I recently read The Letter Q: Young Writers’ notes to their younger selves. I found the book to bring back some lovely memories of the awkwardness of my youth and inspired me to write a letter to my younger self:
I hope this letter finds you well (okay, I know you’re not well, but you know how we fucking love pleasantries). You’re going into 7th grade next year. Junior High is going to suck for you. A lot of your fellow students are assholes, many of your teachers are idiots and life is going to suck for a while. You’re going to want to hurt yourself (you won’t but the thought crosses your mind almost daily sometimes times).
In 10th grade it is going to get better. You’re going to have a much better sense of self, find some good friends and actually enjoy life. My advice to survive junior high is to keep your head down, focus on your studies and crush on guys from from a distance. You’re going to meet a teacher named Mr. Armstrong. He uses the word faggot pretty regularly. Your first impression of him is correct, he’s a middle aged has been who can’t cut it in the real world, so he chooses to hang out with middle school boys where he can be alpha. You are going to try sarcasm on him, but he’s not bright enough to get it. Just take a book, sit in the back of his class and read.
So, let’s get to the point. We both know you are a big old homo, you need to embrace it (but I know you won’t for several more years, and that’s okay). You’ll lie about who you are to people. That’s okay too. You had to do it for survival. Also, in the beginning you’ll think you’re simply gay. However, later on you embrace the term “queer” as you find that your entire life is a type of diaspora where you never fit in with any particular group of gay community.
High school will be be both tragic and fun, but college is where you’ll really shine. In college you’ll travel, fall in love (multiple times), and have friends that become family. Your professors will inspire you and many will become friends. Some will be LGBTQ, many will be allies. But from them you’ll learn language that will help you advocate for change and one day teach others to work toward change as well.
I don’t want to give too much away about your future but let’s say Puerto Rico will change your life. You’ll feel pretty comfortable in Mexico. You’ll have lots of sex, love a lot, get your heart broken and be able to approach all situations with a sense of humor. Ultimately, you’ll end up in a profession that never crossed your mind, but that you love and you’ll excel at. Your life is going to be amazing. You’ll get out of Idaho (like you’ve always wanted) and live in a place that is open and tolerant and you’ll find love that is greater than your heart ever thought possible.
So, in closing I guess I want to let you know that things are going to be okay. You’re okay. Things will get better.
See ya in 27 years or so,
P.S. Learn to knit. I know this sounds weird, but trust me. Also, save up some money and invest in a company called Google. The more the better.
I am still knitting the socks, but I am too lazy to post them right now. So instead here is a random pic from my picture feed.