You’ve always been self-assured. I’ve always known that.

I remember the high you had when you realized your attraction wasn’t exclusively for boys. Walk me through that. Show me again. Remind me what it felt like to suddenly come into yourself like that.

You’re only 12, about six years younger than I am, and I remember that when you discovered your sexuality, you didn’t question it. You didn’t run away, scared or confused. It just made sense and you didn’t give it a second thought. That’s the you, the me, I’ve always known and often loved.

While you’ve always been reasonably self-assured, it still wasn’t out of the ordinary for you to question if you actually were correct, lest you were just cocky. But this time around, you know you’re not cocky. It’s admirable for you to know what you know as well as you do.

You don’t know this right now, but I can attest that your sexuality will become a cornerstone for relationships and emotions to come, with boys or otherwise. It’ll teach you lessons about not just your romantic and sexual orientations, but your sexuality itself. Lessons with one of your future girlfriends and our now-ex. Lessons with one of your future boyfriends and my now-ex. Lessons with the guy before the latter, whom we never really dated, but still allowed to get close to us and expose new insecurities. They’re all things we learned with and from other people, but at the end of the day, they’re all lessonsaboutyourself.

I love that with knowing who you are comes identificatory peace of mind, but I hate to say it will also give you pain. I dislike being the bearer of bad news, but I personally think the worst part of it all is that you won’t be surprised, knowing that the LGBTQ+ community faces backlash. You will lose your best friend because she won’t be accepting of your sexuality. You will have friends who, despite not having malicious intent, will out you to others, causing you embarrassment and discomfort. And of course, you will face the classic instance of getting called slurs, but this time not about your race. So you know, the (unfortunate) usual. I saw that you didn’t prepare yourself for these things, and I can’t blame you for not having done so. You didn’t know. You felt safe. Of course I couldn’t have done anything to help you with that, but I know it would’ve been nice if I could’ve. I wish I could save you from what I've seen, but you'll have to see for yourself. I’m sorry you’ll walk into it unprepared. I’m sorry you’ll get what you don’t deserve.

I also don’t want to tiptoe around this, so I’ll say it straight up: you’re currently going through the mentally-debilitating identity crisis that many other middle schoolers go through, if not all. Frankly, I don’t want to say something cliché like “it gets better,” but honestly, it does. It really does. Everything will improve. The facet of sexuality in said crisis serves as an answer rather than another question, and I’m glad you found it. This is one less question left unanswered, so I’m glad you’re not mad about it either, seeing that it fits you without a second thought. I like that. I like that you’re happy that now you understand your sexuality, and are comfortable with it too.

And to let you know, your perspective will become more nuanced as you grow up. Maybe that’s already a given because I know you know you’re still growing up, but I can't emphasize enough how much you’ll learn about yourself and your sexuality over time, whether you’ll realize it in the moment or not. As a 12-year-old, you may not be particularly mature by any means, but getting older and growing up with your new label for your sexuality will become one of the most empowering things for you, for me, for us. Sexuality is personal. Don’t be afraid to look more into it. There’s no such thing as understanding yourself too deeply.

Like I said earlier, discovering your sexuality just fit and you didn’t need to question it, but I know it’ll still take you time to adjust to this new sense of self, and I can attest it won’t be easy. You had previously known yourself to be straight, but now you know you’re bisexual. You'll see yourself in a new light. The change of lighting affects the mood of the scene. Your moment of self-understanding is in progress, and you’re essentially born anew, as I now perceive it. Tell me, do you feel that way too?

My admiration for you stretches beyond what I could possibly put into words. You’re innocent, naïve really, but you’ve found solace in your identity and that’s what’s admirable to me. You’re comfortable in your own skin, far less guarded about your sexuality like I am now, and I love to see you as you are. Enjoy your loud, visible pride while you have it and before you become more private about it, feeling the need to protect yourself. I know I’ve protected myself, and I suppose that’s another discovery you’ll have to come to on your own. I may have become more quiet and private about our bisexuality, but I promise you I haven’t lost my pride. I don't want to concern you when I say that, though—being quiet isn’t equivalent to apology or shame.

Right now, you are loudly unapologetic, and I love to see how happy and secure you are. And quiet or loud, now or later, I love to see you stop asking yourself questions, stop doubting yourself, stop listening to others’ perceptions of who you are. With your abolition of question comes your liberation of self.

Right now, your mind is all go, go, go, running on the high of understanding. Don’t stop running; don’t stop understanding. You’ll go places, you’ll see new faces, you’ll learn new things, and that’s only if you keep running. You can’t allow your self-exploration to become stagnant, so keep running. On the path, off the path, in outer space, under the sea—I don’t care. Just go.

And please know that you’re not running away from anything. You’re running towards something better.

But maybe I don’t have to tell you that. You’re self-assured enough to know that.


The future you and us to come