What 14 LGBTQ Influencers Wish They Knew Before Coming Out

Staring into the camera, musician Tyler Glenn reads a letter to his younger, in-the-closet self. The Neon Trees lead singer assures himself that there will come a time when "you won't have to fake anymore." This raw, honest message is just one of the 14 video letters from members of the LGBTQ community in Refinery29's new LoveMe series. The videos feature LGBTQ influencers reading love letters to their younger selves. Actress Lena Waithe, YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous, and poet Alok are among the many who took part. Glenn's letter, which he reads in the video above, is one of reassurance and support. He wants his younger self to embrace his identity, rather than, as he puts it, master the art of "compartmentalizing." "If only you had known a bit sooner about the life you could lead, versus the life you thought you had to lead," he says. In his letter, Glenn captures the sense of shame many LGBTQ youth endure as they realize their sexual identity. But, he also promises his younger self that he'll one day find strength in his identity — and a voice, adding, "You'll use it in so many wonderful and important ways." Watch the full video above and look forward to more videos in the LoveMe series. Our partners at IHI Therapy Center are dedicated to fostering personal growth free of traditional gender, sexual orientation, and cultural biases. For support, visit http://www.ihitherapy.org/.

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