BFoundAPen, the changes you’re making to live the life you want are astounding. And that you write about your journey so candidly is an inspiration. I, for one, wish that I could be as wholly open and transparent about my life as you. Thank you for inspiring me in this way.

You asked, Who would be willing to take a risk like that?

Someone who loves. Someone who knows pain and understands that all lives are sacred. And that everyone deserves a fighting chance at fulfillment. I don’t know Gwen Saoirse well, but from what I’ve read about her and how she’s impacted your life, there’s no doubt she and her family are compassion personified and are models for true and selfless love.

Congratulations on arriving at this latest cairn on your journey to living authentically. In a sense, I think we’re all called to transition in a sense — and I say that not to you or your journey, but merely to draw an analogy — to move away from the misconceptions the world has about us to become the people we truly are. All of our transitions concern self-image and self-perception on some level and have the potential to be life-changing if fully pursued. It just so happens that your transition happens to have manifested externally for all the world to see. But let me tell you: few people have the curiosity, tenacity, and courage to bring much smaller changes to fruition.

I’m sure you already know this, but you’re quite a blessed young man to have learned an important lesson so early in life: the one that stresses relatives are the people with whom you have blood ties and that family are the friends who care for and stick with you closer than a brother/sister or aunts, uncles . . .

One thing relatives sometimes get wrong is the standard by which they set the measure of success for other relatives. Yes, they (we) often want the best for our relatives; unfortunately, it’s often their subjective version of the best that’s about them. In their eyes, your success is inextricably tied to their self-image. They want their best for you as opposed to what you want or need for your own life.

You may feel saddened or overwhelmed from time to time about the situation with your relatives, but this has been a huge gift. Think of the understanding you have now. Some people don’t learn this lesson until late in life and drag around all sorts of emotional baggage because they think emotional support can only be found in their relatives. And the knowledge and freedom you have now are treasures no one can ever take away.

If I might offer some unsolicited encouragement . . . remember, moving forward, continue practicing open and honest communication, within yourself and with others. It’s the key to a truly authentic and successful life.

Brian Louis Ford, congratulations on your emancipation!

Know that you are truly loved.

Author, artist, accidental activist, founder Our Human Family ( Social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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