Ellen Page coming out so publicly, so emotionally saved me from myself. I pushed down feelings of attraction to the same sex, feelings of hope that one day I could be truly myself and questioned my feelings of self worth for years. I’m twenty nine years old and have been so terrified of being openly gay my entire life. I came out to my family and friends last June and they have been extremely supportive. This is a letter to my younger self which I hope and wish can inspire younger LGBT people to not make themselves suffer as I did. The effects of me lying to myself for years is still very apparent. I don’t want anyone else to go through that, so I’ll be incredibly, openly honest. To those who hate, I will ask calmly and with no hate: What difference does it make to you whom I love? If I ever get a response to that question which includes no prejudice, no judgement and no hiding behind the Church, then – and only then – will I consider your opinion. I am a successful businesswoman working in China who is sensitive and thoughtful and makes mistakes. However, being gay is no mistake, no error and no reflection of my upbringing. This is not a debate for nature vs nurture. It is a simple fact. I fell in love with a beautiful, kind and strong woman. Please, tell me how our love is harmful or dangerous in any way, because I see our love as true, faithful and pure. I’m gay. I don’t think being straight is a choice and I don’t judge you. Please offer me, us, the same courtesy. I would truly appreciate that.
Dear Elin Mai,
You are a good person. You are human. You make mistakes, you mess up sometimes, but that’s okay. You are a beautiful person inside and out because you care. Because you try your hardest to help those around you. The need to help people selflessly is a trait you have and is a trait that many gay people have because we’ve had to suffer. Yes, you are gay. It’s time to shine and show the world the real you. Have you noticed when you’re yourself around people, they like you more? They feel closer to you? How about that awful feeling of shame you feel every single night that you can’t quite understand? Do you think everyone feels that way? How about those tears you secretly cry each and every night for “no reason”? Do you think that’s okay? How about – and this will happen if you continue this way – those feelings of self hate and self doubt and unconfidence? Those feelings, and the consequences of those feelings will harm you, will ruin your relationships and affect your mental health.
Do you think that those people who truly care would want you to feel that way?
There are many questions you need to ask yourself, but there is only one thing you need to hear: You are not wrong. You are in no way wrong. You are you and you are gay. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed or feel negatively about your sexuality. Sexuality is a term that I think is quite inappropriate to describe sexual orientation. It makes younger people afraid to talk about their sexuality because it’s directly linked to sex. Young people don’t feel comfortable discussing sex with their elders or authority figures. In fact, being gay just means you like girls. It just means, you’d rather spend your life with a girl. It is not a big deal. You shouldn’t have to fight to prove yourself, but, honey, you will. Society cannot understand so you use your skills to try to get them to. You use every ounce of strength inside you to make them understand, but do it rationally and calmly. Don’t stoop to the level of hatred that they inflict on you. Be honest and above all – don’t lie by omission. Be brave, have the courage to fight peacefully for your rights. There is so much more I could tell you, but I think you became a better person for learning this yourself. Be true and be honest and always remember: Nothing in this world is more important than being true to yourself. Love and acceptance comes from within first.
Don’t let them tell you you’re wrong, because you’re not.
If you do all of this, your reward – the beautiful, selfless, amazing woman you’ll find that loves you more than she loves herself and that you love more than you could ever imagine – will be waiting with her arms and heart open for you. For you! She’ll make you feel more special and intelligent than you could ever imagine.
Love yourself for who you are, because who you truly are is beautiful.
Elin is a Welsh girl living in Asia, hoping to find peace of mind. You can find her on Twitter.
Featured Image via Shutterstock.