Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday - A Message I Wish I Had Read 45 years ago as I went back to school

It is back to school season. Middle school and high school were not the best times of my life, in honesty they were some of the most trying.  Being a teenager is not easy, it is even harder if you don't fit in.  This is my back-to-school advice for the gay kids out there returning to high school.   

You are just fine the way you are.  Don't hide it, let your freak flag fly.  If you live your life trying to make others happy, you will make yourself miserable, hurt people, and not please the people you are trying to please. The people who want you to change who you are, will never be happy, no matter what you do. Don't try to change who you are, don't try to be everything for everyone. Be the best you, you can be.  

You are handsome/beautiful just the way you are.  Don't waste your energy trying to gain weight or lose weight to look a certain way. Your goal should be to be healthy, be able to move, to feel the rhythm of life.  Find a healthy balance in food, and exercise.  Your nose is just the right size for your face, your ears are fine. Enjoy your hair the way it is, for many of you hair is a temporary condition. Your skin will settle when you relax and enjoy life.  You don't have to change the way you look, someone out there is humming "you are so beautiful, to me!"  Don't change who you are, find the person who finds you attractive for who you are. 

You will find love.  Often in unexpected places, when you least expect it.  Love is kind of like a lost phone, you find it, when you stop looking for it. Look for love, sex in momentary - love endures.  

It is normal to feel alone, isolated, or rejected.  It isn't easy, but it is part of life. Do things you enjoy, when you enjoy life, others will enjoy time with you. Your worth is not based on the number of people around you.  

Balance safety, with standing up for yourself and saying what you need to say.  Most negative things that people will say, don't deserve a response.  The energy you put into trying to defend yourself against a hater, is energy better spent building an amazing life. The best revenge, is a life well lived. 

It is easier today to find information, to find an ally, to find support or to find a role model.  Read, look online. Not every school is supportive, but more are than were before.  If your community does not have a supportive place, be the change, build the system.  You are not alone, there are others in your community that are experiencing the same thing, find one another and support one another.  Start looking at colleges that have open and supportive communities.  (A college group was a key to my self acceptance.) 

I had real fears about coming out and most of them were groundless.  The few people that rejected me, were people I didn't really need in my life.  I was surprised by the people who accepted me, for being me, and were glad that I was happy and comfortable.  Everyone deserves happiness in life, and happiness starts with you.  Happiness is an inside job.  

High school is not life, do well, learn everything you can. Origin is not destiny.   

What do you wish you had known when you started high school? 



  1. (sings) when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all.

    in high school I was alone, I had no friends. catholic high school, private school, 59 kids in my whole class. we were classified as "bright" (the top group), "in between" (the middle group), or "stupid" (the bottom group). the nuns spent their energies on the top group.

    college wasn't much better.

    I don't think I discovered who I REALLY was until my late 40s.

    1. I was in my late 20's before I started to believe in myself. You have made up for it since, our warrior queen!

  2. Anonymous8/28/2019

    What a terrific post that sadly young people probably won't read. There is so much wise advice. I didn't really know I was gay until my late teens (or am I lying about that. Not sure), past my school years, so there was no need for me to come out, and I have never really come out. Family and friends accepted myself and my partner as a couple and it dawned on them at some point. Of course my mother knew, before I did.

    1. Wise to avoid the dramatic coming out, I figured when I brought the same guy home for Christmas a couple of years in a row, they would get it, and they did.

  3. "High school is not life" -- luckily, I figured that out too. You have to play the long game in high school, lol.

    1. If I had known then, what I know now, I'd have learned more and had more fun.

  4. I didn't have problems in high school. School was a haven from all of the chaos at home. I couldn't care less about my peers' opinions. I figured they were as young as I was, so just as stupid. Plus, I think I gave off a kind of bush baby vibe (still do) that made people feel like crap if they tried to pick on me. Most learned in grade school (yep, same group) that I would fight back if pushed and I felt no pain when engaged. Our forty-fifth high school reunion is in October. Probably won't go this time.