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Gay high school swimmer gives advice to his younger, scared self on acceptance

Andrew is a 17-year-old high school senior in Minnesota and captain of his swim team. I have written before about his terrific blog the Transpiration of Andrew. He has an awesome post up now that has him writing to his 11-year-old self, a scared boy coming to terms with his sexual orientation.

It is moving and also practical and well worth your time:

Dear Little Andrew,

By now you probably have concluded that you aren’t like the other kids. You’re different. You’re gay and it’s okay. First of all, you were born gay. There is nothing you can say or do to be straight you can act straight and spend lots of time and effort to convince others you are straight but you are just lying to yourself and others. The greatest good you can do is be yourself, because all the people that don’t like who you are don’t matter. Fuck the haters. You don’t have to come out right away but you can stop convincing yourself that conforming to everyone else in middle/high school will help you survive it. Being different is a great gift it makes you interesting and stand out from people.

Stop fearing the gay community and your future in it. The parades, “flamers”, and all that pride are not bad things. You will find that the gay community has some of the nicest people you will know be it LGBT people or those who support us. They are friends who will like you for you, embrace it. Also stop hating on the “flamers” although you may not feel and act the way you do and you don’t appreciate the stereotypes they bring, they are human too, respect that.

Focus on what is really important. I know people have been “dating” from 5th grade to now, but being gay is different. For one, you can’t expect to get a boyfriend without being out, plus even if you are out not many others are. Gay relationships are rare at young ages and if you do happen to get one appreciate it. However, relationships aren’t the most important thing to worry about and get hung up on. You have talents, hobbies, sports, school, and friends to focus on. They are dependable and useful and ultimately your safest bet to succeed in life.

Surround yourself with the right friends who will support you. There’s not much of a point in befriending that really homophobic kid that trash talks gays all the time. Find the good ones that support gay rights and ultimately the true you. Also, you’ll be surprised how many of the kids these days really do support LGBT. Change is happening!

Lastly, I can’t stress this enough. Love yourself. You are perfect the way you are, hold on to your uniqueness and appreciate it. Any obstacle you face can be overcome, there will always be tomorrow so keep calm and carry on.

Older Andrew

On a more humorous note, check out Andrew's Gay Ten Commandments.