To my closest friends and loved ones:
You have been more than a friend and confidant, you are the reason that I kept fighting, running, writing, dancing, believing, and getting up each morning. So, I could not launch this latest endeavor in life without speaking directly to you.
These last years of my life have been the most trying and life changing that I have thus far endured; they have transcended the impact of generations of racism, violence, discrimination and sexual abuse. Publicly and privately my life has been challenged and pursued relentlessly, so that I’ve been forced to evolve and develop new skills to survive. So, I am different – changed – from who I was. Yet, my love for you remains intact.
Today, I am a better version of who I was. I am stronger. I am wiser. (I am different in many ways.) I am relentless in my pursuit of justice: I do not back down, give up, or give in. I fight for what I believe in, and I fight for those I love. And my love for you remains intact.
Some of the ways that I am changed you will have to see and discover for yourself. Some things will be apparent, while others you may learn over time. But, my love for you remains unchanged.
One aspect of me that has changed is that I am now more vocal about what I believe, where I stand, what I value, and who I support. (This brings me back to the purpose of this letter.)
Today, I now share the responsibility of speaking up for those who have a voice but who have been so oppressed, denigrated, dismissed and denied so often that they have temporarily stopped advocating for themselves, present and future generations who deserve to live free. On one such occasion (possibly others) while executing this shared duty, I shared information from my personal experience with racism in the United States, and that information failed to give you credit for standing by me, helping me, supporting me, loving me, and fighting for me – even while members of my gender, race, country, nationality, family, church, professional associations, law school, zip code, and political party abandoned me. Forgive me, my love. My omission has deprived you of the credit and recognition you deserve, and I didn’t intend to deny or diminish what you mean for me. So, for my omission,
I am truly and deeply sorry. I love you deeply, and I am deeply grateful to have you in my life.
My dear love, thank you. You have loved, supported, helped, believed and stood by me, and you’re still here. Thank you for being here. I do not take your sacrifice, love, and support for granted.
All my love and affection,