Lyra McKee’s Letter To My 14 Year Old Self – Short Film

Lyra McKee’s Letter To My 14 Year Old Self – Short Film


Kid, It’s going to be okay. I know you’re not feeling that way right
now. You’re sitting in school. The other kids are making fun of you. You told the wrong
person you had a crush and soon, they all knew your secret. It’s horrible. They make
your life hell. They laugh at you, whisper about you and call you names. It’s not nice.
And you can’t ask an adult for help because if you did that, you’d have to tell them
the truth and you can’t do that. They can’t ever know your secret. Life is so hard right now. Every day, you
wake up wondering who else will find out your secret and hate you. It won’t always be like this. It’s going
to get better. In a year’s time, you’re going to join
a scheme that trains people your age to be journalists. I know the careers teacher suggested
that as an option and you said no, because it sounded boring and all you wanted to do
was write, but go with it. For the first time in your life, you will feel like you’re
good at something useful. You’ll have found your calling. You’ll meet amazing people.
And when the bad times come again – FYI, your first girlfriend is not “the one”
and you will screw up that History exam – it will be journalism that helps you soldier
on. In two years time, you will leave school and
go to a local technical college. Don’t worry – you’re going to make friends. These
will be your first real friends in semi-adulthood, the people who will answer your calls at 4
O’Clock in the morning. In the years to come, you’ll only keep in touch with Gavyn
and Jonny but you’ll remember the others fondly. When you’re 17, you’ll tell them
your secret and they won’t mind. It will take courage but you will do it. Gavyn will
become Christian and you will fear that he will hate you but one afternoon, you’ll
receive a text message saying: “This changes nothing. You’ll always be my friend.”
Accept him for what he is as he has accepted you. You’ll go to university, like you always
planned to, but you’ll drop out because it reminds you of school where people were
cold and you had few friends. The campus is just too big and scary. But this experience
will be the making of you. You’ll be making your way in the world for the first time.
Through this, you will meet the people who become your best friends. They’ll help you
replace all the bad memories with good ones. For the first time in your life, you will
like yourself. Three months before your 21st birthday, you
will tell Mum the secret. You will be sobbing and shaking and she will be frightened because
she doesn’t know what’s wrong. Christmas will be just a couple of weeks away. You have
to tell her because you’ve met someone you like and you can’t live with the guilt anymore.
You can’t get the words out so she says it: “Are you gay?” And you will say, “Yes
Mummy, I’m so sorry.” And instead of getting mad, she will reply “Thank God you’re
not pregnant”. You will crawl into her lap, sobbing, as she holds you and tells you that
you are her little girl and how could you ever think that anything would make her love
you any less? You will feel like a prisoner who has been given their freedom. You will
remember all the times you pleaded with God to help you because you were so afraid and
you will feel so foolish because you had nothing to worry about. You will tell your siblings. No one will mind.
Mary will hug you in the food court in Castlecourt as you eat KFC together and tell you she’s
so proud of you. The others will joke about how they always knew. They will all say some
variation of “I love you,” “I’m so proud of you”, “This doesn’t change
a thing.” You will feel so lucky. You watched James
get thrown out of his house after coming out to his parents. You were in Michael’s house
the night his Mum said she would “beat the gay out of him”. You will feel guilty for
being the lucky one and getting it easy in the end, even though you went through hell
to get there. You will fall in love for the first time.
You will have your heart broken for the first time and you will feel like you might die
of the pain. You won’t. You will get over it. Right now, you’re wondering if you’ll
ever be “normal”. You are normal. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not going
to hell. You did nothing to deserve their hate. Life will not only get easier, it will get
so much better. You will walk down the street without fear. Teenage boys you’ve never
met will not throw things at you and shout names. Your friends will be the best anyone
could ask for. You will be invited to parties. You will have a social life. You will be loved.
People will use words like “awesome” and “cool” and “witty” to describe you
and you’ll forget the times the other kids said you were “weird” and “odd” and
a “lesbo”. You will do “normal” things. You will
spend time with your Mum. You will go to work and pay your bills. You will go to the cinema
with your best friend every week because that’s your ritual – dinner then an action movie
where things explode. You will fall in love again. You will smile every day, knowing that
someone loves you as much as you love them. Keep hanging on, kid. It’s worth it. I love
you.

