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Okay, here it is everybody. Over the past couple of months, I have marveled at your notes, your posts, your letters and your comments to me. So many of you have taken to my Facebook page, the AfterEllen web site and several other on-line locations to communicate with me. I've also met thousands of you, in person, and you've hand delivered your letters. I have read every single one of those. I am writing to you today because of something magical and profoundly moving in what I've been reading in your letters... especially after I was on the Oprah Show and then the Ellen Show. It's as if you'd all had one gigantic conference call and you'd made a decision to bombard me with the exact same sentiment. Thousands of you have written nearly identical messages to me– publicly and privately. That message is simply this, "Chely, thank you for coming out. It's so good to know that there are others like me". Of course, I was satisfied and pleased that it seemed I had chosen an appropriate title for my book after all, but more importantly, I was being comforted by meeting all of you too. Getting out there in the world and seeing all of you has been a healing salve for the isolation that I'd endured for 39 years of my life. No one wants to feel alone and I certainly don't feel alone anymore. So here we were... healing one another with our very existence. Learning that the other was out there, being comforted by the mere knowledge that we were less alone that we thought we were. I think that's nice.
So, with that said, the words LIKEME mean more to me than I ever imagined they would, and I'm coming to learn that the words LIKEME have nestled a spot in hearts of so many of you. So, this is ours.
LIKEME is about inclusion. LIKEME is about meeting and knowing people and choosing to seek out the ways in which we might be similar rather than they ways we might be different. LIKEME is about support. LIKEME is about respect. LIKEME is about being an individual and celebrating other people's individuality. LIKEME is about being who you are meant to be. LIKEME