I’m Hoping You’ll Read This

Dear Jazz,

I have been trying to figure out how to send you a letter. I was originally going to write it out on paper, but this wasn’t an option as I don’t know where to send it. I also considered email but faced the same issue. Thus, I am taking to my blog in hopes that you will see this at some point in time.

Back in 2011, I watched the OWN documentary about your life. It touched me deep inside. Since then, I have been following and cheering you on from afar. I was so excited when you co-wrote a children’s book about being transgender. I was thrilled to see you taking on the Clean & Clear campaign. I just finished reading your memoir in less than 3 hours. You captivate me as an individual. Not because you are famous. That’s never really mattered much to me. But, because you exude intelligence, wisdom, class, fierceness with everything you say and do. (Mind you, I realize I don’t know you except for when the cameras are on.) And, through this all, I try to remember that you are only fifteen years old.

As a grown adult, it is hard for me to imagine the challenges that you are facing. I am a part of the LGBT+ community, but did not come out until very recently. It hurt inside to  hide the fact that I am a bisexual, panromantic, demiromantic woman who has always strayed from the gender-roles defined by society. Still, fear kept me from living as my truest self. Fear for my safety, losing my social circle, and disappointing the people I care about. Society was harsh on anybody different when I was a child. I wasn’t brave enough to speak up and tell them they were wrong. You were and are a confident young woman with an unsilenceable voice. Through that you have changed so much more than you may ever fully know. It took me a long time  to come to terms with the many truths you have professed. I only wish I realized them sooner.

If people don’t like me for who I am, I probably don’t need them around anyways.

My sexuality and identity are not the most interesting or important parts about me. I am just me.

Sometimes it is important to speak up as to educate people.

One person’s voice can make a difference.

Many, many other lessons, too.

I am writing this letter to say thank you. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to be proud of who I am. Thank you for speaking up and reminding those of us in the LGBT+ community that we have to band together if we want justice or equality. Your impact on others is profound, even if you don’t fully realize it. So, thank you, more than anything else, for just being you.

I know you will grow up to be a beautiful (inside & out) and strong woman. You can do anything you put your mind to. You’ve already proven this many a time.

I’m always rooting you on.

Sincerely,

KD

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