Charlotte Liew -Letter To My Closet

Charlotte Liew from Singapore talks about the personal struggles she faced with her gender identity, self acceptance and fear of rejection of society.

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Closeted FB Cover Charlotte

To my closeted self, 

How have you been today? If it’s like any other day that I remember, the day was probably spent wasting your day away, maintaining that image that you so painstakingly upkeep and maintain in order to make the world think one way of you, while knowing in your heart that the person you truly are is hidden so deep inside the closet you’re getting suffocated by mothballs. 

Its tough, being with a bunch of guys who are completely the opposite of the person inside, rowdy, loud, uncouth, and annoying. They may help you to strengthen that image and forget about whatever you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis, but at night, you know that it all comes back. 

I know how much it kills you to laugh at people that are in the same boat as you, but whom you envy so much for having the courage to be true to themselves. It’s always the same vicious cycle of laughing at them in the day, torturing yourself at night over not being able to have the courage to live that same truth. Are you looking at the transition road map again? Imagining how your ‘friends’ will torment you for transitioning? Those people that you hold so dear now will disappear from your life in the near future and they won’t be a part of the best years that are to come. Are you having flashbacks about all the transphobic and homophobic things you’ve heard spoken by your family?

Spending every night thinking and wishing that you have the courage to come out of the closet, or even make small, baby steps to move forward in transition, will do nothing but cost you wasted years. I should know. I am you. 


It has been more than 10 years since you read that it is possible for someone born as one sex to become the other, and I know that it has been eating at you since then. The envy that you feel every time you read about or see a successful transition isn’t something silly, and it’s not going to go away. The dissatisfaction you feel with yourself is not a weight issue, no fat guy thinks that becoming a girl will make his life better, and no cis guy looks at transition before-and-after pictures with sadness and longing to do the same. 

I know that you keep trying to convince yourself that continuing this course of action will allow you to suppress and eventually forget these thoughts that you’re having. I know that you’re telling yourself how ugly a girl you’ll make and how everyone will be able to tell that you’re trans. How going into the army in the future will allow you to really be a man. These are entirely untrue, and all of these actions are stretching an elastic band that will eventually snap. All your feelings are entirely valid, and there is no reason to force yourself to be someone that you’re not. 


I’d like to tell you that the future is bright. No matter how bleak it seems now, and how certain you are that you will be trapped in this life that you’ve created for yourself, it can and will get better. Someday, you will realise that repressing and forcing yourself away isn’t going to work, and you will take the first step toward living your truth, the life that you know in your heart to be the one you desire. You will wake up and see a girl in the mirror. You will experience the joy and euphoria from being gendered correctly.

Although people come and go, you will find people that truly care about you and accept you for who you are. All those thoughts about being kicked out of the house, being left to live on the streets? It’s not going to happen! Your parents deserve more credit than you give them, despite all their flaws, and they will accept you for who you are. Don’t get me wrong, it will NOT happen on the first day, and there will be some time required for them to get used to it. But acceptance will come and one day they’ll acknowledge you as their daughter. Those people that you brush off right now, someday in the future, they will surprise you and show that they truly do care about you. 

Don’t be fooled though, life is not and will never be easy, and there will be many challenges ahead that test your strength as a person completely, that will feel like the worst thing on earth. Just know that you are strong, and you are capable of anything that is thrown at you. After all, living your truth is the single most difficult thing you’ve embarked on, and you’ve done that exceedingly well. Just look at the mirror and smile at the person you will become. Chin up ! 

Much love, 

Your future self, Charlotte. 

DSP Author Charlotte
Written by Charlotte Liew

Read other letters from Singaporeans here:

Stanley Poh – Letter To My Closeted Self

Joyce Ng – Letter To My Closet

Vyla Virus – Letter To My Closet

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