On the cover of a beaten up sketchpad, I wrote in purple gel pen “No the passcode? If no, don’t open!! Or ELSE!!”. I know that this old sketchpad was mine from back in the day because of the unfortunate misspelling warning and my famous cat doodle towards the top left corner. So, when I came across it a few weeks when I cleaning out my parents’ basement, I’ve decided to save it for a rainy day.
There is a chunk of pages missing, which I assume I ripped out years ago. I did leave two used pages: one with a poorly erased dog doodle and another with a note that says “HORSES” in a heart and arrow. (I had an animal thing).
I don’t remember if I used this sketchpad as a tell-all diary, so I don’t know if I exposed my deep and dark elementary school feelings and gossip into it. However, today, it is sharing my secret. No passcode required.
In it, I wrote my coming out letter to my mom. Two pages worth of bottled up feelings and guilt that I’ve slowly collected over the years. In the letter, I wrote about a girl, uncertainty with my identity, and the understanding that she, my mother, might need time and space to process this new fact about me. After all, I am her second gayish daughter.
It’s not a comprehensive letter nor it is perfectly written. But it’s the truth.
Later in life, I’ll understand my place and pick apart of the few phrases my mother said ‘acceptancing’ of my sexuality. For now, though, I celebrate that fact that I am out. The relief and weight of lying have been lifted. Just like Ellen did 20 years ago on her show, I share the same courage and the truth.