9 September · All Letters · Column · Month

Dear No-Voters,

21 No-voters
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Dear No-Voters (SSM),

Listen, first of all, thank you for reading this. You know, a lot of people who are stuck in their opinions tend to be extremely against reading the other side’s arguments so I really commend and appreciate you for taking the time to read this post. It shows you’re willing to listen and are a little more open-minded than those who share your opinion.

If you’re a yes-voter, well, welcome. Hopefully you agree with what I say, and if you do, please like and share so we get the results this country so desperately needs.

I’ll go back to addressing the No-Voters since that’s whom this letter is dedicated to. I don’t know why you’re against same-sex marriage but put quite bluntly, I honestly don’t need to know for me to tell you it’s not a good enough reason. I hope that my brutal honesty hasn’t made you close this tab. I’ll tell you why your reason, whatever it may be, isn’t good enough to vote no.

Religion

Written with help from my Christian, Muslim, and Jewish friends

Let me begin by making clear that it does not matter to me what religion you practice. Whoever you seek help from, pray to, and worship is none of my business. Whichever religious text you abide by is none of my business. Wherever house of worship you visit is none of my business.

With that said, your religion, your god, your holy text, and your leader at your house of worship may be against same-sex marriage but that does not give you a pass to enforce that belief onto others. I understand that many religious followers believe you are doing God’s work by spreading their ideologies, leading you to think religion is a justifiable reason to vote no. But I need you to understand that what you’re actually doing is not God’s work but in fact, playing God. You are playing God by dictating who can love whom, who can be married to whom, who can live their life the way they want, what is wrong and what is right. These are things that only God, in any given religion, has the power, authority and right to do. It does not matter what your God believes or deems is right because only He/God can dictate and impose that belief onto people.

You might disagree with me but you would be wrong because by voting no to same-sex marriage and citing your God as the reason, you are literally restricting people from expressing themselves, preventing them from living their lives, and condemning them for being who they are. But you, in any religion, do not have the right to do that. Only God does. And regardless of what religion you practice, playing God is a sin. It is extremely disrespectful and offensive. It is wrong and put childishly, you’re going to hell or whatever hell-equivalent you believe in.

Now the question is: is it okay to be and vote against same-sex marriage as long as I don’t push that belief onto others?

I can’t force you to vote yes because ultimately that’s up to you. But I will say that by contributing to a choice that condemns people from living their fullest lives and loving whom they want to love, you are still contributing to a group that is playing God. So in the end, you are still using God as an excuse.

Religion is not an excuse to deny all forms of love and life. Your God and religious text are not free passes to control other people’s lives or dictate what is right or wrong. Believing that is devastatingly demeaning and disrespectful to the religion and God you praise.

A Gay Person Was Mean To You

Why is them being gay the only detail you pick on?

Think about how many straight people you’ve met. How many Caucasians do you know? How many men are currently in your life? Women? How many people with black hair do you know? How about tall people? Are there any football fans in your life? Were all these people nice to you?

If someone with any of the attributes I just listed was mean to you, would you be against them and their entire way of life? If your Caucasian friend cancelled on your plans without an explanation or an apology, would you be against all white-people? If a black haired girl who was a fan of football didn’t help you out with something, would you be against everyone with black hair, all women, and anyone who liked football?

I’m going to assume you said no. (If you answered yes, you’re racist, sexist, and just a very hateful person and I encourage some serious self-reflection. Also, you must be very lonely.). So I return to the main issue, if a gay person was mean to you, why is them being gay the only detail you pick on? Was it a man? Then why are you not against all men? Were they tall? Then why aren’t you advocating for shorter doors? Was that person wearing Nike? Then why aren’t you boycotting Nike?

Really take a moment to think about it. Why do you attribute their rudeness, their mean action, to them being gay? Why are you so certain that their sexual preference led them to be rude that you want to punish them by denying their rights?

If you can’t think of a legitimate reason (hint: there aren’t any), you’re just looking to hate. You’re just projecting your hateful nature onto them being gay. So stop. And seriously, if try to argue that no straight person has ever been mean to you, you’re lying. Stop looking for reasons to hate.

Being Gay Is Unnatural

Who are you to say what’s natural and what isn’t? If you think just because there are more straight people than gay people that the former is natural and latter not, you’re very wrong. With this “majority goes” attitude, it would mean being a woman, being blonde, having blue eyes, and living outside of Asia are all unnatural.