61 thoughts on “Lyra McKee’s Letter To My 14 Year Old Self – Short Film

  1. Rest in peace Lyra. I am devastated at your passing and the cruel, barbaric way you were taken from us tonight. Murdered, by terrorists while doing your job in beautiful Derry city. You will live on forever through your writing and journalism and we will never let your memory fade. I am in tears writing this . We love you ❤

  2. Lyra McKee was shot dead by dissident Republicans last night. Following the news reports led me to this wonderful film.

  3. Rest in peace Lyra ask God not to let the senseless violence that took you erupt all over again please for all our sakes.

  4. I'm not crying, YOU'RE CRYING! Seriously, if you can watch that without crying, you're made of stone. Rest in power, Lyra McKee. You made the world a better place.

  5. Absolutely heartbroken. I'm a bloke in his 40's; I saw this video about a year ago and it made me cry. One of the most human things to which I have ever listened. RIP Lyra and all my condolences to her family and partner

  6. Lovely little film 🙂 Only seen realised who it's writer was half way through my comment. My love to her family and friends, may she rest in peace

  7. Beautiful words. What a messed up World we live in. Thankfully there will always be people like Lyra to show us the way.

  8. That was lovely. But, (and I hate to be the ghost at The Feast) this is some what of a precise "homage" to that sequence in V For Vendetta.

  9. May God welcome you in Heaven and may He forgive those who judged you and the entire LGBTQ family. Although I didn’t meet you, I know what you have been through and thanks for being such a wonderful woman with unlimited potentials and your words will change someone’s mind.

  10. @StayBeautifulFilms1 This video is so moving. Lyra was an amazing lady x Thanks for making this xxx

    I strongly suggest you make more films xxx

  11. May your love and strength stay with us always, and guide us all, that we may heal this land.
    Rest in peace. No farewell is forever.

  12. My Italian translation of this wonderful letter. Thank you Lyra.

    Ragazza/o,

    Andrà tutto bene.

    Lo so che al momento non ti senti così. Sei seduta a scuola. Gli altri ragazzi ti stanno prendendo in giro. Hai detto alla persona sbagliata che avevi una cotta e presto tutti conosceranno il tuo segreto. E’ orribile. Renderanno la tua vita un inferno. Rideranno di te, bisbiglieranno cose su di te e ti daranno nomignioli. Questo non è bello. E non puoi neppure chiedere aiuto ad un adulto perché se lo facessi dovresti dire a quell’adulto la verità e non puoi farlo. Nessuno potrà mai conoscere il tuo segreto.

    La vita è così dura al momento. Ogni giorno ti svegli chiedendoti chi altro scoprirà il tuo segreto e ti odierà.

    Non sarà sempre così. Andrà meglio.

    Tempo un anno e ti iscriverai ad una scuola che insegna alle persone della tua età a diventare giornalisti. Lo so che l’insegnante ti ha suggerito questa opzione e tu hai detto no perché ti sembrava noioso e tu volevi solo scrivere, ma fallo. Per la prima volta nella tua vita ti sentirai che sei brava in qualcosa di utile. Avrai trovato la tua strada. Incontrerai persone fantastiche. E quando i brutti momenti arriveranno di nuovo – per inciso, la tua prima ragazza non sarà “quella definitiva” e non passerai quell’esame di storia – sarà il giornalismo che ti aiuterà a riprenderti.

    Tempo due anni e lascerai la scuola per andare ad una scuola tecnica. Non preoccuparti – ti farai degli amici. Questi saranno i tuoi primi veri amici da semi-adulta, le persone che risponderanno alle tue chiamate alle 4 di mattina. Negli anni a venire manterrai contatti con Gavyn e Jonny ma ricorderai gli altri con affetto. Quando avrai 17 anni, gli dirai il tuo segreto e loro non avranno problemi. Ci vorrà coraggio, ma lo farai. Gavyn diventerà Cristiano e tu avrai paura che ti odierà ma un pomeriggio riceverai un messaggio con scritto “Questo non cambia nulla. Sarai sempre mia amica”. Accettalo per ciò che lui è come lui ha accettato te.

    Andrai all’Università, come programmato, ma la lascerai perché ti ricorderà dei tempi della scuola dove le persone erano fredde e avevi pochi amici. Il campus sarà troppo grande e spaventoso, ma questa esperienza ti formerà. Tu starai forgiando la tua strada nel mondo per la prima volta. Attraverso questa esperienza, incontrerai le persone che diventeranno i tuoi migliori amici. Ti aiuteranno a formare buoni ricordi sulle brutte memorie di un tempo. Per la prima volta nella tua vita sarai te stesso.

