We are handed a life. And along the way, that life changes. That's what it's supposed to do. But in this life, we aren't always happy with who we become. For folks who aren't out yet, this can be a scary thing. They think there is something wrong with them. They think they fell into the wrong life. They wish it could be easier. But where there is fear and uncertainty, this is also where great things can come from. But it's not easy.
Nowadays, there is a tendency to think that it's so easy to come out. We've made such progress, and everyone is so accepting, that it should be easy. But I've met enough people in my travels to know that this isn't always the case. No matter how the world has turned, it's still up to the person to reconcile this fact with themselves. And honestly, the world still isn't that accepting. We see a kid at 13 and he's out and proud. We see a 5-year-old boy that knows he is meant to be a girl, and we think "Wow, look at this." But a story that goes viral is not the same story for the other millions of people who deal with the struggle. They don't get the fanfare. They don't get the inspirational comments on social media.
My wish for those who can't be themselves is that I hope you find the strength to keep going. I hope you realize that who you are is the greatest thing in the world. There will never be another person like you as long as the world keeps turning. And I hope you decide to take that leap and be who you want to be. Because I know you will blossom.
If we are going to move forward, we must recognize everyone's journey. We must celebrate coming out stories, but we must also open doors and pathways for those folks who are still not out yet. If we are going to move forward, an important thing to do is honor those men and women. They are brave. They are valued. And we must respect that their journey is not always a simple one. We have no idea what inner battles they are fighting. We have no idea where they are living, or what their family life is like, or how it's going to change their lives.
What we should try to do is continue to listen, to understand them, and to create resources that give them the courage to be their true selves. But we also must respect their timetable.