A Note To My Younger Self: Benjamin Law

We’re celebrating Sydney Mardi Gras 2019 with our friends at Minus18. 100% of proceeds from our House of Holland Rainbow Waves charity collection will be donated to the LGBTIQ+ youth foundation from now until 31st March. Minus18 supports young LGBTIQ+ people through events, workshops, and education. So we asked some influential members of the LGBTIQ+ community what words of wisdom and reassurance they would pen in a note to their younger selves.

Here, Benjamin Law, journalist, columnist, author and screenwriter of book-turned-award-winning-TV-series The Family Law (amongst many other brilliant credits) says G'day to adolescent him.

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G’day Benjamin,

(Yep: you’ll start using the greeting “g’day” regularly in your 30s. No, I don’t know how this happened either.)

First up: you need to do something about that acne. Unlike your friends, yours isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, it’ll only get worse. Soon, your entire face is going to resemble a giant, angry blister, and it’s going to stay that way for several years. It’ll wreck your self-esteem in the years you’re supposed to be at your youthful, dewy best. You’re already considering that hardcore medication that’ll actually induce nosebleeds as a side effect. It’s brutal, you’re scared, but trust me: it’ll work. Get onto it.

Another thing. You already know being gay is a social liability where you live, because you’re smart and observant AND HAVE A BRAIN. It’s why you’re already daydreaming about leaving. But also know that your differences – being Asian, being gay – will be your assets when you’re an adult. You’ll grow up to be a full-time writer and storyteller – yes, even though you desperately want to be an actor on a soap opera (IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, BABES) – and what stories require is originality. Having an inbuilt different perspective means you have an advantage.

Finally: be kinder to your parents. Because right now, you’re being a (fame-obsessed, acne-riddled) little jerk. You’re going to get to their age soon enough, and it’ll be unfathomable to you how they raised so many kids while working insane hours, in a country far from home. You’ll realise they’re doing a bloody incredible job. So much so, you’ll write about your family later on that’ll make complete strangers tell you they wish they’d been raised by your Mum and Dad.

Lots of love,
—Ben

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If that wasn't example enough of the power of putting pen to paper, we're donating 100% of proceeds from House of Holland's Rainbow Waves charity collection to Minus18 until 31st March.

SHOP RAINBOW WAVES

And if you want to see more of Benjamin's younger self, all episodes of The Family Law are available to watch on SBS On Demand.