A Letter to My Younger Self During Pride Month
by Meg Mottola
To my younger self,
I am so proud of you. I know things are tough a lot of the time but you are resilient as ever. You are dealing with an internal conflict that you have no idea what it is about. You feel different and you don’t know why. I can only imagine what that must feel like at the age of 5. I’m sorry you have to keep things to yourself. The way you feel about girls isn’t wrong despite what you might see on TV, hear from adults, are taught in school, or in church on Sunday’s. I’m sorry others just assume you are straight, as that can be hard when you grow up in a society where being gay just isn’t talked about much. Instead of letting you figure things out, society is going to force you into a closet that you are going to keep shut for another 15 years. Don’t be scared, though. You’ll learn so much about yourself and life.
You might not think about it much until you’re a bit older. You’re just going to be a kid, and that’s ok. But just know these feelings won’t fade. They won’t go away and it’s because this is you, it’s the you that you have always been; there is nothing wrong with that. People will tell you “you’re too young to know” and that “it’s just a phase” but do not lose sight of who you are for the sake of others. Don’t let others try to tell you who you are anymore. It’s going to feel lonely at times. You will cry about it. You will talk to God about it. You’ll wonder “why me” but you’ll soon come to realize that once you are truly able to be your authentic self, the tears of sadness will turn to tears of joy; God made you beautiful and wonderful and loves and accepts you as you are; you’ll say “yes, this is me and I couldn’t be happier.” Trust your process. Embrace your journey.
You’re going to fall in love and it’s going to be the most amazing thing you will ever experience. You’ll understand that those who don’t accept you, or treat your poorly and differently simply don’t understand what love is. That’s ok. You’ll pray that one day they can understand and accept others; that they’ll get to experience what love is really about.
If I could tell you then what I know now it would be that you are loved, worthy, and good enough. You are not a mistake. You did not choose this. There is nothing wrong with you. You are capable of receiving and giving love and that does not change based on the fact that you are gay. Those who truly care for you and want to be in your life are going to be ok with your true self. I know it might be hard to see now and for the years to follow, but it’ll all go ok. You were not born with terms and conditions; you’ll be met with unconditional love and support from those who mean the world to you (and you mean the world to them too).
When you come out, it’s going to feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You’re going to be just fine, Meg. I am so proud of you and I never will stop being proud. You’re an amazing person with so much potential. Looking back on your entire journey has been such a privilege and I can’t wait to see what other amazing adventures are in store for you.
Always proud and full of love,
Meg (21 years later)
About the Author:
Meg Mottola is an east coaster but a traveler at heart. Aside from her work with Matthew’s Place, she is an advocate for mental health awareness. She is in recovery from a 10+ year battle with Anorexia. In addition to writing, Meg enjoys running, traveling, jamming on the guitar, and photography. She believes the key to joy in life is to surround yourself with positivity, express gratitude, and always choose love. You can follow her Instagram, @megmott!