For the fourth year in a row, AE is proud to support the It Gets Better Project by donating 100% of sales of our annual Pride collection to the nonprofit, which uplifts, empowers, and connects LGBTQ+ youth around the world. But inclusivity starts from the inside out, which is why we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on what equality, individuality, and a better future mean to us.
We kicked off our series of guest posts about love, acceptance, and how it really DOES get better with our Global Brand President, Chad Kessler, and have followed up with posts from associates across the country. Now, AE associate Danielle in Hawaii shares the best advice she ever received: love yourself before you love anyone else.
Aerie Selling Manager in Hawaii
The best advice I was ever given was given to me in high school. I was going through a transition phase where I wasn’t sure who I wanted to be and more so who I wanted to be with. While my friends were girls dating guys or guys dating girls, there were few people in my school who actually stepped out to be exactly who they wanted to be. I didn’t know a lot of girls who liked girls back then. Or guys who liked guys.
I was speaking to a teacher one day and he told me to just love myself before I love anyone else. And when I choose to love someone, that I would make that decision based off of how I feel, and not on what everyone else has to say. He told me that being gay was just a label. It doesn’t matter who you choose to love, it just matters how they love you. As long as you are happy and you are 100% loving yourself, there is no reason to be fearful of being exactly what you are.
If you are gay or if you are straight, it doesn’t matter. Everybody in this world is equal. Everybody in this world deserves love. That is the best advice that I was given.
And since that day, I have never let that go. I have gone through ups and downs and at the end of my journey I have found my wife.
So, no matter who you are, make sure you are always loving yourself. Because you deserve it.
Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Share it with #ItGetsBetter @americaneagle to show your support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the world!