A Note To My Kid is a website, launched in June of this year, by Michael Volpatt and Patrick Wallace of Larkin-Volpatt Communications. The premise of the site began when a friend of Volpatt’s, whose son recently came out to her, asked him if she could speak with his mother about how she handled the news and dealt with the change. In response, Volpatt’s mother wrote a letter, bringing tears to his eyes and an idea to his mind. He posted the letter on his Facebook wall, and the first person to contact him was Patrick Wallace.
Together, the two have created a site which serves two main purposes. First, it is where parents, friends, and family members can send in their own notes and letters in order to “express unconditional love for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning people in their lives.” Second, and equally as impacting, is how the site can be used as resource for people who may not know how to broach the subject of sexuality, with the opportunity to learn from example. It is also possible to now upload video messages and photos to the site.
“With 2012 quickly approaching, and being such a politically important year for our community, it’s going to be ever more important for people to hear these stories from parents’ mouths,” says Wallace. “About how they discovered their child was a member of the LGBTQ community, and how they dealt with it, so others can feel the humanity behind it all.”
Volpatt agrees with his co-founders sentiments. “It humanizes it. In the long term, the gay community can see there are those that absolutely love them, and for people who are questioning ‘do i agree with gay marriage or homosexuality or whatever,’ they can see that these are people too and they’re loved by people who care about them,” he says. “I think it helps feed the conversation.”
The content on the site is a tool for members of the community and those curious about the community to understand first the complexities of these dynamic relationships, then the simplicity behind the notion of unconditional love.
“I think that people are so quick to label and assume that they understand a certain person’s lifestyle that may be different from theirs or they don’t care to,” says Volpatt, “but these letters give a lot of background and color to the entire experience of coming out to your family.”
“We really want to help bring LGBT families closer together. To be able to share their personal stories not only so others can benefit from them, not only so that members can see that there’s a lot of love out there – but also so parents who may not know how to have that very important conversation about sexuality with their child can have the opportunity to learn from the letters on the site. We want to give them the opportunity to figure out how to sit down and have that conversation.”
The content already on the site encompasses a large breath of experience, from across the globe. This letter is the first from one brother to another on the site, called “A Note to John from His Brother, Rob” where Rob writes, “You didn’t want me to be there for you back then, but I never stopped worrying about you and loving you like only a brother can. We are rebuilding a friendship, little by little, that circumstance nearly tore apart. Please know that I will be there for you through all of the ups and downs that life has for you.”
This letter is from a mother to her transgender daughter, called “A Note To DJ from Mom.” She writes, “When you made the decision to make the changes needed to become the woman that you are, I had a gamut of feelings for about 12 hours … I woke up the morning after you shared your news with me with a sense of peace. My dream that night was a memory of you as an infant … I had dressed you in hand me downs, and all the laundry was dirty. Thinking that it wouldn’t matter, I put you in a pink sleeper with a ruffly collar, and you were so beautiful, so transformed and girly, that I took it off and ran laundry rather than dressing you in it … back to the Osh Kosh overalls for you.”
And, perhaps the letter that makes this writer reach for the tissue box the most (though they all do in the end) is a letter that one man wrote to his gay brother from the voice of their late mother, called “A Note to David: What Mom Would Have Said.”
The site is full of more encouraging, inspiring, and touching posts expressing unconditional love and support for members of the LGBTQ community. This movement has a huge potential to serve as an invaluable tool to both individuals afraid to come out of the closet, and to family members and friends searching for ways to understand such revelations and be as supportive as possible.
So, dot429.com encourages you or your family members and friends to write a note, share a video, pr submit a photo. Share something special with the LGBTQ person you love on aNoteToMyKid.com. Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/anotetomykid and follow them on twitter @aNoteToMyKid