Dear twelve-year-old Kit,
I can’t stress enough how lucky you are. Since my coming out, I’ve met countless folks who’ve been chased out of their families with pitchforks just because of who they love. The mere fact that you have resources ready and waiting to give you the support you deserve before and after June 12, 2016 is a miracle – never take them for granted.
Let’s talk about Aunt Brooke. When she came out all those years ago, equality wasn’t the hot button issue like it is today. She had to figure a lot out on her own. No safeguards, no catch nets, just her. There’s something to be said about that – because I know a number of baby boomers who had to live their queer youth in fear or isolation, and end up coming out the other end bruised, battered, and bitter. That’s not Aunt Brooke.
I think it’s because she recognized early on that legislation wasn’t going to define the love she had to give. Rather, she chose to share it with the woman she eventually married, and eventually shared it with her daughter and you – that’s what she cares about.
Not to mention, the fact that she’s able to not only operate at the level she does professionally, but still foster the relationships closest to her – I mean, it’s a master class.
This is a magical quality about her, because Aunt Brooke will one day teach you that being part of the LGBTQ community isn’t defined by the bars you go to, the clothes you wear, or whether or not you’re caught up on all the gay shows on TV. She learned long ago that it’s about the opportunity to love, and be loved – and maybe even more importantly, actively participating. This will be one of the most liberating lessons you’ll learn in your queer journey.
It should come as no surprise, by the time you tell Aunt Brooke, she’ll have figured it out already. Maybe even before you did. So recognize how special it is to have someone like her in your corner. When you start racing bicycles, you’ll begin making lists of people to look up to. They’ll be peppered with bike racing heroes and industry tycoons. Do me a favor and don’t forget to add Aunt Brooke on there too. One day, you’ll understand why.
More to come,