Hello &

Hello &

Wentworth Earl Miller III

Wentworth Earl Miller III



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Teen Choice!

The truth is my dreams are always so vivid and some say that dreams are psychological but I’ve found that mine are more like premonitions from spirit or a guidance. 

I’d like to share this dream I had two nights ago because I believe it was a premonition pertaining to this very exciting news I wish to share with you, but firstly let me tell you my dream.

In my dream I was walking along a pathway alone, well so I thought but to my surprise I felt a young presence walking beside me.  When I looked down it was a young boy and as he looked up at me I recognised him immediately.  It was Wentworth!  My heart jumped with joy as I looked down at him.  His pure beauty and innocence took my breath away completely.  Wentworth didn’t speak to me, he merely slipped his hand into mine, and at the moment I was surprised how small my hand was inside of his.  His hand was strong and firm for his years and I thought what a strong young boy he was, not in his structure but rather in his character.  We continued walking together holding hands, admiring the countryside together and although we did not speak to each other we knew precisely what the other was thinking … a kind of telepathy (this always happens in my dreams).  When we reached the end of the path I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew that I would have to say goodbye to Wentworth.  He turned to look at me and I could see a shadow of sadness cast over his eyes as he proceeded to walk away.  My heart was aching, my eyes filled with tears as I saw him  walk away and then suddenly he turned around and ran back to me and he threw his arms around my neck and gave me a hard goodbye kiss.  Of course I held him tight not wanting to let him go but he stepped back and smiled at me reassuring me that he was going to be alright.  As he walked away he walked with confidence he turned smiled with a twinkle in his eye, and in that moment I thought what a brave and courageous youth he was.  I was filled with so much pride and joy for young Wentworth.  I knew in that instance that I needn’t worry anymore, because Wentworth was going onto greater things and that he was going to achieve all of his dreams.

The night following my dream I read that dear Wentworth was nominated for the 2017 Teen Choice Awards and oh how proud I am of him!

If you’d like to vote for Wentworth and you live in the US, please follow the link below and cast your vote for him.  Thank you so very much.

Once again my darling Went, how thrilled, proud and excited I am for you honey!  You deserve to be nominated and you deserve to win!  I wish you all the very best.

Thank you for coming to me in my dreams.   
Tons of love always … for you!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

A French Connection!

It’s a week later and I’m still reeling from the connection Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell and Caity Lotz had with their fans at the Super Heroes Convention in Paris on the 3rd and 4th June 2017. 

Credit and much thanks to Ally Butt for her Panel transcript at the Convention.

Panel Transcript: Went/Dom.

Superheroes Con III

Transcribed, to the best of my ability, from my audio recording.

Q: How was it to jump back into Michael and Lincoln?

D: For me, it was quite easy, really. I played Lincoln for four years, obviously. It’s like fitting into an old pair of boots. It wasn’t difficult. Certainly, working with Wentworth makes that process a lot easier. I think it’s pretty well known now that Wentworth and I are very, very good friends, and we have a unique chemistry on-screen and it’s just a pleasure working with him.

W: Yeah, it was a treat. It was a treat to be reunited with Dominic and the rest of the cast, and, as an actor, to be able to go back and revisit a role, that was so meaningful to me, was a rare thing and a pleasure.

Q: I have three questions, I hope that’s okay.

W: All of them for Dominic.

Q (cont.): For Legends of Tomorrow, how much were you involved in the building of your characters?

D: Whenever you do anything, it’s a collaborative effort—directors and writers, and stuff. As an actor, I come up with my own choices. I bring my own stuff to Mick Rory. A lot of the stuff that’s given to me in the form of a script and lines, I throw all that shit away. I just say what I want to say and I think it works. A lot of the one-liners that Mick comes up with are my invention.

Q: Since you are the executive producers of Prison Break, were you involved in the casting of Mark Feuerstein? It was brilliant.

W: I’m glad you thought so. Dominic and I were not part of the casting process, as far as I’m aware, at least. That was a happy accident, that we got Mark; he’s super talented. I happened to go to school with him, actually. He was a couple years ahead of me in college, and I remember sitting in the audience, watching him do Hamlet or Macbeth, and being so impressed. So it was really cool and odd, and strange, and awesome to be reunited with him on set, playing off of each other some 20 odd years later.

