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Peter Westwood

IG: @peterwestwoodnb Twitter: @PeteTheTreat95

 

You are not alone



This time of the year 

The days get shorter and the days get darker 

Not just in our minds but in our hearts 

This time of year can break us further 

Tradition and pressure puts us in these places where we don't want to be 

Our support, maybe further apart now


Our house now can’t be a home 

When family truly aren't a family 

A place where you can't be yourself


But one thing is true:


You're not alone 

You have found family, 

You have this community 

People that love and adore you for you 

Your heart maybe emptier at this time but they will always be there 

They’ll embrace you, fill you with pride 

And love you for who you are, not who they want you to be


The days draw in,


The clouds and darkness surrounding us 

But there is always that light that will glimmer through In forms of pride, affirmation, to heal us and to be yourself 

Always remember 

You may be apart but you'll never be alone


Those in the community will be there for you, 

They will accept you and have your heart,


When others just break it, they will fit the pieces back together 

The emptiness,


 The invisibility,


 The hurt it in your heart,


 It isn't you,


You are you and that's what matters 

Days like that don't equate to your entire life 

Do what you want to do to help, have the spirit, don't have the spirit, whatever this holiday means to you, be happy,


 Most importantly be you 

And your light will shine through this darkness 

Whoever they are and wherever they are, you’ll always have some family there by your side 

With these around you always remember, you are not alone



 

Love Letters


Foreword

Here I have written three love letters all addressed to myself in separate versions of my life, the past version of me, the present version of me and the future version of me. These letters will cover various forms of myself and topics, like the forms of love I have had throughout this time, a heavy theme throughout. Love comes in many different forms and I really wanted to show that in this piece. As people, we often struggle to look at both the nature of the past within ourselves and our future - who knows what lies ahead? But I did find this all really helpful, cathartic, and it has helped me to see not just the steps I have taken, but also the steps I will take. I am non-binary, and I am still early days in my trans journey. It’s been nearly two years - but I found that writing this helped me to explore things, and see just how far I’ve come and just how far I have to go. But also what I have to look forward to. It’s a journey, but this has given me motivation for that - going forward, and for the community who are amazing and will carry on fighting and going, despite what is flung at us daily. I hope in reading this you find inspiration, and if anyone wants to do anything similar I would really urge them to. It was a very heavy thing to write, but I also found it cathartic and really motivational. I hope that it does the same for you too and shows not just my love for who I am now but for the community too. We go through a lot and have so much, so many people fighting against us. But one thing I have (and know we as a community have) is love, hope, and rebellion. I hope this can help you even in a small way towards that.


 

Past me

To Peter,


Love will look very different for yourself at the moment now. Love comes in its different forms, but you don’t know that, or even the kind of love you want now. All you see is that there isn’t any there. All you know is what surrounds you, the isolation. Not knowing the love that you want or crave, feeling the people drift past you like the wind. You don’t know why people do this, you don’t understand what you’ve done. You’ve just been yourself, but you don’t get that love, you won’t.


You feel ashamed, you feel broken, you feel weird and you hide yourself. You want this love - but you don’t understand what it is, how to get it, or even who you are within yourself. You won’t know what this love is now, but one day you will. One day you’ll be happy, one day amongst the tears, one day amongst those anxieties with your body. One day amongst those of not knowing how you feel, where you fit it, or who you are. For all those years of not knowing, the pain of being so isolated, the pain of not knowing what is going to happen, or where you are going. That frustration, hurt anger, and isolation. You kept on going and you will keep on going. One day those reasons you hate your body will all make sense. Those reasons why you’ve always felt so uncomfortable with it, from head to toe, even with your penis. One day this will all make sense to you, I promise you. This pain is horrible and awful. These questions you are always asking yourself.

Who am i?

What am i?

Where do I fit in?

Why do I not feel like a boy or a girl?

Why am I so uncomfortable in my own body?

What the FUCK is this that I feel?

Why am I so weird?

Where do I belong?

Who even am I?

You will ask yourself these over and over again. It will hurt, you’ll cry, you’ll push it all away, you’ll isolate yourself. You will have some pain, and you will have some moments which scare you. But I promise that you will look at yourself one day and be so proud of how far you have come. To be the person you are now, the kind of person you would have looked up to and still do. You would be so proud of what you have become now, how true to yourself you are now, and your love for who you are. That is inside you. It is what you’ve become now and will grow on forever, with you as a person. You will love all those things inside you, they will flourish instead of been hidden. You will see those things that you thought of yourself. As a freak, a weirdo, someone that doesn’t fit in. You will embrace it all, the difference will be like chalk and cheese, and that is incredible. It may not seem it now, but one day this will all be a distant memory. You’ll be so proud of the person that you grew up to be, and how far you have come since then. You’ll look back on these feelings of not knowing this love, and it will feel like a distant memory. We shall both look back at this moment. We will see how much we have grown since then, and remember this for the love you feel now. You are loved. You are thriving and people care about you for who you are. That’s what matters. That’s what love is. Not what you had then, but what you have now. That is the love you are after.

