MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sometimes, the rainbow flags and festivities that come with Pride make it easy to lose touch with the personal stories, struggles, and triumphs.
Ahead of Twin Cities Pride weekend, WCCO reporter Christiane Cordero shared her own story, through a letter to her younger self.
It details the moment in 2014, when she was 22 years old and came out as gay to her father. She learned that was the day everything seemed to change. Here’s her letter:
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
You know the first thing your dad said to you when you came out to him? He said, this wasn’t how I pictured your life going.
It made you sad, anxious, and confused that your best friend was angry about who you are.
Turns out he wasn’t angry. That’s too simple. He was scared. And as your father, he’s not allowed to be scared.
In his world, that moment was the threshold, and crossing it meant you no longer could fit in.
The walking you down the aisle, would never happen.
You would have questions he couldn’t answer.
In that world, you’d never find the happiness he worked so hard to help you achieve.
Don’t forget that.
Because you never asked to live in a world where you can hold her hand in public.
You never fought for something knowing you wouldn’t live to see it.
You can be a good journalist and mention your wife in passing and the people who don’t notice won’t, and the people who do, will notice progress.
You get to live in the progress.
And yet despite being told how far we’ve come, you know your story was still a struggle.
You’ll feel your friends and some of your closest family members pull away. They’ll come back.
You’ll stumble over words.
You’ll analyze chapters of your life, trying to find that one moment that made you who you are.
You’ll wonder in some dark, lonely moments, if your life matters at all.
It does. And here’s why.
Life was always going to be split between before and after of when you came out. You can’t change that.
And thank goodness.
Because everything you’ll ever accomplish will come down to this one honest, difficult moment.
When you go through a process as unforgiving as accepting your identity despite every effort to change it…
You will learn, you can do anything.
And you have, even in this moment, the mentality of your father, when he moved here without much in his pocket but with everything in wanting to give you a better life.
So often with Pride the message is to love each other despite our differences.
Along the way, remember to love yourself too.