LostBoy – “Dear Younger Queer Self” Contest Finalist Story

Dear Younger Queer Self,

Dear little forest fae, dear big heart, dear chaos demon riddled with anxiety like the bark of a tree is riddled with insects,

You know already, at 3, when you are tumbling through the woods and rivers like a little bear cub that your body is not what they say it is. 


You know, already, at 5, why you hiss and spit at the dresses and tights your mother wanted to put you in and instead ran into the forest to scrape your knees on evergreens. 

Why you sat at the window every night gazing out at the stars, crying, wishing someone would come take you away and make you a “Lost Boy”. 

You know, already, at 7, why you like to be snuggled up to her with those soft curls at sleepovers and watch the northern lights reflect in her bright eyes. 

You know, already, at 9, when the blood rushed from between your thighs and they told you “You’re a woman now”, that your life was about to be impossible, that every month you were going to weep and bleed under a full moon and beg her to stop. 

You know, already, at 11, why the sprouting of your breasts like mountains from earthquakes comes with an agony that is so much more than physical, so much more than just “growing pains”.

You know, already, at 15, why when that boy you dated gave you some of his clothes to wear, they fit like a second skin, and your limbs felt like your own for the first time since you were a child. Why you still remember, over a decade later, what your reflection in his bathroom mirror looked like. 

You know, already, at 20, why he’s pinning you against a wall and thrusting his fists into your ribs, you know already how men react when things are beyond their control, things like you. Freaks like you.

You know already, at 22, when you look into her eyes and feel her run her fingers across your forearms, what the vast expanse of love actually feels like.

Dear younger queer self,

dear little lost boy, 

dear still lost boy,

You already know a lot. 

So let me tell you what I know, now

I know that we’re 26 now, that this year we’re finally coming out, we’re finally “boy”. 

Not “boi” not “masc” not “butch”, we’re boy.

I know that we think we’ve betrayed ourself by staying in the closet so long but honey its been a long road, honey its been a long night honey its been a long, long life, we did what we could. We SURVIVED. 

I know that if we look we WILL find community. But we have to be willing to let them take us in their arms, let them whisper in our ear, let them look us in the eyes and see us. They are going through it too, they do not owe us the energy of helping you. But they love us enough to try, so let them. 

Our body does not invalidate our spirit. I will tell us this again and again. Our body does not invalidate our spirit. Reject white colonialist viewpoints of gender and passing. 

We—we owe everything to black trans womxn. Our whole life. The ability to come out now. To exist. Listen listen listen. Listen to them. 

We will lose people. That person who said they loved us? Its not love if they can’t love us both from she to him. You’re going to learn that lesson a thousand times over. We’re going to break our heart over so many people because we keep seeing the best in them, hoping that they can radicalize their worldview, and they WON’T,

But please, please

keep seeing the best in folx. Keep hoping. Keep our heartspace open, the way people did for us while we were still learning. 

Dear younger queer self,

it doesn’t get easier. But the rage, the sadness, the fury, the confusion becomes revolutionary, radical, 

will turn to joy, will turn to moments of ecstasy, euphoria, bliss. The highs will span mountain peaks. They will be worth the lows.

Dear younger queer self,

Here we are now.