“Stop hurting yourself to appease other people.”
Dear confused younger self,
I know this is a really tough time (especially with the acne and the bad grades in school and everything) but life is going to slap you in the face with some realisations anyway, and you’re not going to be prepared for any of them.
Some people spend their entire lives trying to search for vocabulary to wrap around themselves, but you’ve already started running away from it.
I don’t blame you.
When the word “gay” is only whispered in school corridors or yelled out as an insult on the playground, it doesn’t feel like a word anyone would want to associate with, and when you fall in love with people of both genders, “gay” will not be sufficient to describe you at all.
Do not try to “cure” yourself, it does not work.
Bisexuality is not a disease, and you are not “catching the gay syndrome”.
Exploring your sexuality can be a daunting task, especially in a small town. Don’t try to fix the way you walk, or the way you talk. All gender is a performance but you sure do put up a fantastic spectacle of masculinity.
You might also like: These 7 Organisations Are Helping India’s Queer Community Find Its Voice
Stop hurting yourself to appease other people.
You’re an odd kid who picks flowers and stays back during sports period to write poetry, and trust me those two things will take you places.
Don’t let other people tell you what standards you need to conform to.
Don’t let them project their insecurities onto you. When they look at how comfortable you are in your own skin, it reminds them of how uncomfortable they are in theirs, and they will want to punch it out of you.
Don’t let them. Learn how to get out of a choke-hold. Learn how to make steel claws out of bicycle keys hidden between your knuckles. Learn to fight back. Use your words. Write about everything they don’t want to hear. Celebrate everything you’ve been told to be ashamed of. Go to Pride. Don’t worry about not having anyone to go there with. The community is warm and welcoming and you will make friends along the way.
There are people out there who will love and accept you. Reach out to them and they will reach out to you.
You will always be loved. Start by learning to love yourself.
Written with love by a 21-year-old, cis-bisexual-male.