To the Younger Me: a PRIDE Letter from Megan

RBC Capital Markets’ Megan Schippmann, Associate Strategist, Commodity Strategy, commemorated PRIDE month by writing a letter to her younger self about all of the challenges, growth and triumph that comes with growing up LGBT+.

Dear Tiny Megan,

You will be told many times in your life that “normal” means to be occurring naturally, and conforming to a type, standard or regular expected pattern. I hope that you will reject the term “normal.”

At 18 years old, you will come out as gay to your parents and brother, and be unexpectedly outed at your conservative Texas high school. You will feel isolated, and you will grapple with merging the intricacies of your identity to what you have been told is or is not normal. You will hear that it is not normal for a woman to love a woman, it is not normal for a lesbian to have long hair or wear makeup and it is not normal for a woman to focus on her career first. The word “normal” will haunt you.

But hold strong – there is much to look forward to. At home, your family will serve as constant steel in your backbone. In college, you will help serve as an out and proud leader. Romantically, you will be celebrated by your incredible girlfriend. And professionally, you will be empowered by a firm like RBC. During your career at RBC, your bosses will be friends and mentors, and the PRIDE Employee Resource Group will provide a platform for you to work on advancing the interests of the LGBT+ community. Make sure you thank your supporters along the way.

It will be a journey, but you will embrace yourself and your confidence in the next few years. I wish I could tell you that you will have all the answers, but you will not. Instead, you will simply seek further understanding yourself.

In your first year living in New York, you will again be on the forefront of an identity adventure, seeking to better comprehend the significance of your intersectionality with gender. Beautiful or handsome, normal or different, you will see that the common distinctions lack meaning because you and the people around you are anything and everything beyond and in between. Social contraptions that confine what it means to be a man or a woman, and focus on certain definitions of “normal,” will often prevail in the world around you. But on your own personal journey, seek to step back from defining people by their differences, and instead work to empower people’s similarities.

Most importantly, make sure that the people who come after you know that conforming to what’s normal is not what will help you be your most authentic self, nor will it help you succeed.

Forget “normal,” and find you instead.

All the best,