Dear 13-year old Sean,
I still remember it like it was yesterday. That very first time you felt attracted to another guy. How that feeling of lust was quickly replaced by hysteria. I can still recall how you rushed home in search of answers. And how relieved you were when a book assured you that same-sex attraction was a normal phase during puberty. Especially in an all-boys school.
I’m here to tell you that same-sex attraction for you, is very much not a phase.
But of course, I know nothing I say will change your mind. The consequences of being gay have already scared you senseless. So you decided very early on that being gay was simply not an option.
You would spend the next decade of your life desperately trying to be someone that you are not. But even your stubborn nature is no match for time.
Self acceptance comes at different times for different people. For you, that long belated epiphany would finally arrive at the ripe old age of 23.
Looking back, my biggest regret in life has always been those 10 years I wasted fighting my sexuality. I know it’s not the most politically correct thing to say. Conventional wisdom dictates that we are supposed to accept our past because it made us who we are today.
But I often find myself wondering what could have been. All those missed opportunities. All that wasted time pursuing the opposite sex.
But of course, in spite of that wasted decade, I think I turned out all right in the end.
I’m still a long way from becoming the man that I hope to be. But what I do know is that l don’t miss my closeted life one bit. And that is the message that I hope to convey with this letter.
It may be too late for me to tell my closeted self to stop fighting against himself. But it’s not too late for me to address all those still struggling, who have managed to chance across this letter.
Despite the likes and shares, coming out wasn’t a smooth journey for me. Up till today, my family aren’t very accepting of my sexuality. Despite the difficulties, coming out is still one of the best decision I’ve ever made. And my only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner.
Thanks to my work with Dear Straight People, I have inadvertently become the poster boy for coming out. But contrary to popular belief, I’m not advocating that everybody comes out. There are many factors one needs to consider. And people should only come out in whatever capacity that they can when they’re ready.
What I do hope to convey with my letter though, is that life didn’t really begin for me until I accepted myself. And I hope that others don’t make the same mistake that I did.
Life will never be a smooth journey. But life is too short to be someone that you are not.
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