An advice column about sexuality, gender, dating and overall queerness
By Mollie Whuppie /// Staff Writer
I was inspired by a book my friend recently bought me, The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves, to write a letter to my younger queer self. So for this last issue of the semester, and as senior who is almost done with their college career, I’ve decided to write a letter to my first-year-of-college self.
I know you’ve come to college scared shitless of who you are and what you might become, but I just want you to know that it is going to work out okay. Things won’t be perfect, but it will be okay.
You are going to meet your first, real lesbian. She will be on the basketball team and you are going to fall head over heels with her because she is the first person you’ve met who openly said she was gay. You will find out six months later that you weren’t even attracted to her and were, in fact, just infatuated with how she wasn’t afraid to be herself. Somewhat randomly, you are going to have your first college hookup and later relationship with one of your close friends who you never would have guessed. You are still dating her, so don’t worry about all that fighting—it will pass.
Your mom is going to fly up to Portland sometime during that first semester to check up on you, because she is worried that what she always thought was going to happen is happening—you are realizing you really are a big ol’ queer! And when you finally end up telling your family you’ve been dating a woman for almost a year, you will first listen to Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave” 50 times and practice your speech 100 times, and feel incredibly relieved that they told you they “love you no matter what.” But then once off the phone your relief will turn to anger, because why should you have to come out to them anyways? It will motivate you to get more involved.
Your second-year you are going to do something you never imagined and join the Queer Resource Center. All those queers you spent a long time judging and thinking were too “out there” will become your good friends, and you will become more aware than ever of the injustices queer people face. This will prompt you to finally get over your prejudice and fear and go to your first pride festival, which you still won’t like, but it will feel amazing to finally be in a space meant for you.
Four years later, your mother still loves you, you’ve started an advice column for the school newspaper called Dear Queer, you have numerous friends of all sorts who love you for you and you still wear sweatpants on most days, but occasionally mix it up by putting on a cute dress. You are happier than you have ever been in your life and finally feel ready to take on the world.
So my advice to you, oh, young one: 1) trust your instincts, 2) be okay with being uncomfortable, 3) don’t worry so much about how the world sees you and 4) always love yourself first because if you don’t have love for yourself, you can’t fully love others.
Much love to you, self.