For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write “love letters” to the LGBTQ community. Below, YouTube star and media personality Gigi Gorgeous shares hers. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
My Open Letter To You:
As much as this is a love letter to my amazing community, I want to also take this opportunity to write this letter to my past, present and future self. I always think back to you and wish I could just raise you up and be the voice of inspiration and love that you needed! You’ve been through and learned so much girl, and I’m so proud of you…here we go:
PAST: When my best friend came out as gay while we were in high school, funny enough, I was the last person to know. Maybe he was scared to tell me? Maybe he valued my opinion so much, that he was intimidated by how I would react and end up potentially judging him? What I DO know, is how hurt I was, which ultimately turned into anger, fear, and JEALOUSY… because I knew in my heart that this is exactly what I wanted to do myself. Here was my best friend who had the confidence and the strength to tell the world his truth, and I just didn’t have the BALLS [see what I did there?] to do the same. I lashed out, started calling other people gay and started acting out against him and others out of spite and jealously. I myself was being what I feared most: the bully. I had so much shame, it was such a dark part of my life. This was all something I could have controlled, and when I came out a few months later, I just never thought that this would be part of my life. This was a learning lesson when all he needed…when all I NEEDED… was LOVE. Dear younger self, nothing is as serious as it seems and the world is not ending. You will get through this.
PRESENT: I realized I had been internalizing so much throughout the years and I knew I had a choice. It was time to be TRANSparent [yes, I did it again!]; the good, the bad and the ugly. All of it. So I poured all of that into my documentary, This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, and left nothing out. But then something happened: my views of the community began to change. I began to absorb everyone’s stories, listening to different opinions and life journeys, all through the lens of my peers. I realized that the telling of my own life journey actually came from what I learned from YOU. I am so grateful for this time in my life because it turned out showing me what only life experiences could.
AND TO THE FUTURE: We are not six degrees of separation, but we are ONE. This is not a dare, but think of this as a challenge. As we move on from Pride month, keep the education of our current situation going. I know this is preachy, and CERTAINLY boring…no but really, pay attention! Focus not just on the community, but on the allies…focus on everyone, who may not be Gay or Transgender or part of the spectrum. They can be intimidated, and may not fully understand the struggle, but all I needed when I was younger was the support and understanding from my peers so they could make it okay for me to trust them with my journey. I needed the love and support of strangers who were going through their own moments to show me total acceptance.
So don’t make the mistake that I did as a young, vulnerable teenager. Reach out and tell someone they look beautiful today. Tell them you respect them. All I needed was that positive affirmation and even if it’s someone random, it will do more for them than you think. You never know what someone is going through. Even if they seem to have their s–t together, just tell them that they are doing well. You are one emoji away from making someone’s day. And maybe even someone’s life.
PROJECTION IS UGLY, AND YOU’RE NOT UGLY.