Majority does not, has never, and will never mean natural. Majority changes depending on how you group whatever you’re measuring. So if you think you’re not in the minority of some sort of classification, you’re severely mistaken. Furthermore, homosexuality isn’t something you can accurately measure. A person can identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community without coming out and blatantly saying so. Just like a person can be straight without saying, “Hey all, I’m straight.” Plus, a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community, can’t or are afraid to come out so aren’t included in these inaccurate measurements despite their very certain and important existence.

Also, to put into quick and simple terms, albinism is a rare, minority trait (as far as it’s been measured, and it’s a more accurately measurable trait than homosexuality) in all living things yet any time an albino animal is discovered they’re often seen as adorable, a novelty, and are loved instantaneously. What’s up with that?

I Don’t Want Kids To Be Raised Gay

Straight parents, did your son turn out to be a daughter because he had a mom? Did your daughter turn out to be a son because she had a dad?

Does your sweet baby-girl hate monkeys because she was raised watching The Powerpuff Girls beating up Mojojo every week? Does your strong boy turn into a robot every so often because he grew up watching The Transformers?

Maybe you don’t have kids:

Did you, as a woman, ever wear pants as a kid and see your dad wearing pants too and decide to go after woman just like him? As a man, when you were a kid did see your dad shaking hands with other men as a kid and then go around shaking every boy’s hand because you just couldn’t resist the urge?

Did you, growing up with straight parents, ever get confused as to whether you were supposed to be a woman like your mom or a man like your dad because regardless of your or their gender, they were both human?

Gay people don’t make others gay. Straight people don’t make others straight either. There are plenty of straight parents with gay children, so you can’t argue that those kids were raised one way or another. Gay people might help those who aren’t sure of their identity become surer of it, but they did not determine whatever conclusion they came to. To simplify (to an extreme), it’s kind of like how tall people don’t magically shrink because they hang out with shorter people but often times become aware of how tall they are (but the shorter people did not make them tall).

If you made it this far, thank you. I know how hard it can be to read arguments you don’t agree with so I really respect and appreciate you for taking time to do just that. I hope that maybe I was able to make you reflect on your reasons against same-sex marriage and hopefully, change your mind. If I didn’t address your reasons here, leave it in the comments and I’ll respond with why it’s not a good enough reason to vote no. At the end of the day, voting no, regardless of the reason, is an act that denies another human being’s rights. That is not okay, it never has been and it never will be. I love and stand with the LGBTQ+ community and will always fight for their rights. I hope you will too.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

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8 August · All Letters

Dear Authors,

20 Authors
Image by A Letter Per Person.

Dear Authors,

When I think about my career path, there is a specific group of people I want to thank aside from my family and friends. That group is the authors that gave me a boundless childhood. I found my love and talent for writing when I was in fourth grade and have wanted be an author since. That is all thanks to you.

I consider myself extremely lucky that I found what I wanted to be at such a young age when most people my age now are still deciding. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being unsure and trying different directions, it’s always so important to keep looking. What I’m saying is, I’m glad that I was able to work on what I love doing as soon as I could: writing. In my late teens, I decided I wanted to use my writing to help people and better the world so I went into a journalism degree instead of English or literature. I don’t regret it. It introduced me to a new world of writing.

But this post isn’t about me; it’s about you, the authors. I owe you all so much for writing those books, telling those stories, whisking me away into those worlds, and giving me those adventures. Without you and your writing, I would’ve never known the joys of reading. The joy of meeting characters so quirky they could exist only in words, the wonders of travelling into fantastical world while not moving an inch, and the crazy idea that maybe I can create such adventures for myself too. You gave my childhood imagination, a world beyond my playground, my school friends, my family. You gave me one world after another, all of which I loved and still love, sometimes even more than the one we are in now.

Authors, you are the reason why I have this blog. You are the reason I was able to grow as a writer and person, why I stuck with writing all through these years, and the reason I want to use it for the better. For the better what? Everything and anything. For the bettering of a child’s imagination, like you did mine, for the bettering of social injustices, for the better of myself, for the better of absolutely any and all. Authors, you have inspired me beyond all the worlds ever written about and will continue to do so with every story you tell. Everything I’ve ever written and will ever write is all in debt to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

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8 August · All Letters · Month

Dear Birthday Well-wishers,

19 Birthday Well-wishers
Image by A Letter Per Person.

Dear Birthday Well-wishers,

It’s crazy to think that I’m another year older. Every time this day rolls around, without fail, I think about the people in my life. It’s safe to say the best part of my life is the people – past, present, and future.

