Gay Jewish model Barrett Pall writes a heartfelt letter to himself, accepting himself just the way he is: “This is who I am now. Free and happy. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
I’ve always been scared of the word “man”; today I take that word and own it!
I guess I should start with the fact that I’m an anomaly and have never really fit into any one category or group. It’s something that I’ve learned to enjoy, as I’m able to comfortably fuse into many different situations. However, never completely belonging and being somewhat of an outsider can be taxing. I’ve always felt the need to explain myself, to have others understand me. I’ve lived under that pressure for a long time, and I pride myself on not letting it determine who I am.
With that said, I want to tell you something. It’s something many of you know, and something the people closest and dearest to me have known for a long time.
Just writing it sends a rush of adrenaline through my body. That last bit of the metaphorical chip on my shoulder disintegrates, and a lightness has washed over me. I’m free.
This minute detail in the complexity of who I am ultimately means nothing to me, but so much at the same time.
As far back as I can remember, this trivial fraction of who I am has haunted me. I was in fact gay but didn’t know it for myself yet. Sure, looking back at life, I see how the fact that I loved Barbie, my best friends were girls and I was sensitive could all be “telltale signs.” But why? Why did you care what I liked or who I played with? Why did you care that I was sensitive? Why did you care that I was gay?
I think what’s so hard for me is that I probably would’ve come out much sooner, but being labeled “the gay kid” when you in fact do not identify with who that person is supposed to be is so hard on one’s psyche. You fight so hard against something that you don’t have a problem with but just don’t connect with that it becomes a constant struggle. Had all the people I had pushing this on me just let me be me, I would’ve been able to figure out things so much more quickly, and without a sense of fear, pressure and hardness.