I’m writing this to you on January 16, 2011. You’re 9 years old, I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but there’s a chance that I’m going to be moving soon. If I do, Mama’s going to be free to do whatever she pleases with you, and I won’t be there to intervene on behalf of common sense, so I feel like I should tell you some things first.
If I leave, I will be the second brother to move hundreds of miles away, and the fourth very important person in your life to leave you. For that, I’m sorry, but my leaving my mother has been a long time coming. You’re the loser in all this. Not me, not mama, but you. Since you’ve been born, you’ve had people screaming their heads off in front of you, you’ve had your authority figures either giving you everything you want on a silver platter or screaming at you for things that aren’t your fault. The problem is, mama doesn’t know how to raise a child. She didn’t raise me. She isn’t going to raise you. We’ve both got to raise ourselves.
I think there’s a distinct possibility that one of two things will happen: either you will be taught to hate me, and be completely on your mother’s side of things because that’s what she’s going to tell you, and because you’re naive and impressionable and innocent, you will believe her. It won’t be your fault. The other possibility is that I become to the awesomely cool anti-establishment gay brother who you come to for advice on everything. It’s possible that both could happen. But regardless, I feel like you should know something:
You are special. It’s not that you’ve got superpowers or anything, but you’re a good person. Because you live with Mama, you’re going to have to endure a lot of suffering. I know it isn’t fair, and hell, maybe you two will have a better relationship than we had, but common sense tells me mama will be just as much of a crazy bitch in three years as she is now, if not more so. She’s going to tell you that my being gay is a sin, and that gay people go to hell, and in fact, she’s going to tell you a lot of things about hell and heaven, and so are people at your churches.
Don’t believe them. God cannot be pinned down by names, words, or actions. God is the life force that binds all things together, the force that gives us the power to help ourselves. You’re going to be told a lot of rules, about what gets you into heaven and what doesn’t. Disregard them. I know it’s scary to hear, to think about, to consider, but you will become a zombie if you are a Christian, because it’s nothing more than an establishment seeking power and influence over people. More people have died in God’s name than that of any human being. Thomas Jefferson said that religion was the greatest evil in the world. You have to think for yourself, Brianna, because you are a person who is WORTHY, who is GOOD, and who does not need a savior dying on a cross to make you better, you’re fine just the way you are. You don’t have sins that need to be died for. There is no such thing as good and evil, there is only love and fear. Inside of each person are desires that are human, and should not be ignored just because someone says they’re bad. Think for yourself. Speak for yourself. Live for yourself. Be true to yourself. God is within every person, the Divine is much better than any silly vision of a golden castle in the clouds with angels fluttering around.
I hope that life treats you well, because it hasn’t been too kind to you in the first decade. I expect you’ll have to put up with a lot of shit from your mother, but that’s okay. I survived, and I’m better because I got through it, and you will be too. She means well sometimes, but she’s ignorant. She’s small-minded. She can’t see past what she’s been taught. That’s alright. She’s not a leader. She has to follow. She needs to be sheperded. But you don’t have to. You can think for yourself, and decide for yourself.
Make sure any guy you let have sex with you wears a condom. Do not take any kind of narcotic that isn’t prescribed to you. Don’t start smoking pot like your mother, she’s a nice example of how stupid it can make you. Don’t believe anything a minister at a church tells you. And remember to always have love for yourself, above all else, and after that, love for everyone else. All human beings begin innocent, and who they become has to do with the decisions they make, and how they handle what life throws at them. There are plenty worse things that could have happened to us than the things that did, but we’ve both been through bad stuff, and we have to decide whether that’s going to destroy us or strengthen us. Don’t be afraid to feel what you feel, and think what you think, and never let anyone tell you that you’re wrong for being who you are.
I love you.