This letter is part of our inaugural editorial series, “Letter to Myself,” in which we asked 40 remarkable queer people to write a note to their younger selves.
Dear 10-Year-Old Amit,
You are not alone.
I know it might feel like it sometimes, especially when you walk into the lunchroom and worry that no one will want to sit next to you. When you realize that you’re the only boy in your class who loves The Phantom of the Opera. When you worry that no one will ever love you if they find out what you really are.
But there are people out there like you. There are people out there who will love you. And there are people out there who will celebrate you for being different.
So don’t ever be ashamed of who you are. Don’t let any of the bullies make you feel you don’t deserve love. One day you’ll be fighting for young people across the country, so that eventually no 10-year-old ever feels alone for who they are or who they love.
Amit Paley is the CEO of The Trevor Project.
Read more letters here.