Q: (I couldn’t really understand her accent.) How is it to play the bad guy on Legends of Tomorrow, when in Prison Break, you’re such a sweetheart?

W: Thank you for that question. I respectfully disagree with your take on both characters. I consider Leonard Snart, on Legends, to be a bad guy who’s capable of goodness, and I consider Michael Scofield to be a good guy who’s capable of badness. It’s a lot of fun, as an actor, to play in what I’ll call the greyscale—it’s neither black nor white. I think that’s how people are in real life and it’s a good time, as an actor, to dig into that on camera.

Q: How do you think about the possibility of Prison Break season 6?

D: There is a possibility, of course. Fox is very open to the possibility, but I think– I think in order for season six to occur, there needs to be a complete revamp of the show. Personally, what I would like to see would be more emphasis on the brothers and their journey.

Q: I wanted to know if you have any role models.

W: Was that for both of us, or just me? […] Both of us. I have many role models. Some people are models of what I want and want to be, and some people are models of what I don’t want and don’t want to be. It’s helpful to see that, too. Dominic is a model for me [inaudible]. I’m very serious when I say that. He’s a blend of toughness and vulnerability. I think he’s an excellent example of what a modern man can look like—one of the things a modern man can look like—and I’ve learned a lot from our relationship. I’m grateful to have him as a model in my life.

D: Again, role models are—I haven’t really thought about that. A role model, for me, is someone that takes responsibility, someone that owns up to a lot of things: to accountability and showing, rather than words, actions. I think that’s very important. Words are spouted very easily these days and actions is a big thing for me. I’d also like to extend—Wentworth’s a role model for me as well. I’m in awe of [his] courage, his want to educate about mental health. Working with [him] over the years, and watching him grow as a man, I’ve never really seen someone quite as fearless as Wentworth. I’m sure that’s a journey that he’s arrived at, but I sit back sometimes and say, ‘That man really knows how to look after himself.’ I’ve picked up a lot of that myself; I’ve learned a lot.

Q: What part of acting is, for you, difficult?

D: When you’re doing a shitty movie and you don’t want to do it.

W: The days can be really long—sometimes twelve hours, sometimes fourteen and a half—and you’ve got a lot of people, sometimes a hundred or more, working very hard to [put] each scene together. It can be difficult for me to stay patient, to wait for everyone else to do their jobs, so that I get to do mine.

Q: Do you know how John Doe was supposed to end?

D: Thank you for bringing up John Doe. It was one of my first jobs in America and it was a wonderful experience. It was certainly one of the hardest roles I’ve ever done. As to John’s identity, it was never really—it was vaguely mentioned by the writers. The show got cancelled at the end of the year, so we didn’t exactly find out who he was. They writers, they, in the past, have said that he was…. this is gonna sound silly. He was the Messiah returned; he was the son of God and that’s why he knew everything. That’s why he was such a good guy.

Q: How are you, both of you? Are you enjoying your stay here?

W: Ca va bien.

D: I’ve really enjoyed staying. I have family in Dublin and I spent two weeks out in the country, away from people. It was a very, very peaceful time. I’m good. I love Paris, too. I went to the French Open yesterday and I had a great time. They treated me very kindly. Paris is a beautiful city.

Q: Would you like to continue your acting career, or go back to writing? If you would like to continue acting, what kind of character would you like to take on?

W: Thank you for that question. I think a little bit of both. I love writing. I love acting. It would be nice to write while I was acting and act while I was writing. I think it’s important to have multiple pots on the stove if you’re an artist, if you’re an actor, if you’re a creative type. I’d like to change it up, I think—either play an out-and-out villain, maybe in a horror movie, or some kind of comedy, I think, would be a good time.

Q: Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck, or a hundred duck-sized horses?

W: I’m glad you said ‘duck’ because I heard something different the first time.

D: If it quacks like a duck and shits like a duck, it’s a duck. That’s my answer.

W: I vote neither. Thank you for your question.

Q: Top 3 favourite things.

D: For me, it’s being around my kids, surfing on the beach, and spending a lot of time by myself.

W: Great answers. I vote park bench, cool breeze, and a cold beer.

D: Yeah, I like beer as well.

