May 12, 2022
I Hated Myself So Much For So Long
Dear Mom and Dad,
I haven’t been in abusive relationships or experienced traumatic sexual interactions. In fact, I’ve had no sexual encounters. All this time I was trying to fit into the “normal” mold and blend in. I distracted myself with sports and schoolwork. I ignored everything about my sexuality and filled that space with other things because I didn’t know any better. I wish you would have told me that I wasn’t a freak regardless of what our church said. I wish your parents didn’t comment negatively on every queer person they saw. I wish that you would’ve said something…honestly anything. I needed to know that my feelings were valid. Why didn’t you talk to me? Your sister was the only one. Why did you make me think that she was wrong? She wasn’t “dying for one of us to be gay”, and she didn’t make me believe I was. She just wanted me to feel loved and accepted no matter what. Maybe I would have known a lot sooner. Maybe I would have been more comfortable in my own skin.
Of course, I had the school system to teach me some things, but that was not much of an improvement from the silence I got from you. My small town middle school was definitely not teaching the rounded sex education that all of us desperately needed. Not once was there anything mentioned about relationships outside of a heteronormative viewpoint. I needed more. We all needed more.
Then when I finally built up the courage to tell you…you made it about you. You were afraid of how this would affect our family. My feelings got pushed to the side, you were fixated on “how I knew?”. You said repeatedly you “didn’t want this life for me”, I didn’t either. I tried to change. I hated myself so much for so long, and when you let your feelings diminish mine it only made me feel even more like who I was, was something bad, or to be feared.
What would have been different if you would have just sat me down and told me that it was okay? How much sooner would I have known who I truly was if you had
just told me that it was okay to have those feelings. I still don’t feel completely comfortable with this part of myself, but I am trying, everyday. I just wish you would’ve told me to be myself no matter what.
That’s what I needed. I needed you to sit me down and tell me that it was okay to like anyone… that it was more about the person and our relationship. We never even had a conversation about sex. Maybe you could have started there. It would have been a tremendous relief if you had even been open to a conversation. I don’t know if you were too scared or trying to protect my innocence? But these topics are important for all children, we need to know what healthy relationships look like, and that there is no “normal”. I just needed your acceptance and permission to be the most authentic version of myself that I could be. I mean after all, the world has bigger problems than guys who kiss guys and girls who kiss girls.