid of knowing who you actually are will end up being incredibly supportive.
You will worry about what your future could look like, but know marriage equality comes. You are sitting on the couch of your living room with mom watching television and all of the sudden breaking news come across the screen. They light the White House up in rainbow lights. You will cry. You will feel this sense of relief.
You will become an activist in your own right. You will work for not just your own equality, but the equal rights of all people. You will feel intense defeat. Don’t let that slow you down. Just because the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land doesn’t mean that the fight for equality is over. Especially now.
Your passion will be tested again and again. Just remember back to who you are now and think about how far you’ve come. It has gotten better, but you cannot let the fight end. Keep pushing forward.
Remember that no matter what you are loved.
You at 25