Fashion Designer Robert Tagliapietra: “The World Is Not A Madonna Video, LGBT People Come In All Shapes”

"You will be spending a lot of time with yourself, so be nice."

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 Robert,

Everything that you think matters really doesn’t matter very much.

The clothes you have are not the only thing that defines you, neither is the music you listen to or the car you drive or the shoes you wear. Stop thinking that you need to get everyone to like you and stop thinking that you need to care about what others think of you AND stop thinking that you need to be everyone’s friend. You don’t and you won’t, and the insecurities that you obsess over are not real.

But remember that a lot of things do matter.

You should make sure you consider how other people see the world before you judge or gossip about them. Choose your words wisely and think about how they make others feel—just be nice sometimes.

Stop thinking you are too old to change things, you will see how silly that is when you turn 25 then 30 then 35…. take care of yourself now! Let everyone know who you are and let them make the choice to get to know you or not and, if they don’t want to, then move on. There are plenty of amazing people out there to find and there are tons of garbage people that you don’t need to know. There will be a time, though you can’t imagine it right now, when you will be happy and content. You will have a husband and the most amazing dogs. You may not have all of the things you thought you wanted to have, but those, too, don’t really matter. It will take you a while to realize that letting go of the toxic people will actually feel better and that saying what you think (not what you think others want you to think) feels great. Believe it or not, you won’t ever wish for one second that you were not gay or that you don’t want to be alive—you will push past that.

Just take some time, learn who you are, and learn to like yourself. You will be spending a lot of time with yourself, so be nice, Robert.

Yours,

Robert

P.S. Stop worrying about your weight so fucking much! You will soon find out the world is not a Madonna video and LGBTQ people come in all shapes, sizes, and kinds!

Robert Tagliapietra is the co-founder of JCRT.

Read more letters here.

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