“Life is so hard right now. Every day, you wake up wondering who else will find out your secret and hate you.”
“Yesterday, I tweeted a response to the hateful homophobic comments made by a Northern Irish pastor, James McConnell. Mr McConnell said: ‘Two lesbians living together are not a family. They are sexual perverts playing let’s pretend.’
I said: ‘People like Pastor McConnell made 14 year old me feel like I was better off dead, rather than deal with the shame of being gay.’
… a number of people asked me to write a blog post summarising what I said. Someone remarked that maybe some 14 year old would read it and take hope. So I decided to write a letter to my 14 year old self, 10 years later, as a 24 year old looking back.”
Lyra McKee, 29, journalist, gay activist; killed covering Northern Ireland unrest, April 18. 2019
It’s going to be okay.
I know you’re not feeling that way right now. You’re sitting in school. The other kids are making fun of you. You told the wrong person you had a crush and soon, they all knew your secret. It’s horrible. They make your life hell. They laugh at you, whisper about you and call you names. It’s not nice. And you can’t ask an adult for help because if you did that, you’d have to tell them the truth and you can’t do that. They can’t ever know your secret.
Life is so hard right now. Every day, you wake up wondering who else will find out your secret and hate you.
It won’t always be like this. It’s going to get better.
In a year’s time, you’re going to join a scheme that trains people your age to be journalists. I know the careers teacher suggested that as an option and you said no, because it sounded boring and all you wanted to do was write, but go with it. For the first time in your life, you will feel like you’re good at something useful. You’ll have found your calling. You’ll meet amazing people. And…