It appeared that everyone had lots of fun, what with the horsing around, the ducking and diving a certain question that was posed to them not to mention the down to earth replies when the S***t hit the fan with thought and jest and what the F**K seemed to be the proverbial thought at that moment! 

I got the feeling that at this point Went and Dom felt like they were at the funny farm and just went with the flow which became a highlight of the whole Q and A thing much to everyone’s amusement.   The correct answer Dom would have been “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.” but your answer was absolutely priceless.  Went of course appeared to find all of this absolutely hilarious, so much so that when I look at the snapshots of him having a hearty laugh (at that precise moment ) he really tickles my funny bone every time and I like it. 

From what I got to see there was a lot of connecting going on that’s for sure.  Signing of Autographs, exchanging conversations, the Q & A’s, the touching, the hugging, the squeezing, the swooning, the posing and the exchanging of niceties and gifts!  I bet this is one connection that will remain with dear Went and Dom for a very long time to come. 

Thank you to Went, Dom, Caity and all the other guys and dolls connected to this awesome convention for everything!  You were/are absolutely wonderful. 

A huge big thanks to all of the fans for your fantastic support and for sharing your amazing experiences on social media, with all those who couldn’t be there physically.  It’s greatly appreciated.

With all this having been said and done I’m going to miss you darling Went.  You’re the highlight of my every day and I hope I get to see more of you!  Call me greedy, sweetie but I can’t help myself.  I honestly love you!

Here’s another connection I’d love to have with you dear Went … if only I could …

Monday, June 5, 2017


I love You!


I was struck by a blog post. Or maybe it was an editorial piece. It read like a letter. And a public apology. Of sorts. Written to someone (everyone?) the author had met when/while they were unwell.
"I wasn't myself back then," was the gist. "Back then I was depressed. But now I'm better. And I'd like a second chance to make a first impression."

That was the general idea. And it struck me.

I respected the writer. I respected their truth.

And (it's a "both/and" not an "either/or") it wasn't my truth.

The mental health community (by which I mean those of us who struggle with mental health issues/illnesses) is a diverse one. Ask a 100 people who suffer from depression what it means to be depressed, and you'll get a 100 different answers. All of them true.

It's important to respect that (IMO).

The writer's truth wasn't my truth but that didn't make it untrue. If that makes sense.

Side Note: This is why I don't claim to be a "voice for the voiceless." I may stand closer to the megaphone than some, but when I speak, I speak for myself. About myself. If what I say resonates with the next person, reflects some part of their story, great. But sooner or later I'm going to say something that's true for me and me alone. And I reserve that right. My survival - rooted in self-expression, in sharing my truth, in my own time and way - depends on it. So when it comes to mental health, I make it clear: I don't speak for other people. And they don't speak for me. Because that would be impossible. Unless they happen to be a 45-year-old gay man of mixed race born in the UK, raised in Brooklyn, and their name is "Wentworth Miller."

(Then yes, they speak for me.)

Back to the blog post. The one that struck me.

"I wasn't myself back then," was the gist. "Back then I was depressed. But now I'm better. And I'd like a second chance to make a first impression."

Like I said, this read like an apology. Of sorts. Which I got/get. Totally.

Over the years (decades) I suffered from depression, I did and said things I later felt the need to apologize for. Sometimes I did it in person, sometimes via phone call or email. Sometimes my apologies were accepted. Regardless, it was important that I say the words. "I'm sorry." That I take ownership of what I did and said during those years when I was struggling.

Two things I did not and will not apologize for:

1. Being depressed.

2. Being the person I was when I was depressed.

I don't/won't apologize for being depressed because I couldn't/can't help it. Like the color of my eyes, it was/is beyond my control.

I don't/won't apologize for being the person I was when I was depressed because while yes, that person (me) did and said things I later felt the need to apologize for, that person (me) also saved my f-cking life.

True story.

That person (me) - angry, grieving, bored, numb, rude, restless, hopeless, sleepless, shiftless, sluggish, selfish, unkind, awkward, reclusive, explosive, compulsive, erratic, unreliable and frequently unpredictable - is the reason I'm still here today.

I'm no longer in the business of shaming myself. These days, I recognize that self-love and self-worth look like embracing all of me. My entirety. My full spectrum. Up to and including who I was in My Darkest Days when I was Not My Best Self. When I was Just Getting By and Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other.

