Minerva's Breakdown: Come Out, Queen 

DEAR MINERVA,

I've thought of writing this letter to you for quite some time. I grew up in a home with five sisters and my single mother. I'm the youngest child and the only boy. I was close to my sisters but particularly close and fond of my sister who is four years older than I. I started getting into her makeup, clothes, shoes, etc. when I was 10 years old. I began experimenting while other boys my age were out doing what "boys do." The day came when I stood in front of a full length mirror complete with makeup, a little short skirt, a button up shirt, heels, one of my sister's leather jackets and my own hair styled and "ratted out" as far as it would go. I smiled the biggest smile I've ever had, but soon after came tears. Now years later and after many hours with a therapist I understand. I'm now 59 years old. I knew I was attracted to the same sex at 17, yet any time I felt I was ready to admit that, fear enveloped me. The only times I had the courage to express my sexuality was after drinking alcohol or doing drugs. I'm still living in fear of possible abandonment from the ones I love. I want so badly for the world to recognize me for who I really am. I love drag and I'm still very much fond of the same sex but fear keeps me confined to the dark, weary closet. I'm hoping you'll shed some light on my situation and help me step out into the light and be who I really want to be.

—Respectfully, Queen Afraid

DEAR QUEEN,

There is no time like the present. The disservice you are doing to those around you is not giving them the opportunity to know who you really are and by hiding, you are also taking away the possibility of them accepting you. While the fear of abandonment is very real, take comfort in knowing that if they do abandon you, they weren't invested in the real you to begin with. You have lived 59 years hiding in the shadows. Put your pain to rest and shine for the world. Living your truth will set you free and you'll make amazing new friends along the way. You deserve that happiness.

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