london rhodes, you are so not alone. Did you know that we LGBTQ people often report that we feel we missed out on our youth?

I’ve been a queer advocate and activist for a lot of years. These days, I write fiction for LGBTQ young people, among other kinds of writing.

I hear from people your age all the time from all over the country. Your experiences and feelings are very representative of LGBTQ youth who grow up having to hide.

I don’t say that to tell you that you shouldn’t feel badly about it. You should! It’s not fair that you had to grow up without real support and affirmation.

I say it because I think it might help you to know that what you’re feeling is normal, typical of kids who grow up in conservative religious environments. My own background is evangelical Christian rather than Mormon, but I went through much of what you did.

Your story resonates with me, because I can feel it so personally.

The other thing I want you to know is that we queer folk come in all stripes. No matter who you are or how you value life, you can reach out and find LGBTQ people who relate to and value you for who you are.

It really does get better, as cliché as that sounds.

It sounds like you’ve recognized the need for change and growth.

That’s a great start and a healthy beginning of a journey. I wish you peace and love.

Jim

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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