An Open Letter to LGBTQ+ Youth
By Leo Garcia (Accepting Millennial)
Dear LGTBQ+ Youth,
Please know that you are who you were born to be. I know that the media surrounding you portrays all forms of love, except the love that represents you. You see the princess and the prince, the poor girl with the rich man, and even a frog and princess, but you do not see a single same-sex couple or transgender character. Know that this is not because your love is wrong, but rather because of the prejudice that lies in the hearts of others.
Do not fear and think that this will lie in people’s heart forever. There are countless people working to uproot these ideals. Through love, awareness, and acceptance, this is being removed from our society. But, the work is not done yet. It is up to you and to countless allies to continue the job. You need to learn that you are accepted by many in this world and let this acceptance empower you. Own your identity and spread your confidence to others. Spread love to all people and hope it’ll be reciprocated back to you and others. The path is a rocky one and it is important to persist.
In the past, there was an administration that played a vital role in advancing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. In the present, there is an administration that is attempting to roll back some of these rights. In the future, there will be even more administrations that support or reject you. However, an administration does not define our country, the people do. For this reason, it is important to play a very active role in shaping the country you wish to live in. Volunteer, donate, and support organizations that empower the youth. Call, write, speak, and express your oppositions towards discrimination. However, do not let this opposition turn into hatred, because with hatred comes invalidation. It is vital that opposition is expressed peacefully, as it’ll gain you the respect you deserve. Understand that there may be some bigots that identify as Republican, but know that not all Republicans are not bigots. The same is true of all groups. If you begin to attack someone’s political identity, why would they stop attacking your sexual or gender identity?
Know that the road to equality can be a difficult one, but it is one that is worth the journey. Carry with you the support you have from so many, and let that be your shield from hatred. If you encounter a foe on the way, open their eyes and make them realize that your destination is one that benefits the both of you. Let your pride be your guidance. Let it shine brightly and illuminate your path. Most importantly, do not give up.
You are powerful. You are worthy. You are accepted. You are intelligent. You are capable. You are loved. You are everything you want to be and more. You have so much potential just waiting to be unlocked. While those around you may be trying to keep it contained, you must unleash it. Do your best to ignore the hatred, absorb all the love, and do your part to change the world to one which you want to live in.
Someone who supports you
*Here's how author Leo Garcia suggests you can get involved: Born This Way Foundation
Take Action Now: LGBTQ+