That smile you hold now isn’t just a facade.

That smile didn’t exist.

And if it does, it isn't real and you knew it.

The smile was fake.

But it will get better, I promise you.



Present me



To Peter,


Your love for who you are is incredible, those questions you had now have been answered. We always think of how much you have grown: your love for yourself, your love for who you are, your love for those around you, and how love comes in its different forms. You can truly see that now. Non-binary and thriving now. There are great people around you, a community that is fighting, and you are so proud to be a part of that and to fight for what is right. You know who you are now, you know yourself, your journey and where you are going. That has taken so much time - but always remember this, when the going gets tough. You may still have some issues with your body, but remember you are making those steps. They are nothing like they were before. What matters is where you are on your journey now, and what you’re doing to make it better.Just the fact you are there now - that you feel so comfortable and confident in yourself - is incredible. You have so much love around you and so much to fight for. Despite all the stuff that is going on around you, all the vitriol, hate and misunderstanding, you have so much love and care around you. It becomes like a protective shield amongst all that shit. A shield of people holding onto you, while bricks are continually being continually thrown at it. Those people will hold and protect you - they will keep you up despite the hard times, despite how bad it can get. That love will push you through it. Always remember that, remember how far you have come. I will always be proud of you, as will all the people around you.


You know who you are now.


Always be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come. Be proud of who you are now. That person is looking at themselves every single day, every single photo of themselves, every single one with someone else, and seeing a smile now. A true smile. And a completely different person. But you know who you are now. And now you have that true smile. That love means so much to you now. Its given you that true smile now.



Future me



To Peter,


Your love looks so good now, your love has taken many forms and mainly places but no matter what has happened that love is there now

Always remember that you kept on growing despite what life threw at you, always remember for who you are you are the freest and most comfortable you have ever been, always remember that despite the stuff that it is thrown at us on the daily, we as a community and you as a person will always prevail because you know who you are and you know you will grow so much in that, your love for you will keep on growing.


That love for you, for those around you and who you are now.


You’ll look at these times and look back as the times you figured out who you are how much you became that person, became so vibrant and yourself and that's amazing There were the times you tried so much and times you were looking and reflecting Even when writing this this is still early days for you on your journey and you will grow so much alongside that for that I am sure of that. Maybe you can keep this and read it someday and tell yourself what happens and i'm sure you’ll grow and thrive. I can imagine future me reading this now, no idea what your expression will be now but I know that love will be there for you. And, this isn't just a love letter to me but to the whole community, you are all so amazing to do what you do, if I can even give an ounce of that courage people gave me before to those within the future then i'll be so proud.


Those idols I saw, the people I grew up with, the people who i discovered alongside my journey and learnt a lot from, if I can give an ounce of that hope and that to someone I will have done more than I ever dreamed of

So many of us of fought for that, so many of us have kept going have gone on new ventures, despite all the shit thrown at us have kept on going, some people have unfortunately lost their lives that won't ever change, but our fight and determination will never go away as will our love as a community will always be there.


I know that smile is still there too and I know that it will never go away, you’ve been who you are for so long now, why would it be, whatever the shit life has thrown at you since always remember that I don't know what is ahead or what has happened since, merely what it is front of me, I don't have a magic ball, unfortunately I don't know what will come of you and what will change in the world. But I do know that we as a community will stick together and will fight for every single one of us and you will always carry on that fight, for you and for the community and no matter what they have thrown at you you will always grow and thrive with that. Whenever you choose to look at this again, give it be one year, five years, ten years or even longer, just know how amazing you are and I know you’ve grown even more and become so much more yourself and I hope that has carried on, to inspire those people around you and create something for the future and I know now you have the thing that you wanted in the past, that love.


I know you’ve got it now and then some.


Whatever form that love comes in, I know you’ll be full of it and you’ll always be proud of yourself for who you are now, just like when im typing this i’ll always be proud of you and the community you are apart of too who have carried on and thrived with you too and will keep on going and fighting.

Your love doesn't stop, it just grows and grows and I know one thing for sure, that smile on your face, on every photo of you and your friends, it still wont go away That true smile will always remain.


Thank you for taking the time to read this and I do hope this has inspired you and given you something. I have again found it really helpful and cathartic and I know it will help me in the future too and I hope it helps you too. As difficult as this was to write, it was truly worth it.


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