August Rocha is a trans Chinese-American man living in Wisconsin. His TikTok (with over 104K followers!) is a supremely positive space that celebrates his trans identity and disabled experience. You should follow just to see his heart-melting ear-to-ear smile. For this installment of Dear Diary, we asked August to write a letter to his younger self.
Dear little August,
You may not recognize me. I am not the adult our parents wanted (but definitely the one they needed). Surprised? I thought you might be.
Not because you didn’t believe this is what we wanted, but because we never saw this dream as attainable. Not for someone like us.
Things have not been easy, dear one. You were adopted into an abusive household. You are going through puberty for the first time (I’m going through it the second time right now), and you know that something is not right. I know these hardships are out of your control and that time and time again, you feel ready to leave this party called life without saying goodbye. I beg you to reconsider.
You often wonder what will happen when the worst inevitably occurs. To you, at this age, that means coming out. You’re scared that everyone will leave you. And why wouldn’t you be? Years of trauma and heartbreak will do that.
I’m not going to lie. Through serious illness, moving to and away from the big city, divorce, and coming out, you are going to lose so much, and so many people. People you thought would be there ‘til the end. These people are not for you. You will find the ones who are.
There will be such goodness in your life someday. You’ll breathe fire in Washington D.C., sing to children in NYC, and build a loving community on an app that doesn’t even exist yet. All of that good is made possible by you.
Some days the world will be a hellscape. Others, your life will be so good, your very existence will be freeing. Please stay.
I am rooting for you,
I am proud of you,
I am sending you all my love from the future,
P.S. You’re doing amazing, kiddo.