real life

'Dear 16-yr old me: I'm not going to lie to you, you will get hurt. But it will get better.'

Today, a young man made a courageous call to a radio station.

Stew Perrie is a young gay man from Sydney. After coming out to his family and friends, he shared this letter on his Facebook page. Stew has been kind enough to let us share his story here…

Dear 16 year old Stew,

You’re probably sitting downstairs in your room on the computer. Most likely someone at school today will have made an off the cuff comment about your sexuality.

They don’t know that each comment slowly chips away at your pride and your confidence.

You’re probably feeling like shit because you know that you are the way you are and nothing will change that – even though you desperately want to be normal.

You’ve read a thousand blogs about that classical phrase of “it gets better.”

You try and imagine a future where you can be yourself and you can’t.

You’re wondering if these feelings of self-loathing and self-pity will ever go away.

Little do you know – that in a few years you’ll meet people who are just like you.

These people will impress and surprise you.

They’ll challenge and push you to become a better person.

They’ll take you to places in Sydney where everyone will make you feel alive and happy.

I won’t lie to you – you will get hurt, you will cry and there will be some down moments.

Ben Fordham talked about Stew and his inspiring letter on his drive show on 2GB. You can listen to the listeners’ responses here:

You’ll tell family and friends and most will be supportive and open. Even though some might not be on board initially – watching them grow and learn will be the most amazing thing.

But here’s the best part.

You’ll meet someone who sweeps you off your feet. Who makes every cliché a reality. Who makes you feel safe.

They’ll make you feel for the first time in your life that you are normal. You’ll smile everyday because you know that someone has your back and you have theirs. This is love – in all its glory.

So 16 year old Stew – I know you’re sitting there and thinking that you’ll never truly fit in, or you’ll never be truly happy.

But I can assure you that the way I’m feeling right now goes beyond words. It goes beyond definition. It’s a feeling that bores right down into your soul and you never want it to end.

So thank you for holding on and believing in yourself, because it did get better.

23 year old Stew

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