I believe in red lipstick. I believe in its transformative powers to lift your spirits and give you courage. Red lipstick is the physical manifestation of the beauty that hides inside you. Of course, lipstick comes in many shades. And beware, believers who would judge a brother or sister for choosing a light pink or a deep maroon. All shades are welcome in this body.
I believe in photography. I believe in the grainy, underexposed moments captured on film. Those images are captured souls. No matter who or what leaves you, those photographs will be an eternal reminder of the messy, the beautiful, the eternal.
I believe in feminism. My experience with the struggle to face the world on equal footing. And I uphold your struggle to do the same, in whatever arena. Lay down your swords, but fight your battles. Never give up, and never let life douse your fire. Your burning passion is our redemption. We must believe that we can change the world.
I believe in music. Jeremy Messersmith sings the liturgy and the Gin Blossoms play the offertory. No matter how cheap and overplayed or how beautifully obscure, music speaks in a language that you learned in your infancy and that you desperately need to remember.
I believe in novels. In beautiful works of literature and in murder mysteries. It is a spiritual practice to lose yourself in a story and we are all richer for our adventures deep within the bent and weary pages of a favourite book.
I reject envy and all his empty promises. I reject the need for power and the drive to succeed at the expense of the other. You have been baptized into individuality and symbiosis. Reject the temptation to view life as a zero-sum game and learn to rejoice when your sister rejoices and weep with your weeping brother.
I believe, more than anything, in your right to choose. I believe this life has been given to you and no one can take it away from you. You deserve to be happy and you have a god given right to decide what that means. You’ve been given yourself, and no one has a right to take that from you.
Have some faith.