A Note to My Kid gives the LGBTQ community, their parents, families and friends the opportunity to share their unconditional love with one another. I recently submitted a Note I wrote to my mother. I also took the opportunity to write a Note to my future child:
A Note to My Future Kid: You'll Be a Winner
Mark Twain said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." I'm 30 now. You're on my mind. It must be my age. Your mom is getting on in years. Though don't hold me to that, I won't always admit it!
I consider myself very lucky. I grew up and realized I was gay. I once saw it as a "difference," but I have now learned the truth, and I've now come to count it as one of my greatest assets. I call it an asset because I had to dig deep, deep within. I was forced to really understand the true worth of compassion and empathy. I know their true worth because I had to show these fine qualities to myself. They enabled me to move forward. They enabled me not only to accept who I am, but more importantly, to embrace who I am. Although my being gay accounted for struggles in my earlier years, it's now a good thing, it's now something I love. That's why I'm lucky; that's why I feel privileged. Look what I've learned from what I thought was a burden, a disadvantage. Empathy and compassion for all human beings are lessons of great worth. They're powerful. They're timeless. They're priceless.
My own mother, your grandmother, has been hugely instrumental in my life and she continues to be. Though I felt different, she never saw me as different. She was right all along. With you, I'll be trying to follow her lead. I hope I do a good job. You'll want to spend a lot of time with her. I hope she reminds you of me. Even in a small way would mean the biggest honor.
When you grow up, you might like girls, you might like boys, you might like both. That won't matter. What will matter is what's inside of you, the love in your heart and how much you value you. If you ever have doubts -- just ask your mom -- I'll remind you how special you are. A kind heart, compassion and understanding for both yourself and others will see you very far in this world. You may even change it for the better. Leaders don't wait for others to show them love and acceptance. Leaders show others how. I think you'll shine, I just know it.
Mark Twain spoke of your second important day. The day you find out why you're here. You see, we all have a purpose on this earth. We all make our mark on the world before leaving it. The key is to decide what mark you want to make. Decide what contribution you want to make with your life and what you want to be remembered for. That second day marks a new beginning and from that day on, with your purpose in the forefront of your mind, you give it everything you've got, you give it your all. Opportunity is always there for the taking. Every opportunity is yours for the taking. Grab it, use both hands and never let go.
The thing about life is, there are some very simple truths. Your mom still has trouble with them. Your mom's far from perfect, contrary to what I might have you believe at times! Every one of us can make an impact for the better. Every one of us has more talent and ability than we even realize. We can all give of ourselves for the benefit of others. I once read that success is fine, but significance is what it's really about. There is a richness in trying to help others. Success in that brings about positive change. That's the real gold. That's real success.
Everybody has a story to tell. Everybody has experience to learn from and to teach others about. Sometimes I think that's why we experience hardship. The harder the times, the greater the lessons. The more we learn, the more we have to teach. There is always good in every bad. As much as I would want to shelter you from everything, I can't and I won't. But I promise you, nothing will come your way that you can't handle. I will always try to be there when you need or want me, but your strength will come from within, and it will come, whenever you need it. Even though I may not be there with you in person, my heart will be with you, in everything you do. You will always have your mother's love. That's my promise to you and you can hold me to that. But another promise is: you'll never have to.
Life itself is the greatest educator. Your life will be filled with experience. Everybody's is. That's the beauty of life. You'll see highs and lows, ups and downs. You will meet with what seem like difficulties. But you'll come to see that hard times add to us. They do not take away from us. I hope you'll remember something in any of your harder hours: it's always darkest before the dawn. Winter is always followed by spring. Difficulties don't last, but our strength of character does.
I won't ask you for much, but one thing I will ask is that whatever happens throughout your journey, that you won't dwell on the past. You won't dwell on mistakes you think you've made or regrets you might harbor. Your future is in front of you and it's waiting for you. If you're looking back, you won't see the way forward. Always hold your head high. You'll see more opportunities that way. Always be true to who you are and follow your heart. It won't lead you astray. It will guide you to a fulfilling happy life -- just let it lead. You'll be a winner because there are no losers.
I wonder what you'll want to be when you grow up. I wonder who you'll fall in love with. There is a world of choice and opportunity awaiting you. You have so very much to look forward to. My note to you now ends, but my dreams for you never will. Someday I'll welcome you to this world. I'll see you when you get here kid, whoever you'll be.