"If I knew then..."
One of the things I'm constantly finding myself reflect on following a meeting with my high school Gay Straight Alliance students is remembering that intensity of emotions, be it enthusiasm, anxiety, anger, curiosity, etc. but not knowing what to do with those emotions so just being stuck in this perpetual state of feeling lost. Whether you experienced something similar or you feel like in retrospect those years were far easier than the grown up world and maybe one tiny thing could have made a difference in improving your personal identity growth, I want you to share that with the youth of today. The LGBTQ youth could benefit tremendously from hearing stories of people they can connect their own experiences with to recognize the hope and the vast range of experiential knowledge that's available to them through others that have walked the path before them. I'm asking you to write yourself a letter approximately at the turning point of your identity or "coming out" and sharing with them what you can about how to make the most of their individual journeys. Ask yourself if I only knew then, what could be possible? What would have been easier? How could things have turned out differently? How could I have been inspired to be empowered instead of defeated? I hope to present the findings including some samples, overarching themes of the compiled letters, and some quotes at a LGBTQ youth summit and it would mean a lot to me to hear from you. You can make it as uplifting, humorous, informative as you want, just have fun with it! Thanks and I look forward to hearing your stories.