When my phone's running out of juice and switches to "Low Battery Mode," I don't get pissed at my phone. I'm grateful. It's doing what it needs to do to squeeze out those extra minutes.

I'm grateful to the me I was when I was depressed. The me in "Low Battery Mode." To him I say, "Thank you for squeezing out those extra minutes (years). Would I choose to be you again? F-ck no. That doesn't mean you aren't worth honoring. You did what you needed to do, dude. You were in survival mode. And you made a f-cking mess. And today I'm around to smell the roses. That's thanks to you."

The me I was when I was depressed doesn't deserve to be disowned now that I'm "better." That would be a) ungrateful b) disrespectful and c) potentially deadly. Because I may need him again someday.
Once upon a time, the disconnect between who I pretended to be ("okay") and who I really was ("not okay") caused me pain. As far as I was concerned, the me who was "not okay" was "not me." Not the preferred me. Not the likable/lovable/hirable/respectable/acceptable me. The me that was "not okay" was the "bad" me. The "wrong" me. Not the "real" me. To be denied and kept quiet in darkened rooms, a disappointment hidden behind lies and lowered curtains until he went away and the "real" me came back.

Now that I'm "okay," now that I'm the "real" me again, I'm aware of pressure - some internal, some external - to pretend the me who was "not okay" never existed.

Problem is:

1. That's not true.

2. It's a set-up for upset: "Now that I'm 'okay' I can never be 'not okay' again." Now that I've made a new impression - better than the first (phew) - I need to make sure I don't ruin it. (Or else.) Which means one day, if/when I find I'm "not okay," if/when my depression returns and the "bad" me or the "wrong" me shows his (ugly) face, I may feel compelled to deny it, to keep him quiet in darkened rooms until he goes away again. Like before.

And the cycle continues.

The following is Robert Bly speaking to our evolutionary process, our long road from the cave to the city. It works for my long road to recovery as well:

"There's a part of us which is dark, reptilian, and primitive... [which isn't] considered necessary for civilized life... We [want] to get away from that dark, moist, wet, reptilian thing... [But that's the part] that kept us evolving, don't you understand? For millions of years. That's connected with your survival. That snake thing in there... [A reptile] survives! It survives! It survives! [That's the thing] that kept us moving and without [it] we would never have gotten where we were. We'd have died. So now we've arrived to this point and we don't want him anymore. And he's thrown out..." ("What Stories Do We Need" Part 2)

I see him. My "primitive." My reptile. My crocodile. And I see his value. The part of me that's single-minded. Stubborn as f-ck. Me in "Low Battery Mode." The me that kept me moving, sometimes on my belly, crawling through those long, grueling years until I made it out of the swamp. I won't cast him aside now. My croc. Because life is challenging (still). Threatening and destabilizing (still). And he has A Very Particular Set Of Skills (obviously).

I once posted an essay on this page referencing koalas, all warm and cute and fuzzy. They've since become a synonym for "hugs." That brings me joy. #koalas

It's also how some people choose to perceive me. The part they like to focus on. My koala. To the exclusion of all else. "You're so sweet." Mm-hm. How many times have I heard that?

(Many. Many times.)

Well, it's true. I am sweet.

It's also not the whole truth. Thank goodness. Because if I were 100% koala (all warm and cute and fuzzy) I'd be dead by now.

True story.

If I'm alive today it's thanks to my croc. Tough and resilient. Like leather. When "civilized" me longed to Crawl Under A Rock And Die he was like, "Nopes." And "When's lunch?" It's important to respect that (IMO). To make sure he has a place at my table. Even if he chews with his mouth open and breaks the good china.

For me, these days, it's less, "I'd like a second chance to make a first impression," and more, "Your first impression was not incorrect. Back then I was myself. Yes - that was me. Me in survival mode. And I own that. I'm a 'both/and' not an 'either/or.' Cool?"

The answer may be "No."

Some people want All Koala All The Time. They insist on it. They're uncomfortable with me refusing to compartmentalize/criminalize my croc, alarmed by me reframing a negative as a positive, unable/unwilling to allow for the possibility that the "wrong" me (angry, grieving, bored) is as deserving of sunshine and airtime as the "right" me (likeable/loveable/hirable). They say, "You look sad," using sympathy to mask their dis-ease. Then attempt to mask me. "I wish I could put a smile on your face." Patting my arm they police me, signaling that there's an "acceptable" me and an "unacceptable" me. And limited space for the latter. "Why don't you take a break?" they whisper. 

