I am ages late for this, but here at Love Letters Live headquarters there is no statute of limitations on addressing important topics. I used to wonder why we needed things like Grandmother’s Day (since all female relatives and best supportive girl-friends slide in on Mother’s Day anyway), Secretaries Day and now National Coming Out Day. I used to wonder.
As time went on I began not only to see the wisdom of exclusive celebrations marking distinctive events and emotionally important people but also to see another opportunity to send gorgeous hand-written love letters that praise people who deserve it. And, a personally penned message may be especially important on National Coming Out Day for which, I am guessing most card companies, for some reason of marketing anesthesia, have made no provisions (although Hallmark has included this hallmark in their new line).
As there are still families in which announcing a romance out of one’s faith is hard news to break, I can only speculate that announcing a romance not out of one's gender may be even tougher. When coming out seems the only thing to do and in-person the only thing not to do, I cannot stress the value of a love letter to reduce the stress of delivering what might be complicated news.
In a letter you get to plan out what you want to say, write it all down and then decide what stays and what goes. With a love letter, the presentation stage is all yours, no one will be looking at you awkwardly as you express yourself, no gulping in disbelief or bursting into tears that the wedding of your mother’s dreams is kaput.
What, you might wonder, should be in that letter? One of the best love letters I ever saw was from a woman who decided to tell her parents that she decided to look for a woman as her life-partner. This letter was a beautiful tribute to her parents. She thanked them for raising her with self-respect and independence. She told them how much she admired their life and the values that motivated them including their wanting only happiness for their children. She was grateful that she saw love and respect between them, a perfect example of how to live a coupled life. Armed with an easy inner strength and trust in her parents’ love, she mentioned that this choice of a life-partner was in no way meant to reject her parents’ values. Quite to the contrary it was a tribute to tho
She wanted to tell them all this because she loved them, and she said it just like that. She knew that when her mother said, “I just want you to be happy,’ it was sincere and not code for, “I just want you to be happy in the way I see fit.” The truth is that most parents do want their children to be happy in loving, giving, responsible relationships. So, what a nice thing it is, really, to tell your parents you have found that singular relationship, that you are happy, that you are grateful for the examples they set and lessons they taught and that no matter your partner, you will forever be the same loving son or daughter you always were.
You might even mention that you are delivering this news by letter not because you don’t want to talk to them but so they can digest your happy unexpected news without feeling they have to respond until they feel like it. And, having said all this, I do know people who walked thin ice fearfully for a very long time only to find out finally that their parents had known for ages anyway but, out of courtesy and delicacy, were waiting to be told.
You are the only one who knows if and when you want to come out to family and friends, and you are the only one who knows if a letter will be the best way.
From me to you with love in the air,
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