In partnership with Hope in a Box and in commemoration of Pride, we held an LGBTQ+ Lit Contest that asked high schoolers to share how LGBTQ+ representation in books inspired them and impacted their lives. The following is a contest honorable mention story.
To my younger self…
Life is weird. And you’re a little weird too. But embrace it; be bright and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you because it’s perfect.
It’s okay to be scared, but just know that I’m not anymore. As silly as it is, I found my happy place. I found it in a loud and messy and chaotic book club that I adore with every fiber of my being. I love it because they introduced me to literature for LGBTQ+, by LGBTQ+. And it forever changed my life.
I want that for you.
I was given a list of nine poems. I only needed to look at two. But I looked at all nine. A Woman’s Place by Denice Frohman struck out to me. Denice Frohman struck out to me even more. Here was this powerful woman using her voice to speak out on what mattered to her. I came across Dear Straight People by Denice Frohman. And I fell in love.
She called straight people out. She asked why they were uncomfortable. She asked why straight was “the normal.” She shouted at the top of her lungs that she was tired of proving that her love for women was real.
So, to my younger self, I want you to embrace it. I want you to have her, I want you to have Dear Straight People. Because like I told you before, be bright and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you because it’s perfect. That poem changed my life. It told me that I was allowed to love who I wanted. It told me to be loud and proud about it. So, have it. Maybe it wasn’t a poem directly written for you but it’s yours.
Make it yours because it spoke to you. I made it mine.