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Rookie scribe

cool, thanks for the info!

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Pride means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, pride is a feeling of confidence and empowerment in who I am, and a sense of being comfortable in my own skin. As an LGBTQIA+ person, pride is something that I not only have, but have fought hard for.


Stuck on You by Dylan MooneyStuck on You by Dylan Mooney

As a young lesbian woman growing up in a rural country town and attending a Catholic high school, I often felt as though I was the only person in the world that was attracted to the same sex and that maybe, just maybe, there was something wrong with me. By the time I was 14, I knew what being gay was, but I didn't see anyone like me at my high school, in my town, or even on TV. I didn't know any gay people, and the idea of meeting a girl who had these same romantic feelings towards me seemed so far out reach that I couldn't even imagine what it felt like to have a partner and be loved that way. 


Now, at 23, my world is filled with other proud queer people. I am out to my family, friends, coworkers, and all the important people in my life. I live in a city that is home to gay bars, drag shows, and LGBTQIA+ festivals, and I attend them often. I have a job at a workplace that offers gender transition leave, a GP who is gay himself and understands queer sexual health, and neighbours who wish me 'Happy Mardi Gras'. I have a partner of four years who I love dearly and who loves me. We hold hands on the street, and now, my dream of one day marrying her surrounded by our closest family and friends is not only legal, but very much possible. 


So much has changed in the last 9 years since I first worked out who I was. The life that I live now would have been completely unrecognisable to my younger self, and it's probably better than she had ever dreamed it could be. 

For young LGBTQIA+ people, learning who you are and liking what you see in the mirror often involves some kind of reckoning. Pride in who you are often doesn't come without first battling through shame, stigma, confusion, and fear. But, if there's anything I've learned along the way, it's that finding love for yourself as a queer person is not only possible, but something that you are entitled to.


In honour of Pride Month, and in recognition of the tumultuous journey of self-love that so many queer young people are still on today, I've asked some proud LGBTQIA+ people to share a message of resilience and hope with you all by answering the following question:


If you could say one thing to your younger, queer self, what would it be?


Gay Pride Love GIF by jewlybeads

Here are their answers:


"To you who had so many questions, who was too shy to even consider what your feelings may have meant, who wanted so badly to understand yet were surrounded by those who didn't quite have the answers; all will be okay. Your happiness will never cease despite there being a few hurdles on your way. You will find the answers and they will be glorious. Although, they may not be as defined as you thought they would - no, we don't identify as a lesbian funnily enough, but you're a queen goddess who struts her woman-loving stuff - they will be what makes you you. They will be what gives you reason for your happiness, for your love, for your flare.


You are oh so bright, I wish you didn't think you were alone in these feelings. You will soon find people, people who were around you even then, you are feeling exactly what you are. There is so much to be proud of and so much to look forward to. It is scary, but your family loves you and it's beautiful. You will be okay, just keep smiling and let life take its course. Although you crave the answers to these questions, soon they will come and they will be magical."

- Zoe, 21, she/her, Queer 


"Don't worry my dude, it gets better." 

- Kibeth, 30, she/they, Trans woman


"You aren't going to feel so uncomfortable with yourself forever and people are going to love you after you come out...also you'll get some hot girlfriends."

