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.
You were kissed by the sun.
You were born with a beautiful kiesha complexion in a world where people worship lighter skin and think the darkest thoughts about those who don’t have it.
People will cast you out and condemn you because your views differ from theirs.
You’ll learn your beauty isn’t in your smile or your shape, even though you’ll try to change these things. Your beauty cannot be seen by the naked eye for your beauty lies in the undying love you have for humanity and the world around you.
All the things that made you different will one day make you great. You will make mistakes but you will learn the value of learning patience!
You will accomplish everything they said you couldn’t accomplish because of society’s negative views on the trans experience and so much more.
Embrace your femininity. You’ll spend years masking it pretending to be more masculine to please a world that’s openly misogynistic and prefers conformity over individuality. Remember your genitalia doesn’t define your gender identity, gender expression, or gender preference.
You hold your head down when you walk in shame and think nothing good will ever happen to you, that you’ll never win anything, and that the love you put into the universe is unwanted or taken for granted.
You think that maybe you have a generational curse because you can’t see the light from the darkness!
Just when you lose everything and everyone you love, you will find grace. Remember those that were kind to you when it wasn’t socially acceptable.
They stood with you against the masses to protect you and take you in when the world put you out.
Thanks to them and their unconditional love, you will be able to change the world one day all because they refused to let you die.
Life is a constant struggle with more than its share of letdowns.
Never think you were a victim. You’ve always known what it takes and what it took to survive—and honey, you will survive.
The mirror you avoided will one day bring you comfort.
You will not only find happiness in the pursuit of freedom, but you’ll find yourself!
Prayer will change your life, never stop. It truly works. Never stop believing in its power!
Don’t allow anyone to tell you about you and your relationship with the creator, it’s sacred and it’s your own. Although you’re an outcast, you were never alone.
Shea Diamond is working on an EP, which will be released in early 2018.
Read more letters here.