    Tre mesi prima del tuo ventunesimo compleanno, dirai a tua mamma il tuo segreto. Sarai in lacrime e starai tremendo e lei sarà spaventata perché non saprà cosa c’è che non va. Natale arriverà tra solo due settimane. Devi dirglielo perché hai incontrato qualcuno che ti piace e non ce la fai più a vivere con il senso di colpa. Non riuscirai a tirare fuori le parole così lei ti dirà “Sei gay?” e tu dirai “Si Mamma, mi dispiace così tanto”. E invece di arrabbiarsi lei risponderà “ grazie a Dio non sei incinta”. Tu ti aggomitolerai tra le sue braccia, piangendo, mentre lei ti stringe e ti dice che tu sei la sua piccola e come hai potuto mai pensare che qualsiasi cosa al mondo potesse intaccare il suo amore? Ti sentirai come un prigioniero che ha riguadagnato la libertà. Ti ricorderai di tutte le volte che hai pregato l’aiuto di Dio perché eri così preoccupata e ti sentirai così stupida perché non c’era nulla di cui preoccuparsi.

    Lo dirai ai tuoi fratelli e sorelle. Per nessuno sarà un problema. Mary ti abbraccerà mentre mangiate un panino insieme da KFC e ti dirà che è così orgogliosa di te. Gli altri faranno battute sul fatto che l’avevano sempre saputo. Diranno tutti variazioni tra “ ti voglio bene”, “sono così orgoglioso di te”, “questo non cambia niente”.

    Ti sentirai così fortunata. Guarderai James essere buttato fuori di casa dopo aver fatto coming out con i suoi genitori, ed eri a casa di Michael quella notte in cui la mamma ha detto che lo avrebbe picchiato fino a guarirlo [“beat the gay out of him”]. Ti sentirai in colpa per essere stata “quella fortunata” e aver avuto la vita facile alla fine, anche se tu avrai passato l’inferno per arrivare dove sei arrivata.

    Ti innamorerai per la prima volta. Avrai il cuore spezzato per la prima volta e ti sentirai di morire dal dolore. Non accadrà. La supererai.

    Adesso ti chiedi se sarai mai “normale”. Tu sei normale. Non c’è nulla di sbagliato in te. Non andrai all’Inferno. Non hai fatto nulla per meritarti il loro odio. La vita non solo sarà più facile, sarà così migliore. Camminerai per le strade senza paura. Ragazzini sconosciuti non ti tireranno cose per la via chiamandoti con nomignoli. I tuoi amici saranno i migliori che si potessero desiderare. Sarai invitata alle feste. Avrai una vita sociale. Sarai amata. Le persone useranno parole come “fantastica”, “figa” e “spiritosa” per descriverti e ti dimenticherai dei tempi in cui gli altri ragazzi ti chiamavano “quella strana” e “lesbo”.

    Farai cose “normali”. Passerai tempo con tua madre, andrai a lavoro e pagherai le tue bollette. Andrai al cinema con i tuoi amici ogni settimana perché è il tuo rituale – cena e poi un action movie in cui ci sono esplosioni. Ti innamorerai di nuovo. Sorriderai ogni giorno sapendo che qualcuno ti ama tanto quanto tu lo/la ami.

    Continua a tenere duro, ragazzo / a. Ti voglio bene.

  13. Just a couple of random thoughts. This has the feel of a government information /propaganda film, and it seems that this has only been viewed in the days since this woman's death, as there are only about two comments here that pre-date it. Listening to this guff – and assuming that it isn't pure fiction, which I'm pretty sure it is – I can only think that the average lesbian has a much easier time of it than does the average heterosexual beta male. Don't be upset folks : this woman is either alive and well and living under a new identity, or this persona never existed in the first place. We're told that she was filming before the fatal bullet struck her in the head. I wonder when the footage will be released.

  14. I hope your death isn't meaningless and that this tragic loss may help the people of N. Ireland finally find a path to peace. I grew up in belfast, such a beautiful city, but such a sad story.

  15. This woman was a professional victim who believed in identity politics – she spread hatred , bigotry and ignorance. The fact that the criminal media think so high of her tells you all you need to know. She was an intolerant latter day fascist – an ignorant mouthpiece for globalist elites. She was a fascist and nothing more.

  16. Peast in peace. I luv this short film. Let ur heart be at rest. Yoj have done so many amazing thing in your life even tho it was cut short. You will always be remembered by doing fabulous and fantastic things. Im sending my love to all those in greiving bc of this amazing woman

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