Jessica Fesler – “Dear Younger Queer Self” Contest Finalist Story

Dear younger self,

If I could offer just one piece of advice to help you navigate the road ahead, it would be this…

Fuck the box. That’s it. Just fuck the box.

Fuck the labels and the dogmas and the

-isms that goes with them.


Do your best to be the best version of yourself and let everything fall as it will.

Gay. Straight. Or in between.

Vegan. Omni. Or in the middle.

Blonde. Or blue. Or maybe just highlights.

In the end, none of this will matter.

When you look back on your life, it will not matter to you who you loved but how you loved. Be brave in the pursuit of your highest self and when people try to box you in with their labels so they can better understand you and maintain their balance in the world. See this and be kind towards them,

but fuck the box all the same.

 Do your best to be kind, kind towards everyone but most importantly yourself.

You will change. Sometimes seemingly, everyday. And that is ok. You are not perfect, there is no such thing. This idea creates fear and paralyzes our dreams and our hands. You are messy.

Embrace this.

The discovery of our trusted selves lies in the acceptance and integration of your shadows. If you ignore them, run from them or try to pretend like they don’t exist. They will rule you mind, heart and soul. It is our desire to avoid suffering that brings it on the quickest.

Pain is inevitable.

Suffering is a choice.

Be brave. When someone demands answers from you that you don’t have… be brave enough to say. “I don’t know.” There is so much power in this phrase.

When someone tries to label you. You have a choice. You can accept this or not. But it is a choice, not an obligation. Your job is not to reinforce the beliefs of others. But to forge your own path.

 Head lifted.

Shoulders back.

Heart open.

You will falter in your convictions and this is a gift in disguise. To be so certain of ourselves that we never re-examine them is the path of a tyrant.

Dogmas give you a well trodden path to follow, like a sheep. With no need to question your direction or progress.

But you are not a sheep.

You are a shepherd.

A shepherd of your own heart and soul.

So I will say to you just once more, my lovely lovely girl.

Fuck the box.

Strive to be your very best self. And remember that your best self is simply too large to be contained in any one box.

The world needs you to do this and so do I.

I love you. And I’m very proud of you,