Dear Mom and Dad,
I’ve spent all my life trying to live up to your expectations and make you happy. I’ve realized though, at a very young age, that I would never be able to make you happy. For a multitude of reasons. I was never who you wanted me to be, Mom. You always tried putting me in dress and wear my hair down, but I didn’t want any of those things. I always wanted to wear my t-shirt and shorts and throw my hair up into a ponytail. For that I was always incredibly guilty. I suffered an internal battle. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be like the other girls. Why I couldn’t just make you happy. I realized, Dad, that I could never make you happy by bringing home a boy for you to interrogate. I realized who I was, who I am, is a disgrace to you. Because I find love in the beautiful women around me, I will never be good enough for you. To this day, I endure the battle of deciding whether my family is worth sacrificing my happiness. Because I know the day I tell you I am gay is the day I lose my family. I wish I wasn’t this way. In fact, I hate myself for it. I wish, Mom, that I could wear those dresses you put me in. I wish I could play with those dolls instead of playing in the mud. I’m sorry I don’t like going to dances. I just don’t like being someone I’m not. But I tried Mom. I tried so hard to change myself. I tried doing all the things and being all the things you wanted me to be, but I just couldn’t. And I’m sorry Dad. I’m sorry I can’t find love in boys. I tried changing that too. The ways in which I tried would probably make you cry. And the night I was forced to give myself to someone would also make you cry, but its not your fault dad. Because you are who you are. And I was too naïve at the time to realize what I was doing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ll tell you, dad. I was raped. By a boy older than me. It happened because I told myself this is how it’s supposed to be. I’m supposed to enjoy it. It’s not rape. But it was. The tears and scars prove it. I thought sex would change me. Oh, it did change me. It destroyed me. But again, I’m not trying to blame you. In fact, I don’t blame you. I just want to apologize. But there is one apology that I won’t let slip past my lips. I wont apologize for finding a moments peace in the smoke that saved me. You called me a disappointment. But would you say the same if I were dead? Words cannot explain how much your words hurt me. The sad part is, you said I hurt you. But what about the years of pain I have endured trying to conform to your expectations? All I wanted was a few moments of peace from this pain that consumes me. Even telling you about my depression wasn’t good enough. Apparently that made me a quitter. My depression made me a quitter. Because I was choosing this…but depression isn’t a choice. Depression is not even knowing why I’m depressed. I wonder if you would cry knowing how many nights I spend enduring a silent agony and biting my hand to avoid the wails of pain that threatened to escape my trembling lips. And would you cry, even now, seeing me clutch my clothing as my hands tremble writing these words down. would uou cry knowing I spend hours staring at a razor blade. Holding it to my veins and telling meself to just do it. All I wanted was to make you happy. But I couldn’t. because of who I was. Because of who I am. But you should know, mom and dad. That on my 18th birthday I realized that comfroming to peoples expectations is not how I should live my life. I will not sacrafice my uniquness. I will not apologize for who I am. I love you mom and dad. Even if you don’t love me.