A letter to my closeted teenage self, as marriage equality becomes law in Australia.

Video by Mamamia Women's Network.

Dear Past Adam,

This is Future Adam. I know, it’s weird and you won’t believe me. But I am you in 16 years time. Stay with me, I’ve got something to say that will help you.

You just turned 16. You’re in Year 11 and you’re about to have a huge year at school. You will win the lead role in the high school musical Little Shop of Horrors. You’ll date your female love interest for two days and realise it was never going to work. You’ll achieve academic success in subjects like English and Modern History. Maths will even get better (but you’ll never love numbers like you love words, obviously).

little shop of horrors
You will wear horrific banana-yellow overalls in Little Shop of Horrors. Image: supplied

You'll be dancing in your bedroom to Kylie's Love at First Sight. You'll be secretly recording Queer As Folk on VHS when it plays at 10pm on SBS on Monday nights. You'll be keeping a lot of secrets from a lot of people. Mostly yourself.

Being a teenager is tough enough. You know you're not the kind of "cool" that the cool group prescribes. You've always marched to the beat of your own drum – one of your teachers even wrote that on your report in Year 5.

But your coolness is coming in a big way. You see, you're about to make a discovery. A beautiful discovery that's been years in the making. Something you've been too ashamed to talk to anyone about until this year.

Yes, this is going to be the year you come out of the closet.

Advertisement

I know you're not ready yet. There's no manual on how to do this. And it won't happen when or how you expect it to.

You'll have moments when you wonder what went "wrong". How much you'll disappoint your parents. How your life is never going to be "normal", and that eternal pursuit to "fit in" will never actually happen.

marriage equality
That's you on the left. And that's Future Adam on the right. Image: supplied

You'll feel like you let a lot of people down. You'll feel scared because the world around tells you being "normal" is being straight. It's in your favourite movies, it's in how people talk to you, it feels like this stifling bubble of expectation you can never live up to. You are worried about what this will mean for your life in school, in future workplaces, and just the streets around you.

It's OK to have these thoughts. Thousands and thousands of teenagers are feeling the same way as you are. You're going to meet a few this year and realise you're not alone. That you are worthy, you are powerful and you will achieve huge things.

You will face a lot of difficult moments that'll make the hairs on your neck bristle, and your face feel like it's burning off. You'll be hiding from certain people, because you're afraid that once they find out about you they'll abandon you. They won't.

You'll have challenges. People will call you "f-ggot" to your face. You will have people close to you bashed for expressing their sexuality. You will hear politicians telling you that your love is not normal. Even in 2017.

But you'll also experience the empowerment of pride, love and community. You will have many allies. More than you ever know.

You will march in Mardi Gras. You will meet your first love. It'll be soon.

You'll have your first heartbreak. In fact, you'll have a few. And one day, you'll fall in love and it will stick.

This is called life, and one day you'll look back on these days and smile, because it was all yours.

It might be strange for you to even comprehend it, but in 2017, you will be loud, proud and using your voice to make a difference. You'll be joined by millions of Australians who used their voices to send a message about what kind of Australia they want to see.

An Australia where people like you never have to feel like they don't fit in, or don't have the same life chances as anyone else.

The love you have, the one that sticks, will be considered equal at law. And equal in the eyes of a majority of people around you.

You will help pave the way for generations who are kinder to one another, and treat one another with dignity. One day, December 7 2017, you will hear the song We Are Australian being sung in parliament, celebrating your right to be loved and your right to be you.

OK, forgive me for getting so heavy. Why listen to me, I'm just Future Adam. But I look at you now and think, damn, don't be so scared. You've got so much to look forward to.

That closet door is huge, but once it's open, you'll unlock not only your sexuality but all the shame that came with holding back the expression of your identity. You'll discover that there's only one thing that's better than fitting in. And that's standing out.

So hold your head up high. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are loved. And you are f*cking fabulous.

See you in the future. It's a bright place.

With a heart full of love, Future Adam.

Adam Bub is the Commercial Editor of Mamamia. Follow his Facebook page, or find him on Instagram at @adambub or Twitter at @TheAdamBub.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
FROM OUR NETWORK