|Posted by Alyssa.fenix on July 8, 2014 at 9:50 AM|
If I knew then what I knew now, I can’t say that I would have the privilege of having the same journey. I can say that there might have been fewer struggles and a lot less depression. I can say that I see the way the world has been changing and it’s beautiful to watch but at the same time so disheartening that only a few short years ago, we were still denied such basic rights. And so it begins, my letter of reflection to myself
To Whom It May Concern (yes, I am talking to you, the one hidden in the corner staring at their shoes),
I know you don’t know me or even probably have any clue whom I am… as we are pretty much on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Right now the world seems so troublesome and so depressing, you feel hidden, abused and completely lost without any idea of why. Your self-confidence is lacking and you are completely wrapped up in trying to define your path in the world. However, I am here to tell you that you never truly will find that one path; yes, I know that’s completely opposite of everything you are told and, well, so are most of life’s lessons. Life is fluid, soon enough you will realize so is your sexuality and not too far from that, you will realize so is your gender. All those times when you preferred the gender neutral nickname you had since you were a small child, all those times you wish you could grow chops and all those times you felt like a fabulous gay man locked in the body of a scrawny white girl, you were being who you are. I know you tried to suppress it for multiple years, to pretend that you could be one of the flock and blend in, but truth be told you were never meant to. You will realize as you grow up, the prouder you are of yourself, the more that people will love you and accept you. Prior to this, people just find you a bit awkward and a bit shady since you constantly are hiding behind a façade that everyone knows isn’t truly you. One day you will realize that you are a completely compassionate, intelligent, loving and handsome human being and when you start treating yourself that way, you will see others begin to follow suit. This will lead to an absolute snowball that will encompass your life in so much love and feelings of absolute gratitude.
You will find employment as an IT professional, the career you always wanted but didn’t feel like you fit into. You will not only have this as a career path, but you will have an amazing employer that will allow you keep your self-identity and express it through your piercings, tattoos, crazy haircuts/colors and eventually will even stand behind you as you transition.
For all those years you felt alone, you will realize that you weren’t, but that the technology just wasn’t capable of linking like-minded individuals in the same manner it is now. You will dedicate your extra hours and extra love to making sure that others like you never falter on their paths or consider their own demise in a manner similar to your own. You will find some version of inner peace in understanding that life isn’t dichotomous, but a series of greys. You will paint your life a beautiful monochrome to match suit.
One of your best life lessons will be in learning that family isn’t one that is just assigned at birth, but rather a series of supportive individuals that know when to hug you for joy or hug you to block the pain. You will find chosen family throughout the world and will travel frequently to see them. This family will create a great support network to get you through your troubled periods and to lend kind words during your transition. Friends as well as family members that might have struggled at some point will end up being people you speak with weekly, if not daily.
The best lesson you will learn in life is one I reference above about loving yourself. Prior to this you will have a tough stint with friendships, relationships and work balance. When you finally learn to love yourself, you’ll find that you become more tolerant of others as we all belong to a minority somewhere in our lives. This acceptance of others will lead you to explore new facets of life, to learn new information, to love others without pretenses and to accept things about others that you might not have ever thought about previously. This inner love will bring you the greatest love of your life… a small 5’2” Canadian lady that accepts you unconditionally and supports every interest you ever express. You both will fall crazy for each other as she truly is the other half of you. She even understands that her current fiancé is a flaming fag and encourages it by taking you to your favorite Broadway shows, buying you fabulous outfits and having late night giggle sessions with you.
This brings me to the final point in what I wish you knew back then, quit taking yourself so seriously. As you become more in tune with who you are and the multitude of ways you can express what you feel inside, never hesitate to step away from work and to spend quality time with those you love. Travel frequently, explore the world, only then will you realize the gifts you have at home and only then will you start to understand how to begin the acceptance of others. Laugh hard at stupid jokes, tell ridiculous stories that have no true meaning and dance your butt off even if you are lanky and kind of awkward …that same small Canadian referenced earlier will find it adorable. Life is far too short to be concerned for long periods of time (yes, you will always care to some extend) about what others are thinking. Encourage the others that you puzzle to ask questions and be a source of knowledge to promote education about the communities you identify within.
All in all, you are a pretty awesome guy and even on the most down of days, find solace that you will be ok and there is always room for gratitude.