To Myself (Coming-Out Day 2013)

Dear Self,

YOU IDIOT.

Oh, but it was a given you'd chicken out at the last moment. Exactly like a chicken, you are: small, with eyes glazed from overwork and with skinny chicken legs you put in those horrible skinny jean things. It's a damn shame you've also got the courage of a chicken too.

Yes, in you walked, with your heavy bag which dug into your shoulder and that huge Art folder you have to carry everywhere because you forgot your locker key (aren't you planning to drop Art anyway? It's too much work for nothing), and throw them all down to sit with your mates and chat. About what? It wasn't coming out, anyway.

What was your excuse then? You didn't want to ruin the rest of the day, in case they took it badly? When did you plan to do it? You need time for these things, at any rate, that's not really a watertight excuse. You let them go off to their classes while you sat there in your own cowardice.

Or was it that you didn't even remember what you had to do today? What was that - a reminder on your phone? Oh, you knew all right, you knew. You were jut scared of their reddening faces, their lips and noses screwing up in disgust. You expected it. It didn't help you, in the end.

You could have had another opportunity at lunch, but you didn't. You could have took them all aside and just come out with it. That's what they wanted - that's what benefits you. How long do you want to damn yourself to silence, to express your bleeding heart on a sheet of paper? You can't stay at it for ever. One of these days you're going to have to say it: climb to the top of the nearest hill with your handheld bullhorn loudspeaker and scream, at the very top of your pitifully shrill voice, "I am..."

You look forward to the day when you can look at yourself honestly, shoulders back, straight in the eye, with a steady and firm gaze of the conqueror, knowing at last that you are honest with yourself, not this dribbling, hunched and suspicious form grovelling somewhere near the bottom of the mirror, unable to look at yourself at all. You deserve better - much better, but you have to fight for it.

And you didn't do that. Not this time, anyway.

You've got to assume acceptance. It's the first rule for social confidence. They'll love you, if they don't,  remind them that admiring you is an opt-out process. You are a worthy (if cowardly and awkward) human being, and you've got to start thinking you're deserving. One day you're going to get them all together and you're going to tell them. They'll say that they can't believe it, or they knew all along, or they feel like they didn't know you before, but you'll just say that they did know you to begin with, they just know you better now.

And if times get rough and you're thrown out of school and society and home because you are who you are, then think to yourself how you're going to make an inspiring story out of this so that you'll actually have something remarkable to put in your autobiography. And maybe you'll help some other struggling person realise themselves to their peers, to help them on their own journey, and so on...

It's up to you to take the first step. If you're going to take it, you'll find you can take many more. It's the bravery of the first. You are resilient. You are worthy.

You are stronger that you can ever imagine.

The End

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