AwareNow: Issuu 17: The United Edition

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Page 84

If only I could tell you what Cameron Post will teach you in a few years,

When bad things happen, it does not mean the end,

You are resilient and no one can pry your heart from your soul

Dear younger me who has not yet read Garvin’s masterpiece on the complexity of gender,

To the child who has not yet found the word ‘nonbinary’ to describe themself,

I wish I could tell you that one day you will be so comfortable in your own skin that you will

stop hiding behind hoodies in the middle of summer,

I want to tell you about the moment that everything seems black but you paint it white in your

mind, just like Riley.

Dear younger me, I wish I could tell you all the stories I have read and all the love I have felt,

You will fall in love with so many characters, over and over,

But none will ever touch your heart like Cameron, Ari, or Riley,

For they are the first time you will ever feel truly seen and complete.

Dear Younger Me. ∎


Channel Kindness LGBTQ+ Lit Contest Grand Prize Winner My name is Zee. I am 16, live in Tennessee, and I am queer. While my gender is technically called girlflux (a movement between nonbinary and female), I generally prefer the blanket term of queer for that as well. Many stories have helped me come to terms with who I am, but the books of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Symptoms of Being Human, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe remain particularly special to me in my journey for self-discovery. I enjoy baking, reading, painting, gardening, cooking, and listening to the voices of others through books.