Thursday, October 11, 2018

National Coming Out Day - A Letter to My Sister

Photo: My sister Hope

Dear Hope,

Today is a moment you've been waiting for for a long time. I'm sure you rewrote the caption a thousand times, took a hundred photos only to pick the third one in your library, and had a lump in your throat as you hit "post". But I couldn't be more proud.

As your big sister, I've taken the responsibility a little too far at times. I've texted you at 2 AM to make sure that you had made it home safe, called you at least 6 times before you pick up the phone, texted you multiple times before getting a reply-- but I do it because I'm your big sister.

So when you first came to me this year and told me you "might" like girls, I cried the moment you left. I literally sobbed for a few hours. I didn't cry because I didn't understand, it was far from that. I cried because I was worried that I wouldn't be able to protect you. I look back at my own experience with social media and know firsthand how cruel people can be online. As I laid in bed crying, I realized that you didn't need someone to worry, you needed someone to support you.

You have been a rock in our family from day one. You are strong, brave, funny, and a major sass. I knew if I was having a bad day that you'd be the first one to tell me that the person wasn't worth being upset over. Now it's my turn. From this moment forward, embrace who you are. Love yourself more than ever. But always stay true to yourself. You've worked so hard to get to this day.

But in all seriousness, I am so proud. I am in constant awe of your courage and your positive outlook. People may not understand, even people close to you, but that's on them. Their loss, not yours! You are 100% you, there is not doubting that. It's time to embrace that and move forward as the person you know you are meant to be. Today is the first of many. There will be days when it isn't easy, you may want to throw in the towel, but you are loved. You are loved so beyond words.

For many, today is just a Thursday. But for you, for us, it's YOUR day-- National Coming Out Day.

I want you to know that I love you, I support you, and I will always be your overprotective big sister (who just wants what is best for you!). Which means I will fully embarrass the girls you bring home. I know where all the photos are hidden.

I love you forever.

P.S. If you are coming out today, or have embraced who you are for however long, this letter is to you, too. 

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