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A Love Letter to All the Closeted Queer Kids Going Back to School

A Love Letter to All the Closeted Queer Kids Going Back to School

A Love Letter to All the Closeted Queer Kids Going Back to School

Being closeted does not make you fake or inauthentic. Anyone that gets to experience more of your truth are simply being blessed by your awesomeness.

jazjoyner

Photo: Ryan Tauss

Dear Closeted Baby Queer,

I see you. I was you. Not too long ago I was a ‘straight girl’ as far as anyone but me was concerned. I did my very best to pass in this cishetero world. I played my closeted role so well that no one would have guessed that I'm trans or that I’m attracted to femmes. As soon as I’d walk into the school gates, I moved differently, talked differently and practiced ‘normal’ the best way I knew how. I wasn’t acting though—I was surviving. And before I go on, let’s make one thing clear, being closeted does not make you fake or inauthentic. You are you at all times and there’s nothing wrong with presenting just a fraction of “you” to the world. When you are a closeted queer person sometimes it’s necessary to preserve parts of yourself you’re not ready to share. That's okay. You don’t owe anyone anymore than you’re willing to give. Anyone that gets to experience more of your truth are simply being blessed by your awesomeness.

School for a baby queer can be a scary place. For a lot of us, it’s a place of rejection, segregation, and trauma. I wish someone had told me a big reason it felt so scary is because I was surrounded by people just as insecure as me. In school, everyone is searching for themselves and judging others because they don’t feel they can measure up—even the cis straight folks. You are not alone, but it’s okay to dislike it. You don’t have to like school or believe that it’s going to be the “best time of your life.” Sure that’s true for some people, but for a lot of us, the best times of our lives haven’t happened yet. And I know that when they do come, school will feel like just a blip in your past.

Sometimes I look back and I regret not coming out sooner. I used to get angry with myself for what felt like wasted time that I was closeted. But it’s not wasted time. I didn’t come out before because I wasn’t ready. Every moment that you take is a moment that you need, and it’s all the more time for you to grow. The fact is, you know when is right for you. I didn’t feel safe in my queerness and I’m thankful now that I trusted that feeling. Whether you don’t trust you’ll be physically safe if you come out, or you aren’t comfortable enough with yourself to share that part of you, any reason you decide to stay closeted is valid. You don’t owe anyone any explanations.

You are worthy of living in this world and one day, you won’t have to be in the closet anymore. They’re not lying when they say it gets better. It really does.

You are loved,

An out and proud queer person

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Jaz Joyner

Jaz is a black non-binary writer and founder of QUNTFRONT residing in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been featured in Huffington Post, Afropunk, The Establishment, Time Out New York and others.

Jaz is a black non-binary writer and founder of QUNTFRONT residing in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been featured in Huffington Post, Afropunk, The Establishment, Time Out New York and others.