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.
There is no magic to loving yourself. Loving yourself is a blue-collar activity. You need to put in
the work. Get your hands dirty and bloody and calloused with loving yourself. The faster you can bring yourself to this place, the easier it will be to find someone who will love you.
I know how love-starved you are. Wondering if you will spend your life alone. You are just noticing your stretch marks and hair growing in weird places and pimples. You are finding new things about yourself every day to repulse yourself. Now find new ways to LOVE them. They are your battle scars in life. And believe it or not, there will be someone to kiss those stretch marks and beg you not to shave the hairs on your shoulders and even pop your pimples. Love doesn’t see what you see. Love goes to the very core of your being.
Look at yourself in photos when you were younger and felt unlovable and see how damn cute you actually were. Realize NOW, in the moment, that you are hot shit. The sooner you can learn to accept yourself the sooner the world will be ready for your greatness.
This journey is long and arduous. You will be reminded of your physical faults over and over again by people who want to hurt you and people who think they are trying to help you. It may take you to lie to your psyche at first and tell your stretch marks you love them, but after a time of faux confidence, people around you will learn that because you respect yourself you WILL NOT accept any less from anyone else and they will treat you differently. You will start to believe it all and learn to love yourself because people will love you and the new way they treat you will make you one of the most confident people you know.
You will then go on to help others, to realize their potential through sharing your journey to self-love. The shackles of doubt will come off and you will be free. It will then be your duty to keep your head high for the next generation of doubters to see what they truly are. Beautiful.
Daniel Franzese is co-host of the new podcast Butch and the Bear from REVRY Studios alongside AB Cassidy.
Read more letters here.