Acacia West – “Dear Younger Queer Self” Contest Finalist Story

Dear Younger Queer Self,

The world has lied to you all these years. They’ve coiled up the truth and twisted it into a mess of lies that makes it near impossible to find the start of it all. Let alone the truth. It’s a lie built on fear and misunderstanding.


Much like many things in life.

But the truth is that there is no such thing as normal. That word exists so that people can define themselves while separating everyone else that doesn’t fit into the neat mold they made for themselves.

The truth is that we’re only as normal as the mold we build for ourselves. What’s more, is that the mold we made for ourselves is flawed and wrong.

Not in the sense that what makes up you is flawed. But in the fact that you try to make and fit into a mold at all.

Here’s the truth. There is no normal because everyone changes. All the time. Your tastes, your likes and dislikes, your dreams, and so much more.

And not just people change, but also culture. The definition of beauty, love, and gender.

The normal that existed years ago no longer today’s normal. Trends scatter to the wind and we grow with the times. Some grow for the good and yes, some grow for the bad. Yet there is hope so long as we keep striving forward and try to stray from conventional ‘normal’.

Because it’s not us. It’s not you and it’s not me. There is no normal.

Normal pits us against them and only causes hurt.

Embrace what makes you and others unique. Know that it’s okay if you don’t fit into a mold. One that society made for you or even one that made for yourself.

You have always been your own harshest critic. The one to set the impossible standards. No one judges you more harshly than you judge yourself.

And for what point?

To try to fit in? Only to realize that you still don’t fit in?

It’s not that something is wrong with you. There was never anything wrong with you. You are who you are and there are those people who will still love you unconditionally for it.

Don’t change yourself or try to force yourself to be what you’re not just to fit into a mold. To be normal for normal sake. Normal has never existed. What makes the world beautiful and unique is everyone’s differences and quirks.

Imagine the world if everyone was the same and normal. How boring it’d be! How dull you would be!

Normal isn’t just a family defined as a mother and father with happy children. It can be more than that. 

Normal isn’t defined by wanting or needing to have a romantic and/or sexual relationship with someone.

Normal isn’t a label. Or a defining point. Because even labels shouldn’t be defined within a mold.

Break the mold! Don’t feel that you need to uphold stereotypes. Ignore conventional education that tells you how you should and shouldn’t act. Simply be yourself and the rest will follow.

You are not defined by whom you love or don’t love. Your desire for sex or lack of doesn’t shape you. And yearning for a relationship or turning your back against one isn’t your whole person. You’re more than the labels, molds, and stereotypes that society tries to put you in.

Have courage in your differences and know that they’re okay to have. Even if others claim they can’t exist. That you only need to find ‘the right one.’ Prove them wrong.

Love everyone as your equal and never say that they’re anything less than you. Others can and do go through so much worst. It’s not to discredit your struggles but to know that life isn’t always equally kind and unkind to people.

Treat everyone with respect, even if you don’t understand them. See everyone as your equal. No one is beneath you. Everyone needs a kind word and a helping hand along the way.  Don’t kick someone who is already down.

And lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself. Labels, molds, and normals will come and go. It’s okay to change with them so long as it’s what you want. And not what ‘normal’ wants.

Always stay true to yourself, even if no one seems to understand. I promise that despite the seemingly alone island you stand on, others are standing with you.

Even perhaps on your island, too.

With all my love and courage to you,

Your Future Queer and Proud Self