"Come back when you've pulled yourself together?"

To them I say, "Adios."

If it's a choice between me loving all of me and others loving certain, highly selective parts of me, there is no choice.

I know where/what my work is, and it looks like recognizing that the me I was "back then," who previously I've felt the need to apologize for, make excuses for, the me I've considered broken/damaged/shameful/embarrassing, whose existence I consciously and consistently omitted from resumes, family gatherings and first dates, was and is central and essential to my continued existence on this earth.

"[A reptile] survives! It survives! It survives!"

Yes. Oh yes.

"[That's the part] that kept us evolving..."

Give credit where credit is due.

"[That's the thing] that kept us moving..."

Where would I be without him?

"We'd have died."

Damn right.

That's worth claiming. Celebrating. My croc deserves some love.

Don't get me wrong - I love me some koala. He, too, is worth honoring.

But on those dark, cruel nights when he tumbles from the trees and hits the ground hard, when he wants nothing more than to throw in the towel, wave the white flag and go (fuzzy) belly up, it's my croc who rises from the river and fixes death with unblinking eyes.

And death steps the f-ck back.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy Birthday to You!!!

It’s not every day that we have the privilege of sharing wonderful moments with someone special.

I cannot find the perfect words to express how much you mean to me dear Went.  You are my rock my inspiration and my refuge.

The greatest reward in life is knowing that we have been an inspiration to others and that my darling Wentworth you are.  Thank you for being such a good example of what a great human being is.

 If they were handing out awards for phenomenal people who make the world a better place just by being in it, Went honey, you would be at the top of the list. You are awe-inspiring, and I am lucky to have front-row seats in your journey.

You are wonderful and special and so worthy of a huge celebration on your birthday. I hope you love all the birthday surprises that are coming your way.

You are a rare gift of sunshine and bring me joy every day.

I wish you so much love and happiness dear Went in every area of your life.  May this day bring you lots of joy, love and happiness forever.

Happy Birthday my dearest Wentworth! 

Sending you all my love!

Faithfully yours,





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mailbag (6.2)


Q: how have you been lately, and i don't mean where were you and such... how have you really been ?

A: I'm well. Not necessarily "comfortable," but well. In a period of across-the-board change. Little is as it was a year ago. That's a good thing. And (it's a "both/and" not an "either/or") it's uncomfortable, requiring change, shift, risk, uncertainty... All things I instinctively want to avoid. I continue to discover that before stepping into newness, spaces where nothing is familiar and challenge guaranteed, it helps to set intentions. Otherwise I'm likely to react from an emotional, kneejerk place, making choices out of alignment with who I work to be.

Ex: I've recently taken several cross-country trips, and as anyone will tell you, eating right on the road isn't easy. Especially if, like me, you enjoy seeking out the mom-and-pops, the "local color" type places. Eating at greasy spoons means eating grease. Which I'm happy to do. With syrup. But on the road - as in life - filling your tank with the right fuel is key.

I've heard it's not uncommon for people to experience a kind of low-grade panic attack at the supermarket... Overwhelmed by all the choices, colors, and labels (each with a million ingredients), they'll start grabbing things at random, eventually leaving minus what they came for, plus a cart full of junk.

That's how I feel in greasy spoons. They're busy/noisy, the waitresses are hurried/harried, snapping at you in that rat-a-tat-tat... So I'll go unconscious and order the first thing I see on the menu, automatically reaching for the usual and (presumably) delicious. 10 minutes later someone is sliding something in front of me I don't need to be eating but will.

So I changed my (literal) approach. On the drive to breakfast I'd say, out loud, to myself, "This morning I'm going to order a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, brown sugar on the side, and 2 hardboiled eggs." And that's what I'd get. That and raised eyebrows from waitresses. (I guess oatmeal isn't big in greasy spoons.) But I felt better about my choices, better when I walked out the door and hit the road. It's a small thing that felt significant. And made a difference. Having a plan. Making a resolution in line with my highest wants and needs before taking on the new and the unknown.

* * * * *

Q: Do you think a homosexual person can fall in love with the opposite sex?