The most interesting aspects of my birthday this year is that I was wished for three days. Considering I live in one of the earliest time zones, I’m usually the first to wish others on their birthday. But this time around, I had friends living a day behind me wish me a day early, if that wonky string of words makes sense to you. So in their time, they were wishing me two day before my actual birthday. Now I don’t know if that was on purpose or a miscalculation but it made for a prolonged birthday so I’m very thankful! Not to mention, they remembered my birth date without Facebook reminding them! What a true gift!

On my actual birthday, I had an influx of messages on my Facebook wall, in my inbox, and even a few photo posts. How endearing. One of the things I love most about birthday wishes is that you can see the personality behind the person who wrote them and who I am to them. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a one-line wish or a paragraph detailing our childhood shenanigans, they warm my heart because it shows they care.

The day after my birthday all of my friends who live a day behind wished me well! Again, nothing but love. And it showed me just how blessed I am to have so many people who think about me to some capacity, even if it’s just once a year, all across the world. I have a friend to visit in every continent, a place to stay on any trip, and new memories to make wherever and with whomever. It is a blessed feeling.

So my birthday well-wishers, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for reminding me, year after year, how well-loved I am. Without you, growing old wouldn’t be so fun.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

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7 July · All Letters

Dear Hometown Homies,

18 Hometown Homies
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Dear Hometown Homies,

Oh, how awkward. I feel a little embarrassed writing something so sentimental but I know you guy need to hear this. You probably know already, friendship can be such a strong, unspoken bond, but I really love you guys. I don’t know what I’d do if I had never met any of you or if we stopped being in each other’s lives.

Seriously, you guys basically raised me. We went through the happy-go-lucky elementary phase to the awkward teenage phase when MSN was life to the best high school years anyone could’ve asked for. Some of you guys moved away and we lost touch but we all somehow found our way back to each other. Even now that we’re continents away for jobs, college, and overall adulthood, our friendship never fails even if we don’t keep in touch and when we go back home it’s like the years apart never happened. We always meet each other halfway, no matter what.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for you guys; and I really, really like me. I owe you all so much for that. Each and every one of you has influenced me in your own individual ways. Whether we bonded at the kindergarten milk-breaks or high school house parties, the flood-resistant fields or IB cram classes, Skype calls or sleepovers, you guys are the place I call home. I could never ask for a better group of people to be in my life because I know y’all are as good as it gets. Let me tell you now, I’ve met a lot of people in my lifetime and befriended many but I have never met a crazier, more comfortable, and loyal bunch like you guys. You guys are the ones I’d pick to jam out to old school hits, the ones for crazy adventures, and definitely the ones to reunite with year after year if we aren’t already living right next door. Hand to heart, y’all are irreplaceable.

I hope you know all of you have an open invitation for whatever event I might have in my life. And I’m always here for you, even if we don’t talk as much, even if we’ve met other people, and even we spend more time and space apart. We’ll grow old together and talk about how far we’ve come. No matter what, you guys are my family. I love you guys so much. Homies? HOMIES!

Love,

A Letter Per Person

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7 July · All Letters

Dear Far Away Friend,

17 Far Away Friend
Image by A Letter Per Person.
“You can love someone so much,’ he thought. ‘But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
– John Green, An Abundance of Katherines
 d
 d
Dear Far Away Friend,
d
I don’t know where you are and I’m really scared. I know nothing I say will bring you back but nobody can tell me that you won’t visit. Please, I feel so alone because you are the only person I can talk to about what happened. And I’m so tired, so fucking tired of being left behind.
d
You’ve left me in a pool of emotions and I don’t know if any of them makes sense because my thoughts are drowning in a senseless riptide. I’m so angry with you for abandoning me and our future plans without so much as a goodbye. I feel guilty for being angry with the dead. I’m broken, repeatedly, when I’m reminded of you. I can’t face anyone with your name. I feel happy when you visit me in my dreams but I feel shitty when I wake. I am terrified you might never visit me. I feel a defeated calm on some days and a mess on most. I’m desperate. I miss you so much.
d
I know that if I wanted to talk to someone about you I could but in their company is when I feel most alone. Nobody knows what happened, what you were thinking, where you went, or why it ended that way. There is no fucking point in talking to anyone if they can’t give me those answers. You are the only one who can and you’ve left all of us behind. It doesn’t make sense. The you I loved would never wish this on anyone, and now you’ve granted it on me.
d
You know you’ve always been a leader in everything you do but this time, you’ve paved the way too far ahead and lost us. I miss you so much and need you to visit me. Nobody has given me any comfort or answers and nobody ever will because they can’t. I don’t expect them to, and that’s why I need you. So please come back at least for a brief moment to tell me why, or just so my messages turn “Read”, or we can even go bowling together, I’ll say yes this time. Please, please, I’m begging you. I miss you but I need you far more. Please.
d
Love,
d
A Letter Per Person
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7 July · All Letters