- Maddie, 21, she/her, Lesbian


"Don't let them break off the best bits of you to squeeze you into a box that you don't fit into. You're not weird, you're not different, and your body parts certainly don't define you. You're you, and one day, you'll be the best version of you. "
- Charlie, 42, he/his/she/her, Trans Masculine
"When your family doesn't accept you as a gay man, you'll seek comfort in relationships, and at times, that will be a hard road. You will create your own queer family, and everything will be okay. Keep will all be worth it."
- Jason, 50, he/his, Gay
I know a lot of things don't make sense to you right now. 
You're feeling pulled in many directions and it's hard for you to be calm and grounded.
This will continue for a while - so go easy on yourself.
Try and find a mentor - someone to connect you with your people, you need them. Finding those people will help you feel safe."
- Minna, 38, she/her, Bisexual
"Coming out to yourself is hard, let alone telling anyone else. Trust that it won't always be that way - over time, you'll feel comfortable, but I know that's hard to imagine. Who you date and being feminine doesn't change your sexual orientation, and coming out won't make your queer parents look bad. Eventually, you won't want the people that judge you and your family in your life anyway. The best is yet to come "
- Bre, 28, she/her, Bisexual
"Don't allow other people's shame and judgement to distract you from your right to discover who you are." 
- Sue, 55, she/her, Queer
"I would tell my younger queer self that you are queer enough! Stop with the imposter syndrome - queer comes in all different colours, hues and shades. And you belong. Have fun, explore, and enjoy being your true self 🌈 💗"
- Iona, 35, they/them, Agender and Pansexual 
"You're going to have a lot of struggles, but once you find community, none of them will be because you're queer. I know you've looked around and you don't see other people like you, it can seem really lonely and like you have to hide. But you don't, and you won't. You'll be unapologetic, you'll be authentic to who you are and you'll put all of that love and energy back into supporting your community. Don't let anyone tell you you're not enough and there's something wrong with you. You're going to love the ride!"
- Georgie, 37, she/they, Queer and Gender Non-Conforming

But pride is not just for those who are queer themselves. Our families, chosen families, friends, colleagues, allies and communities make up so much of what it means to be a proud queer person. The supportive people who love us share in our heartbreaks, and they share in our wins. 


Not everyone is blessed with parents or families that understand and accept who they are, but that's the beauty of chosen family - we may not choose who brings us into the world, but we can choose who we surround ourselves with, who we value, and whose voices and words we listen to. 


For those of you who fear coming out to your family or friends, I hear you and I see you. Sharing who we are with the people who raised us can be one of the hardest things we experience as queer people. Despite this, I hope you know these three things:


  1. You do not have to come out to be a proud queer person. Pride is what's inside of you. If it isn't safe for you to come out right now, that's okay - that doesn't make your identity any less valid, and it doesn't mean that you can't be proud of who you are.
  2. Sometimes, people will surprise you. No matter their age, their religion, their politics, or what you imagine they'll think, sometimes people defy your expectations and surround you with the love you deserve. Take that love and celebrate it together. 
  3. If they don't, it is okay to feel hurt. It is okay to be disappointed and to grieve. But know this - there are people out there that love and support you no matter what, and you will find them. 

For those of you who need some words of support, a glimmer of hope, or a reminder that there are people out there who love you for all that you are, here are some messages from the families and loved ones of queer young people who have answered the question:


If you could tell your LGBTQIA+ loved ones one thing, what would it be?


Here are their answers:


"You are enough, you matter, and I love you."

- Lainie, 50, she/her, Mother


"I love you unconditionally and I'm here for you always. I'll hold your hand in the dark place and wait until we find the light together."

- Neicha, 46, she/her, Aunt


"You do you love for you will never change xx"

- Briette, 44, she/her, Aunt


" You are just a person to me. I love you and I am also proud of you. Having a gay daughter has brought so much joy into my life."

- Matthew, 51, he/him, Father


"I love you unconditionally, I believe in you and all your beauty and the love you have to offer the world. You are the most amazing beautiful gift from the universe and you touch everyone's heart."

- Tina, 47, she/her, Mother 


" I love you no matter what. Who you love does not define you and certainly does not make a difference in my love and care for you. Life can be hard for everyone so if you are being true to yourself and are doing things that are making you happy and making your life more full of colour and joy, then that's all that matters to me. Other people's opinions should not be a factor. You are the only person in your life that needs to make you happy so no matter what you want and who you love, I will be overjoyed and proud of you."

- Thornton, 21, she/her, Sister


"I am proud that you are able to embrace who you are, and with me you will always have a friend who will treat you, and everyone else, equally."

- Tom, 30, he/him, Brother-in-Law


"Your queerness is one of the things I love most about you. I couldn't be more proud to be your sister."

- Bella, 25, she/her, Sister


"My mother always taught me to treat people as you find them, so I hope we get to the place where we all see each other as a member of humankind. Who you love doesn't matter to me, I love you and am proud of you regardless."

- Trudy, 69, she/her, Grandmother


"Whoever you love, I love."

- Colleen, 95, she/her, Great-Grandmother

If tonight's Weekly Wellbeing has brought up any difficult feelings for you, feel free to reach out to QLife on 1800 184 527 ❤️