Yeah, you’re finally being called Liam. It’s more than just a doodle in your notebook, more than just a thought in your head. But I’ll tell you all about that at a different time. Something I want you to know right now is that coming out as transgender isn’t going to fix everything.
I know, shocking. You always blamed your depression on being in the closet. It made sense: You constantly had to dress in clothes that didn’t feel right, hear a name that wasn’t yours, and live what felt like someone else’s life. It made sense why you wanted to hurt yourself. It made sense why you wanted to die.
You had something to blame it on; therefore, you didn’t need to tell anyone how you were feeling, right? You just needed to finally come out.
But then you did. And it didn’t fix everything.
Here’s the good news: Even though coming out won’t fix everything, everything is going to be OK.
Four years later, you’re still depressed. It actually has gotten worse. But let me finish: Despite the fact that your bad days are worse than they’ve ever been and more frequent than you ever thought possible… you’re still here.
You’ve gotten through every bad day you didn’t think you could get through. You’ve gotten through every night you wanted to kill yourself and every day you wanted to die. You’ve finally started going to therapy for your depression, not just for your gender dysphoria.
You’ve made it to every event that you counted down to and made it on every trip you didn’t think you would live to see. You’ve gone to Boston and Washington, D.C. and Florida. You’ll be able to leave the country next year.
I just read something you wrote where you complained about how hormones are four years away. Now you’ll be on them this year. Just think about that.
You went through so much in the time between then and now. You denied that you had depression, and when you stopped pretending it wasn’t there, you were still afraid to tell people. You read about how people don’t take depression seriously, about how teachers don’t care, and about how people suffer without getting the help they need. You believed messages that said depression ruins people’s lives.
Four years later, I can say this with certainty: You were looking in the wrong places and at the wrong people.
Liam, you’re going to be supported and even understood. People are going to say the right words at the right time. People are going to prove to you just how much they care. The people you least expect are going to mean the most to you. They are going to care about you and love you and support you, and they will be the ones who you will think of when you start to believe this is the end. When you think there’s nothing left for you here, you will have people to think about.
Here’s the thing about those nights, Liam: You will make it through.
But this isn’t just about me now or me four years ago. This is to everyone who thinks it’s their last night and for everyone barely holding on to this thing called life.
You’re going to get everything you need and more.
You are worthy of getting help. In fact, there are people who will help you do so.
You will find people who will say all of the right things at all of the right times, and those words will echo through your brain when you’ve hit rock bottom.
And one day, you’ll be able to say those words to yourself. One day, you’ll be able to see how much potential you have, how much love there is in this world for you.
Liam, there will always be someone in your corner if you need them.
For now, just keep holding on. Work as hard as you can.
We’ll get there, and it’ll be worth it.
P.S. If you’re reading this, you’ll get there too. And yes, it will be worth it.