An activist’s tweet about queer identity has apparently hit home with a lot of people. The tweet, by Alexander Leon, an Australia-based writer and activist who works at the LGBTQ rights organization Kaleidoscope Trust, went viral on Twitter Tuesday, with more than 42,000 retweets as of this posting. If you haven’t yet seen it, we’re sharing it with you.
Wrote Leon: “Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimise humiliation & prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us & which parts we’ve created to protect us.”
“It’s massive and existential and difficult,” he continued. “But I’m convinced that being confronted with the need for profound self-discovery so explicitly (and often early in life!) is a gift in disguise. We come out the other end wiser & truer to ourselves. Some cis/het people never get there.”
“All of this is to say – be kind to yourself,” he added. “Discovering who you really are is an enormous task it doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen without some hiccups along the way. Be patient, be compassionate, be vulnerable and exist loudly. And most of all – be proud!”
After the post went viral, Leon added a plea for Australia: “This has blown up unexpectedly and I’m very humbled. If this meant something to you & you are able I’d really appreciate any donations to help families affected by the Australian bushfires. I am Australian and seeing my country burn is heartbreaking. I have to leave Sydney tomorrow & I am so conflicted about leaving. My family home is <50km from fire affected areas. I am certain they will be safe but many families are not. Plz consider donating to the Red Cross if you are able. Even a RT help”
Leon added this link to the Red Cross.
He later added: “My tweets went viral overnight & beyond it being extraordinarily humbling (& overwhelming), I am so emboldened by the response. I adapted the tweets from an essay I thought too personal/niche to attempt to get published. I think I need to believe in my voice and message more. All I’ve ever wanted to do in any of my work is for queer people (& particularly QPOC) to feel seen, heard & understood. I can’t open this app at the moment without ugly crying because y’all are showing me that in my own small way, I’m achieving what I set out to do. Thank you.”