Dear Uni Bestie,

Uni Bestie
Image by A Letter Per Person.
Dear Uni Bestie,
d
            How do I start? I honestly never thought I’d meet someone I’d consider one of my best friends after leaving high school. My best friends from back home are people I literally grew up with, known for decades, and have a standing invite to literally any life-changing event I might have. These people are hard to compete with and I never thought I’d meet someone just as important to me as them in my three years at university. But I’m so glad I did.
d
There have been and still are times when I question my decision to come to Sydney when everyone I love are a long ways away. My parents, teachers, and even friends, asked, “Why Australia?” and I never really had a real answer. I almost changed my mind but it was too late to apply anywhere else so I hoped with all my life that there would be something to let me know I chose wisely. And I got that something; I just never knew it’d be a someone.
 d
You’ve been there for me since first year, letting me come over to study in your room when I got bored. I remember writing an essay while you were working and we would take a break every so often to drink and play battleship. That was the night my laptop mysteriously broke from goon. And then in second year, you were there for me when one of the very friends I grew up with died. I’ll admit, plenty of other people were there for me but you were the first and only person who didn’t treat me like I was mourning. Everybody else tiptoed around me, awkwardly hugged me, and told me I looked pretty while you talked about some random book I should read, Cloud Atlas (which I still haven’t, I’m sorry! I’ll get to it, I promise). You cheered me up most.
 d
Then third year came and we didn’t hang out as much, which was my fault completely. We went from seeing and talking to each other everyday to not knowing the people in our lives anymore. Ironically though, this was the year I realised how great friends we are. I knew that if absolutely anything happened, menial or tragic, I could rekindle our friendship with a stupid pun. I realised that I’ve been busting my ass trying to create a life here because you were inspiring me to succeed like you have for as long as I’ve known you. You went through the same thing as I did, hell we even came from the same hometown without knowing each other, but you were doing so much better. You know exactly who you are regardless of where or who you’re with, you manage to keep your grades above average, and you make people fall in love with you immediately. You are the reason that I believe I can succeed.
And I know that maybe you don’t thing everything I’ve said about you is true or that you deserve all this praise. But I also know that I’m not lying. I’m not even exaggerating. So you don’t have to believe me now but I hope you’ll try. You’ll always have a special place in my inbox, in my heart, and in my life. I am so glad I met you. You make me think that in all of my wrong turns and dead ends, I must be going the right way if I met you. Even more so, I must be an okay person for you to stick around.
 d
Love,
 d
A Letter Per Person
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6 June · All Letters · Month

Dear Uni Graduates,

15 Uni Graduates
Image by A Letter Per Person.

Dear Uni Graduates,

Congratulations! No matter how scared or nervous you may be, this is a celebratory moment. You made it through all of your hardships, your struggles and more to be here: graduated with the whole world waiting on your next move! Whatever you have planned next, taking some time of to figure yourself out, med school, masters degree, a job, travelling, or absolute anything else, just remember to put yourself first.

If I had to pick the single most important lesson I learned during my university degree, it’s that I can, should, and need to put myself first. I lost three relatives and a close friend on four separate occasions during my study and I still put my grades first. I went through the worst year of my life dealing with anxiety and I still put my career first. Don’t do that. It is 100% necessary and okay to be selfish by putting yourself first. It’s part of taking care of yourself. And this is the best time to do it.

It’s the best time because the world awaits your next move. You get to choose what the coming years of your life are about. And it’s true, having an unpredictably blank canvas ahead is what a lot of us are afraid of, I definitely was and still am, but I realised the blankness isn’t the main feature of the canvas. The main feature is that it’s yours – yours and yours entirely. If you’re afraid of the blankness of the future make a mark – don’t let it be blank for another second. And if you like what you’ve done, keep going and make it art. But if you don’t like it, paint over it! It’s your canvas; do with it as you please. Do what you want, do what’s best for you, and do it with all the life you have.

Remember, there is no correct path in life. The common “school to uni to job” is not a must. Plenty of people take gap years before uni, change schools and courses, decide the job they have isn’t the one they want, and so much more. Life is not a race, there isn’t a course to follow and you aren’t competing with anyone. Make your own path and get off it if you don’t like it, keep going if you do. This is the best time to do it. Be selfish and be okay with it, because it absolutely is.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

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