RIGHT NOW, WE’RE YOUNG, and the world is still new. There are millions of events you haven’t celebrated yet, places you haven’t seen and books you haven’t read. You’re only 13, but this is the time when your journey to self-discovery begins.

You should know that it’s okay to like him, and it’s okay to like her. Don’t be scared to explore who you are. Don’t let those around you suppress your expression. Cut your hair exactly how you want — you don’t like it long and later you’ll realize that shaving it all down makes you much happier and more self-confident. Wear the dark eyeliner you love, even though mom doesn’t like it. Whatever you do, don’t mix stripes and camouflage, it’ll be hard to come back from that.

Jesus won’t hate you, but that doesn’t really matter.

This is a time in your life when you want to be a Christian, like your family. You read Ecclesiastes every day, you’re taking your bible to school, and you’re terrified that the kids you go to church with will reject you for everything you are.You’re even scared that the Trinity itself will hate you.

Please know that, while it doesn’t really matter what they think, you’ll go on to find many people who want to accept you for who you are. You don’t need to be frightened. Soon, you’ll explore religion and realize that Christianity isn’t where you belong right now.

While cleaning, just 5 years later, you’ll open up your own unfinished diary and read: I don’t care if Jesus hates me for this, I’m in love. And you’ll laugh.

What you saw as a rejection of your faith, and what led to years of anxiety toward Christianity, will become comical. Stop worrying, it’s really not that big of a deal. Those from Mt. Horeb, that truly care, will always be there for you, no matter what labels you use to define yourself.

Side Note, though: keep going to church with your family on holidays. You may not like it, but your Mom appreciates it.

Jumping from boy to boy is going to affect you later.

After every break up you have in high school, and there will be a lot, you won’t stay single for long. You’ll hop from guy to guy, yet complain about how no girl at your high school is interested in you. The reality of it is, you’re not giving them a chance.

With each break up you’ll claim you’ve sworn off men. But that’s only because you’ve already started to regret that you’re avoiding dating women. You’ll wear your label proudly, you’ll shout it at strangers: “I AM BISEXUAL.” Yet you haven’t actually accepted yourself. You’re scared. I know you might not agree with that, but you are.

You’re scared to fall in love with a girl and have to bring her home because you don’t want to upset your parents. You may be out to everyone, but you’ve managed to keep it a secret from your family because you’re afraid of being rejected by them. The thought of coming out terrifies you, so you hide behind heterosexual-appearing relationships.

You’ll keep doing this until college, and then you’ll actually begin to embrace yourself. But your relationships will continue to suffer. Your suppression will cause urges to surface. You’ll end up doubting yourself, doubting your bisexuality — because you’ve only dated men.

“Women never like me,” will once again be your excuse — even though you know it holds no weight. You will come out to your mother right before graduating high school. (In retrospect, you probably shouldn’t have come out during an argument.) And she’ll say, “But you’re dating so-and-so!”

This will just be another reminder of the chances you should have taken when you were younger and the paths you should have tried to venture down. Please, for the both of us, embrace yourself fully earlier on and don’t let the fear of coming out stop you. Stop hiding behind a lack of dating pool, and stop hiding behind a heterosexual-screen.

Coming out will be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Coming out isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely something you need to do.

After reading your God-awful coming out poem to your mother, you’ll start taking steps that will benefit you in the long run. You’ll make a Facebook page about being bisexual, for instance. You’ll spend hours every day trying to get other people as comfortable with themselves as you are with yourself now. And you’ll start making relationships in the community that will last a lifetime.

Your family will start accepting you more and more, stifling whatever complaints they may have when you start droning on about the girl who brought her friend with her on your first date, or the girl you bought flowers for and never spoke to again. One Father’s Day your dad will even show that he knows about your orientation and make the most awkward dad joke you’ve ever heard. After that, he’ll begin to make strides to understand your community and all LGBTQIA+ individuals. Don’t get ahead of yourself, though, he has a long way to go.

And while you still have some items to check off of your wish list (1: Go to Pride with a girl) you’ll begin to not let regrets and doubts hold you back. You’ll realize that it doesn’t matter how many genders you’ve dated and in what amount of your bisexuality isn’t in question. You’ll move on from a guy and date around for a while, then meet someone wonderful who not only accepts your bisexuality but also supports you in all of your activism.

You would never have been able to accomplish this without coming out.

You’re going to survive every bad boyfriend, every moment of self-doubt. And you’re going to grow from it. Thanks to Facebook “memories,” you’ll get to see all the horrible ways you used to think. I still feel like I have to repent for our old opinions on girls in short skirts, but that’s all part of life.

Maybe after reading this you’ll have a sense of peace that I was never able to have. Just always remember that what you’re doing now will work in your favor. If not immediately, then soon. So buckle down and get it done. See you in 6 years.

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