My younger brother has always been full of life and light. As he grew, I wanted him to be happy and proud of who he is. Luckily, he was able to go through his “coming out” process at 17. I have always respected him for this. But what he really taught me was a lesson about real authenticity!

He showed me what it means to be who you are regardless of what anyone thinks. He has suffered bullying, judgment, and deep fear about being who he really is. Yet, these struggles have not dimmed that gorgeous inner light or taken his joy for life. I want to share what he taught me.

  1. Be proud of who you are! Coming out as early as he did he did, he had to stand up for who he is. This is not a lifestyle people. This is the core of his soul. It takes guts to say this is who I really am and we straight folk could really learn from this. Figure out exactly who you are. Be proud of this person and let it shine.
  2. Who cares if other people judge you! My brother understands that there are people who don’t understand who he was born to be. He has endured a lot. Yet, he has learned to let it roll off his back. We all need to do this. People may not like what you wear, who you are, etc. but you have to develop a comfort in your own skin. Confidence is sexy.
  3. Be kind despite others nastiness. My brother has literally been asked to leave a restaurant before because he was with his boyfriend. Many of us will never experience this. It would be easy to become angry as a person. Yet, he never has. He is still kind to everyone. He gets upset and hurt, but it never changes his outlook on life. Don’t let others distort your view of the world.
  4. Allow others to be who they are too! What I love most is that my brother is friends with everyone. He has friends that are gay, straight, transgender and they are from every walk of life you can imagine. He truly sees through the exterior of people. He wants to lift others up and inspire them to be who they are too. The key to being authentic is allowing other to be as well!

There is a lot of talk about being authentic. Sadly, some people will never find their authentic self. Yet, it really takes the pressure off and allows us to really shine. I have so much respect for my LGBT sisters and brothers. I have not walked in their shoes but I see the natural authenticity in the community.

Take the time to figure out what makes you special. We are all unique and beautiful so allow others to see that in you. Then you can more easily see it in others. How can you be more authentic and true to yourself? Please feel free to share and comment below. I would love to hear your stories.

(My brother has read and approved this post.)


We grew up in the Seattle this picture is perfect.