A: I believe it's possible. I believe many things are possible when it comes to love, that the majority of people exist in the grayscale, somewhere on the spectrum between "gay" and "straight." (I also believe "gay" and "straight" shouldn't be thought of as the bookends of the spectrum, but that's another conversation.) Then life - by which I mean family, culture, religion, education, Hollywood - encourages us to reject that, to abandon the grayscale and insist on looking at love/attraction/sexuality/gender through a black-and-white lens.

* * * * *

Q: I'm amazed of the thousands of comments and likes you receive and more so that you take the time and have the patience/interest to answer them... and i've noticed that most if the questions are from women , are we more open to talk about sensitive things or more curious? Or both .

A: I judge men to be curious. I judge men to be very curious. I judge men's willingness to talk about sensitive things, in a public forum, like this one, to be a work in progress.

* * * * *

Q: The day we leave this world, will we live the true life, the eternal life? What do you think?

A: I have no idea what happens "the day we leave this world." But while I'm here, living this (non-eternal) life, I'm going to practice self-expression, love the people I'm blessed to know, and smell as many roses as possible. #sassy #shameless #overthetop

* * * * *

Q: I have always wondered if you, or any other actor, can enjoy a film or TV series like the rest of us who are not in the film and television industry, when you know so much about what goes on behind the scenes? Are you able to relax and enjoy the storyline(s) or do you find yourself analysing it; for example wondering how many takes it took to film a specific scene, comparing yourself to the other actors, critiquing another actor and so forth. Basically do movies and TV shows lose their ‘magic’ or appeal once you know all that goes into making them?

A: Have you seen "30 Days Of Night?" I remember watching that and thinking, "Oy. Must have been an exhausting shoot. Months of running around... in the snow... in the cold... at night. No thanks." I felt sorry for those actors. And (it's a "both/and" not an "either/or") I thoroughly enjoyed the result. So the answer to your question is "both." I can surrender to a TV show/movie, dig the story as a viewer, and also be aware of the mechanics of the thing, whirring and clicking below the surface. (The worse the story, the louder the whirs and clicks.) It's a dual awareness, not unlike shooting a scene. I'm "in the moment," digging for some kind of "truth," connecting with my scene partner, and I'm also conscious of where the camera is, whether I'm standing on my mark, blocking my co-star's light, etc. It's real and it's fake, it's art and it's science, it's organic and it's plastic. All at once.

* * * * *

Q: Okay a question, no idea if it's been asked before: do you have a bucket list? And if so, whats the number one thing you absolutely want to do in this lifetime?

A: I don't resonate with the concept of a "bucket list." For me, because of how I'm built, there's a danger of it becoming a "to-do" list. Then a "must-do" list. And if I don't check everything off, I "haven't lived" or I did life "wrong" or whatever. (See: "Bullsh-t.")

From an early age I was conditioned to believe My Life Will Not Be Complete Without [Fill In The Blank]. That kind of thinking is self-defeating. A set-up for disappointment. Because life doesn't guarantee squat (obviously). Marriage, kids, a career you're passionate about that also pays the bills, a mind and body that function "normally," etc... Not everyone gets those things. (Not everyone wants those things.)

I refuse to accept that that's anything less than okay.

Sure - have goals. Make plans. Dream big. But I'm careful (or I try to be careful) not to let that tip over into Wishing Things (Or I) Were Otherwise. My want is to appreciate/value what I have while I have it. To think of the life I've got today - not tomorrow - as complete, fulfilling, worthwhile. And if down the road I'm lucky enough to stand in the shadow of the mo'ai or compete on "Project Runway," great. If not, that's okay too.

* * * * *

Q: I'd like to ask about the incomprehension of the family and friends of a person whith depression. I noticed that people doesn't understand depression, and in general they julge whithout know anything about it. In your opinion, what a depression person can do in this situation?

A: When I gave my talk at Oxford, I was asked how to discuss mental health with family if you come from a background where it's not only taboo to ask for help, the very concept of mental health isn't discussed/taken seriously. One thing that's occurred to me since is this: We don't/can't always hear the people we're closest to. Your mom can tell you something 1,000 times and you're like, "Mm-hm." Then you hear it once from a stranger and you're like, "OMG! Brilliant!" (Cut to your mom rolling her eyes.)

