How You Can Help

 
If you are a LGBT adult, write a letter to yourself, but write it to the person you were when you were 15 years old. If you could go back to the kid you were then, what would you say? What advice would you give for surviving that difficult time? Keep in mind that these letters will be read by teens who might be experiencing some of the same kinds of things you experienced, and our goal is to offer them hope that they can survive the journey they are currently making. 
 
The length of the letter is not as important as sharing with the reader thoughts about how you got through the tough times, and how they might also do so. If you could go back to that time in your life, where would you focus your energies to help you cope with your struggles (think about talents, passions, friendships, etc., that might be a source of strength for teens currently struggling)?  There really is no wrong way to do it…each letter will be its own unique creation.

You can use your real name, or a pen name - just please be sure to tell us which you’ve chosen to use. By submitting your letter, you are agreeing to let us publish it as part of a collection of letters, so include only information that you would be willing to share publicly (this is where changing names might work best for some people). If you refer to others by name in your letter, please indicate if you are using the person’s real name. Due to privacy concerns, it may be necessary for some names to be changed before publication.

Also, by submitting your letter, you are agreeing to let us edit it for spelling/grammar/syntax, etc. We have NO intention of changing your story in any way. We only want to be certain it will be easy for readers to appreciate.

Items to include in your letter:
1. Your name (or the pen name by which you would like to be known – confidentiality WILL BE respected if you choose to use a pen name)
2. Your current age
3. Your orientation, gender identity, and/or ethnicity (if you feel these items are relevant to your story)
4. Your hometown when you were 15 years old (again, only if you feel it is relevant to your story…the cultural norms of your location might be the thing to which someone else relates).
5. Email address (so that we may contact you if we have any additional questions about your story) If you prefer to remain anonymous, that is fine - you are NOT required to share this information to be part of the project.
6.  A few sentences about where you are in your life now, if you feel like it could offer hope to the reader.
 
When your letter is written, email it to us at dear15yearoldmelettersofhope@gmail.com
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