For teens thinking about gender and sexuality

If you are listening to this podcast, you’ve most likely opened up to our team about what you’re personally going through, or perhaps a friend of family member has opened up to you about private things they are dealing with, and you’re looking for ways to respond that can be kind, respectful and supportive.

iuri melo
iuri melo

My friend, thank you for being here.  I’m grateful and proud of you.  If you are listening to this podcast, you’ve most likely opened up to our team about what you’re personally going through, or perhaps a friend of family member has opened up to you about private things they are dealing with, and you’re looking for ways to respond that can be kind, respectful and supportive.  
I love that you are here.  If you’re having questions about your identity, gender, or even sexual preferences, attractions, or other thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing inside of you, I want to congratulate you for having the courage to speak about these things, and to trust someone else with things that are often difficult to think about, feel, or talk about.  I promise that some of the solution for you involves trusting, and talking about these things with people who are kind, trustworthy, wise, and that can seek to understand you.

I would like to share some ideas that I believe will help you right now, and that will also help you to create a solid network of people and relationships that can and will be a great support for you right now, and for later in your life as well.  
Quality relationships are the greatest predictor of long term happiness, so regardless of the fear and anxiety that you may be experiencing about the thoughts and feelings you’re dealing with, or struggling with, and how, when, or whether you’ll open up about them to others, let’s find a way for you to invest in this critical part of your life.  So here are some ideas that I hope will be a source of relief, hope, wisdom, and even courage for you.

  1. Be patient, Kind, and Humble.  This world needs a Humility movement.  This world needs people and places where we can meet each other and be respectful, and not assume that we know everything or what everyone is going through. If we approach ourselves and others in this humble and respectful way, I believe we will make much progress in this life. You and I don’t always control our thoughts and our emotions, and if you’re listening to this, it’s likely that you may be unsure about thoughts and feelings that are happening inside of you. Please treat yourself in a gentle way. Treat your friends, siblings, parents, and others in this manner as well. Seek first to understand, to listen to their experience, and to do so in a humble way, instead of assuming that you know exactly what is going on and what needs to happen. Stay humble, stay kind, stay open and patient. Remember that everything in this life that is worth anything, requires time, effort, and most things are a process.  
  2. Consider communicating with your parents, guardians, trusted adults, or professionals about this. There are decisions that we make in life that will have a significant impact upon our future. You don’t have to make every decision on your own. There are other people who are trustworthy, who can teach you much and that can help you much. At the top of this list please consider your parents, family members, siblings, or others who may be helping to take care of you. These people are your primary network. You will most likely be in relationships with them throughout your whole life. speak to them. Be honest with them. Give them a chance to respond in appropriate and kind ways, and be patient. If their response isn’t quite what you hoped for. Remember that you yourself have struggled, wrestled, and have dealt with the feelings and thoughts inside of you, realize that they may need some time to adjust, adapt, and come to terms with those things as well. Please consider professionals in your community, and even in your school. You have wonderful adults there that are loyal to you, and that would like to be a source of strength and support for you. Begin with your school counselor, with a principal, or other adults that you can see that are kind and understanding. Lastly, but not least, there may be people in your community, other family members, other trusted adults, or even religious leaders that can be a source of love and understanding for you as well. It’s so important in this life to create a network of people who can be respectful to you. These people will bring you much joy. Don’t hide away, instead find a way to get some of those thoughts and feelings out in the open with people that can be trusted.
  3. Continue on with your life. Remember that in your life, there are so many valuable and significant things. You’re in school, and regardless of how you feel about it, education will unlock and provide some incredible opportunities for you in the future. Do not leave or drop out. Continue to invest and to place effort into this area of your life. There are so many fun and incredible skills, sports, habits, hobbies, and ventures. Continue to expand your world by trying on new skills, and developing your gifts, strengths, and talents. This is not the only thing that is happening in your life, even though in your mind, it may feel like the most important. Remember that life is a process. Your life doesn’t have to come to a screeching halt while you are trying to decide what to do in regards to your gender, identity, or thoughts and feelings. Stay balanced, keep juggling the many things that you are, and keep growing.
  4. You’re not the only one.  Life is messy, demanding, confusing, and at times really challenging.  There is no shortage of hardships in this life.  From physical to mental disabilities, to illness, trauma, among so many other things.  Your feelings are real.  Your questions are important.  Your struggle is valid.  It matters and it’s meaningful.  Many have gone through very similar circumstances, and some of them may have wisdom to impart to you.  It’s good to know that we are not aliens… the only ones… that have dealt with loneliness, sadness, confusion, and straight up pain.  My friend this life is for you.  These challenges are important, and your ability to deal with these challenges in the most honorable, humble, and intelligent way are critical to your freedom and happiness.  Keep your wits about you.  Find positive sources of support and information, and look for ways to increase your understanding… you’re not alone.
  5. This is the information age… it is also the age of misinformation.  There is no shortage of opinions, ideas, and theories about what things are and aren’t, and what they should be, and shouldn’t be.  People calling from over here, and over there, all trying to present and sell their message.  I need you to stay grounded.  I need you to realize that not everything you hear will be true and accurate.  As a result you must remain a humble and patient scientist.  You will gather evidence over time, and as you meet and express your questions and concerns with other wise individuals, you will over time make intelligent and wise decisions in your life.  This is not a Tik Tok, Insta, FB, Snap, or whatever else issue.  I know you can find information everywhere, and honestly those places are often not the best or most credible source.  We’re not about shoe reviews, or the best flavor of ice cream.  We’re talking about meaningful things, and meaningful things require meaningful conversations, and time, and at times great effort.  As much as others may want to say that you’re this or that, or that you’re not this, or not that, take a moment.  Life will not pass you by, and meanwhile, stay engaged where you are.  Build the network and the relationships about you, and stay humble, kind, and respectful.

I realize that this may not be the answer you’re looking for.  Maybe you came here looking for a clear answer, but sometimes it’s not clear.  What I want to give you is a structure… a base… from where you can ask your questions, search, seek, connect with the right people… be patient and kind with them, be patient and kind to yourself… build those networks of support, and continue on building and progressing through your life.

My friend you are wonderful.

You are brilliant.

 are beautiful and your potential to create, to transform this world are real.

You are worthy of affection, love, and respect, and if at any point you think or feel the opposite of that, just know that it is not true, and don’t ever let anyone or any circumstance convince you otherwise.

Continue on… patiently, wisely, nurturing the relationships that you do have and creating new ones.  Have unbelievable amounts of fun, adventure.  Build new skills, new habits, new hobbies… invest in your strengths.  Make great memories, and little by little, as you gather evidence… as you continue on as a humble and patient scientist, things will become more clear with time and objectivity.

My friend I am with you.  Cheering you on.  Proud of you.  Thank you for your courage.