I have much to say to the LGBT community at large. Thanks, praise, love, admiration; the list goes on.
But I want to take a moment to write a letter to a specific group of people within our beloved community.
The people who don’t get to celebrate pride month. Those of you who are not out.
Perhaps you don’t view your own sexuality as acceptable. Perhaps others in your life do not view it as acceptable. Whether or not coming out would be physically or emotionally detrimental to you, perhaps even both, I need you to know we see you. We hear you. We feel you. We were you.
All of us have been where you are at one point in time. Afraid to admit, sometimes even to ourselves, who we really are. Afraid of what others will think. Afraid of the consequences. Maybe you’ll be kicked out of your house or school. Maybe you’ll be disowned. Maybe you’ll be physically abused.
Whatever reason you have for staying in the closet — IT. IS. VALID.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you. There are going to be people who try to pressure you to come out. And there may even be malicious people who try to do it for you.
People tried to do it to me.
To those people I say — “shut the f*ck up!”
Everyone has their own story; their own journey. You’re on yours. And you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve been given. I know it sucks to see the rest of us celebrating Pride this month. But trust me when I say we’ve all been where you are. And we pray, more than anything, that you could be celebrating with us. But we also understand the importance of your safety.
We would rather support you from between the shirts of the fabulous wardrobe you’re standing in than mourn with you, or, even worse, the loss of you, if you came out sooner than was healthy for you.
But also know this. Those of us who are celebrating this month are doing so with the drive to build a world where you can celebrate with us. We’re fighting for you to create a future where it will be safe for you to come out. And we’re fighting with you the powers that keep you from being true to yourself in every way possible.
You’ve been heavy on my heart this year during Pride, and I needed you to know that.
The rest of us are here with you and for you through it all. We’ve been in the same place as you. You’re loved by us; valued by us; and not alone as long as we’re around.
You do what you need to do you for your own health, and we’ll keep this pride momentum going knowing that someday in the future you’ll be by our side.
Until then — stay safe; stay healthy; stay fabulous.