If you're having trouble getting through to a friend/family member, recognize they may be unable to hear you because they love you/are afraid for you/struggle with the same thing, etc. Consider adding a new voice to the mix. Maybe that looks like introducing them to an expert in the field, a therapist or counselor... Bringing them to a support group where they can listen to other people discuss the subject openly... Sharing relevant videos on youtube... Putting them in touch with someone from their specific race/culture/profession who also struggles with mental health and can use language/references they understand... Keep growing the chorus, turning up the volume until that friend or family member "hears" you.

Even then it's possible they won't. But you'll know you did everything you could. Then it may be time for a more difficult conversation. Speaking for myself, I want people by my side who "get it" (or at least support it), who can ride shotgun and help me navigate life's highways. Not tin cans tied to my bumper, clanking noisily and uselessly behind me.

* * * * *

Q: Any advice for a 10 yo child (and her mom) whose highly empathic and anxious nature combined with imbalance between intellect and social maturity is causing such social issues that she dreads every day of school despite her love of learning and makes her cry "why can't I just be like other kids?" She does have a therapist, the teachers are doing their best to help the situation, and she is very active in youth theatre where she has fewer social difficulties, but it's breaking this mom's heart seeing her wonderful spirit just get crushed every day.

A: I can't fully relate to your situation, but my heart goes out to you and your daughter.

This dovetails with my previous answer re: what we can/cannot hear from those we love, but it seems to me a parent can support their child, say all the right things at the right time, and it's still not enough. They may need to hear it from someone else.

At a certain point in my early years, peers trumped parents. What the other kids thought mattered most. That's just the way it was. You've got the therapist piece in place, teachers doing their part... I'd suggest continuing to supplement the number of outside sources encouraging your daughter, reinforcing her "okayness." Specifically (carefully-selected) kids, perhaps slightly older or young adult, who share her sensitivities/sensibilities, who can spend time with her, act as mentors/models, reassuring her by word and example that "Others have been where you are and made it/are making it through. What you think of as a curse today you'll recognize as a gift tomorrow." (Maybe you've got an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America local to you, for example.)

Also - when it's age-appropriate, with guidance - there may be online communities worth exploring that provide support/affirmation to kids who aren’t finding it at school.

A final idea, which you're probably doing already: Maximize the time your child spends doing the things she loves and in which she's flourishing (like youth theatre).

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Q: I'm just worry about my son, 17 yr old. I wonder if he is gay. Sometimes I really want to ask him directly. I don't want to break down our relationship. I love him so much. Can you give me some advise?

A: I don't know the first thing about your relationship with your son, how the two of you do/don't connect, what is/isn't your familial vibe. But - putting myself in your shoes - I would probably avoid direct questions. Your son might not be gay. Or he might not know what he is yet and direct questions could force him to share something before he's ready, or to make false statements, or interrupt his process of self-discovery.*

Instead, I'd go about creating the kind of environment a queer teen might feel comfortable stepping into. Find ways to signal my unconditional love. (Only you can know what that looks like. Only you can know what will feel warm and accepting vs. clumsy or triggering.)

I'd check out organizations like PFLAG National. Educate myself. Learn how other parents have handled this. I’d bring up queer issues/news in conversation and gauge his reaction, (gently) invite him to share his thoughts. (And be cool if he claims not to have any.) I’d add LGBTQ-centric shows/movies to our Netflix queue, have queer friends over for dinner, etc. Feather the nest with love and intention, so my child (if they are qay) feels safe. Reassured that if/when they do "come out," they'll be met with nothing more dramatic than a hug.

That said, a lot of teenagers struggle with their sexuality. If you feel like your child is in or approaching a crisis, a direct approach may be essential. Again, that doesn't have to look like an interrogation ("Are you gay!?!"). You can start by stating what's true for you, so he knows where you stand. "Whatever you do... whoever you are... I support you... If there's anything you want to tell me... today, tomorrow, or a year from now... I'm here for you... Know that... You're my child and I love you... I'm on your side... Period."

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* Everything written above is an opinion. It's my truth. (Not to be confused with The Truth.) My advice re: my advice is to pick it apart. Put it back together. Get a second opinion. Then a third. Take what serves. Leave the rest. Do what works for you.

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