Rural LGBTQ+ Youth Love Notes: "Do not let your hopes for the future steal your present joy."

Skylar Baker Jordan

Writer Skylar Baker-Jordan shares an important piece of advice in this note of support for rural LGBTQ+ youth: Enjoy your youth. Do not let anyone tell you the rituals and traditions of your hometown do not belong to you. 

Read more notes in the Love Notes to Rural LGBTQ+ Youth Project and learn how to send your own below.

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Dear LGBTQ youth,I don’t know how hard your lives are – I pray not too hard – but I want you to promise me that you will do your level-best to enjoy being young.

Go to those Friday night football games. Cruise the strip from the BP to the Dairy Queen (which was what we called a fun Friday night in high school). Dance with your friends at homecoming and prom. Be goofy. Be carefree. Be kids. Don’t let anyone tell you that you do not belong, or that these rituals, these traditions, or our culture is not yours. They are. You are as entitled to the innocence of youth and the rites of passage of young adulthood as any of your straight or cis peers – and do not for one minute forget that.

There is this temptation when you are young – especially when you are LGBTQ and don’t always feel like you fit in – to dream of life after high school, or of living somewhere other than your small town. That fantasy is nice, but it is also a thief. Do not let your hopes for the future steal your present joy. You walk through your small town with your head held high, safe in the knowledge that you belong here as much as anyone else. You make your community a better place to live just by being you. Don’t ever forget that.

Skylar Baker-Jordan
Contributing Editor for Community Engagement, 100 Days in Appalachia

Be sure to read Skylar’s story of returning home: https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-to-the-horror-of-his-urban-friends-a-child-of-the-rainbow-returns-home-to-the-hollows/2021/12/08/

This note was submitted as part of The Rural Youth Catalyst and Rural Assembly’s Love Notes to Rural LGBTQ+ Youth project. We invite you to write your own – a few sentences, a paragraph, or even a short video. Learn how and read more in this series below. 

 

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Read more notes in the Love Notes to Rural LGBTQ+ Youth Project and learn how to send your own below.

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You’re exactly what we need, say Norris, Tennessee couple Tim Marema and Liz McGeachy in this love note to rural LGBTQ+ young people. This video was submitted as part of The Rural Youth Catalyst and Rural Assembly’s Love Notes to Rural LGBTQ+ Youth project. We invite you to write your own – a few sentences, a paragraph, or even a short video. Learn how and read more in this series below. 

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