Here it is:If someone has the skill to translate the letter guillaume wrote in l'équipe that we can read in this twitter link, please do it. This is inspiring and so much well written and may be abble to help other people to feel better . you can feel the simplicity and the raw frankness of it without any complacency.
Open letter from Guillaume
“I had the feeling that I was different.”
“Are you a boy or a girl?”, my classmates used to ask me when I was a child. Followed usually by laughs and jibes from other students. Was I a girl or a boy? That question didn’t really strike me as outlandish. Very young, I remember wondering about my identity, my gender identity. I remember very clearly confronting my mother: “Mom, am I a girl or a boy?”
Of course, I was not yet able to understand my questioning or to put it into words, but I had the feeling that I was different. Different from the other boys. I was terrified by the idea of having been born with the wrong body, I didn’t learn until much later that I could be gay, I only thought that something was wrong with me. I don’t want to encourage stereotypes, but I was always more inclined to play with dolls, to play dress up and play with make-up. I quickly discovered that boys “should” not play with Barbie dolls. So, I stopped doing it. I would sit on the bed and watch my sisters dress their dolls.
In Elementary school, I was very often alone, I didn’t want to play soccer with the boys and some days, my friends who were girls wanted to stay among themselves. So, I sat in a corner, neither girl nor boy, somewhere in between, desperately wishing for the bell to announce the end of recess. In Middle School I spent many a recess in the restrooms, hiding from bullies or to avoid the humiliation of being alone. I was an extremely shy boy and terribly sensitive, I almost never reacted to slurs. Faggot, poofter, fairy and many more. These slurs would punctuate my everyday life and soon became this little toxic litany in the back of my mind. The dark secret bred by intimidation is that you get used to it. You get used to violence. It becomes your new normal. And very often you end up thinking that you deserve it. Those like me who came to believe that they didn’t deserve it are forever in a battle with this version of themselves shaped by others.
At times, to this day, I catch myself suppressing some of my behaviors, mimics or words, out of embarrassment or fear to displease. I have now been working for several years on myself, trying to rediscover and accept the parts of me that I had to hide, bury, suppress. Every human being has a part of masculinity and femininity, like it or not. Personally, I cultivate and celebrate both, in life and on the ice. These two energies are very complementary, and I enjoy drawing from one or the other, depending on each specific role on the ice.
Why talk about it today, you will ask? I have been pondering that question for some months now, and after discussing it with some of the people closest to me, I came to realize that if talking about it were to make a difference, even for a single person, and help them love and accept who they are, then it would be worth it.
Today, in spite of huge advances on the road towards tolerance, the fight is far from over.
I consider that my silence would not help the cause and would be construed as indifference more than
taking a stance. Even if my conviction is than real tolerance would mean not having to come out, just as heterosexuals never have to talk about their sexual orientation.
In an ideal world, nobody would have to justify their sexual or romantic proclivities. As somebody I am very fond of once told me: “You deserve to be loved. Just because you exist.”
Everyone deserves love and dignity, independent of who they identify with, man, woman or neither, independent of who they are attracted to, a man, a woman or both. We just want to be able to live peacefully with the respect, love and rights that we deserve. But in the meantime, I would like that all those who recognize themselves in what I wrote, know that they are not alone. The way we are treated doesn’t have to define who we are going to be or the success we are going to encounter. Preserving one’s dignity and cultivating one’s inner richness are essential.