Dear Hiding LGBTQIA+ Teens,

Not too long ago, I stood where you stand now. Hiding in a closet with a door on your left and a noose on your right. You know that if you leave, you’ll be burned by the stake of judgement. You know that you will have to deal with uneducated people telling you ‘this is a choice that you made’ (like you would choose to be discriminated against and hated). Or, you’ll have to hear straight people say, “Gay marriage is legal, so no one has to worry about coming out, anymore.” when they do not know, nor will they ever have to experience the conflict we feel about breaking our barriers.

However, if you stay in your cramped closet, you’ll hate yourself for staying locked in a hell you do not deserve to be in.

This hell created because you love her, or him, or them. From day one I have known:

  • That I want a queen by my side, not a prince in shining armor.
  • That it was not a phase when I loved her because I saw sunshine in her hair and home in her eyes, but I had to lie and say, “I like guys.”
  • I know because each time I said, “This is my boyfriend,” my heart twinged in discomfort because I wished it was her instead that I had by my side.
  • I know because saying I was bisexual instead of a lesbian felt wrong, but keeping men in the mix is less stigmatized than just loving a woman, so it was the easy way out at the time.

I want you all to know, that when I finally broke down and told my loved ones that I am and always have been a lesbian I felt like I had the world thrown off of my shoulders. I felt the relief in my core and sobbed for hours because for the first time I was not ashamed.

You should never have to be ashamed.

Please, never lie about the contents of your heart, doing so will break it. Fight like our LGBTQIA+ predecessors did at the Stonewall Riots, fight like Harvey Milk, or Ani DiFranco. Fight because your love is valid. Never give in, I know I tried to before, but the feeling of freedom is so beautiful and you can reach that with the help of our community and allies.

Love, SCR!