Y from London, UK – “Dear Younger Queer Self” Contest Finalist Story
Dear Younger Queer Self,
Firstly, let me assure you that you will be okay. You have a bumpy journey ahead, but you will reach a place of peace and contentment and pride. So, hang on in there.
I want you to know that there is no shame in desire. Whether that is desire for the same sex, the opposite sex or desire to pleasure yourself. Desire is beautiful and should be celebrated, not hidden. Embrace it my darling and discover what brings you the pleasure that you deserve.
You will be told many times that most teenagers go through ‘a phase’ of questioning their sexuality and that is just a part of growing up but ‘it will pass’. Please ignore them. If you are questioning, then explore. And enjoy exploring!
Perhaps the reason that so many people question their sexuality as teenagers is because so many of us are on the broad spectrum of attraction to more than just the opposite sex. Perhaps as teenagers we are more in tune with who we are and what we want and haven’t been too moulded yet by the pressures of society and others. Perhaps so many more of us are queer, to different degrees. But with adulthood often comes a desire to conform and to please and choose what is deemed the ‘easier route’. But please, don’t ignore these feelings for another 15 years like I did. Please be brave.
I want you to know that your bisexuality is real. It doesn’t mean that you are eternally confused, or indecisive, as your Mum replied when you finally plucked up the courage to tell her, aged 32. It is your love and desire for human beings regardless of their sex and gender. It is your appreciation of the human body in all of its many forms. And the heart. And soul. And mind too. Loving so freely is something to be proud of.
I want you to know that you have courage and bravery in your soul to live as an out and proud bisexual woman. And even though you leave it much later than many to explore who you really are, you will do it. You will cancel your wedding to your partner of ten years just in time, and age 30 you will start again.
You will, after many months of secretly following LGBTQ+ groups on social media, find the courage to tell a friend that you want to explore a same sex relationship. You will buy a ticket to Amsterdam on your own, just so you can walk into a gay bar without looking over your shoulder. You will practice for two days walking past that bar, and on your third and final day you will go in, in the middle of the day, when no other people are there and buy a drink and talk to the bar staff, and you will feel like you have achieved something epic.
You will go to therapy and talk with your eyes closed about your desires, too ashamed to look someone in the eye whilst admitting who you really are. You will go on a same sex dating app. You will go on a same sex date. You will get into a same sex relationship. You will tell friends, and then family, and then work colleagues who you really are.
And then you will sit here today, remembering with both pain and pride how hard this all once was for you. Because right now you can saunter in and one of gay bars, gay forums and pride events with such ease, and the only time you look over your shoulder is to see if any one of your fabulous LGBTQ+ friends is behind you, before you have a day or evening of being so fully and fabulously you!
I’m so proud of you, because I know the pain that you will go through and I know all the times that you thought you couldn’t get through that pain – not even one more second of it – but guess what, you do. Because you are you – and you are strong, and courageous and fierce in your soul. And you are a lot of fun too!! You are loved so deeply, by so many. And as you grow up and grow more confidently into who you really are, the world falls in love with you even more – and you learn to fall deeply in love with yourself too.
So… keep smiling, keep dancing, keep being silly and keep being you!
Love Y x