Hey Friend and Family!
How are you? You OK?
OK, so to be completely honest, I never thought I’d be writing a letter to anyone else about what I learned or how to be strong or how I got through tough stuff. I mean, when I was younger, I didn’t think I was strong. I thought I was this total weirdo and one day everyone would find out. Actually, I still think that sometimes.
One thing I definitely know that I have learned: everyone’s got an opinion. EVERYONE. And they will have that opinion on who you are and why you are and what you are. They’re also going to have opinions on how you should live your life, how you should come out, how you should be who you are. Here’s the truth though: THERE IS NOTHING YOU “SHOULD” DO. Everyone’s journey and family and struggles and path are sometimes similar but sometimes real different. And that’s totally cool.
I knew a girl once who wanted me to “come out” to my family. The way she did. Through a letter. I told her my family didn’t work that way. That I didn’t even know what I was supposed to “come out” about. I wasn’t even allowed to date boys or hug boys or shake hands with boys and suddenly I was supposed to say, “No big deal, Mom, now I’m just having sex with women!” She pushed me on it. And I didn’t have the words at that time to push back. It took me a long time to figure out that it was OK that I couldn’t do it her way. And I don’t feel bad about that. Nobody should ever feel bad about that. (By the way, I did end up coming out my Mom. From an airport. Over G-Chat. So, there’s that.)
I also discovered that one of the ways I survived was through creating art and comedy. I started taking my feelings and confusions and making short films and web series. For me, having these public conversations about some of my private feelings was how I could take some of my struggles out of my head and make sense of them.
So, you do what you need to do. Do what feels safe to you. And know that you’re not alone. This weirdo is with you.
Peace. Love. Fawzia Mirza.