Writes of Passage: Steven Shantz

By: Rick Andreoli

Dear Steven,

At 14, you are emotive and intuitive, thus the nature of this letter will not be unsettling. The content, however, will be. Not because I am going to reveal a surprise, but because I am here to share positive aspects about you which may be incongruent with the personality you are presently experiencing.

To confirm what you know, yes, you are gay. The purpose of this letter, however, is to inform you just how much fun you are going to have in your years to come. In fact, you will be credited with the phrase “I love being gay!” Now, please, I invite you to take a deep breath, to relax and understand you are made of greatness. I speak from a position of integrity and truth. I am here to describe facts.

You will soon discover, and then grow into, your need to reflect. This will assist you in creating loving relationships with your family and a strong circle of friends and peers. Your concerns of being unpopular will disappear. Your sensitivity will aid you in romantic relationships.

Society will ease up on disfavoring opinions about being gay. If you aspire to marry, you will have opportunity and ability to do so. When you begin working in your profession, you will notice how self-acceptance assists in collegial relationships and providing insight to your patients. Your opinion concerning same sex matters will be sought.

The fact you are gay will benefit you. Gay men tend to have an unspoken language connecting us. From free internet in a German hotel granted by an attractive desk clerk, to buddy passes enabling cheaper airline travel from someone you have never met, you will have relationships with people you never thought possible. You will paint your own positive picture, having weeded through negative aspects from the media, religion, society’s values and your own self-esteem.

IMG_5017 Your task is to come out and to do so in the best way you know how. There is no right or wrong, and there is growth with lessons and future choices. There will be challenges in honesty and integrity. As I at 39 continuously learn, you will have opportunities as well. Pay close attention to humility, grace and acceptance of others. Celebrate life and the people who surround you. Be conscious when you scream on the gay cruise, “I love being gay!”

With you always and lovingly,

Steven Shantz is a Registered Nurse living in Calgary, Canada. He is excited to celebrate one year with his boyfriend Corey.


Read more letters in our National Coming Out Day section on Gay.com.