“The support that I’ve gotten from everyone in the Six Words community has been amazing and incredibly empowering.”
Name: Lucas Frey
Place: Spokane, Washington
SMITH member since: August, 2010
We’ve had the rare opportunity to watch Lucas Frey grow up on SMITH. Since joining SMITHTeens and Six-Word Memoirs in 2010, Luke has collectively contributed over 3,000 memoirs. He bid farewell to our teen site when he graduated in 2013, but is still going strong on sixwordmemoirs.com. On both sites, most of his writings to date were penned as “BecomingLogyn,” though he’s now known to us as BecomingLuke, a reflection of his gender identification and the personal transition he has openly shared with our community.
Transition and loss have been consistent themes in Luke’s life. His Six-Word Memoirs, filled with emotion and honesty, are a library of tragedies (“Attending my mom’s funeral via Skype.”) and triumphs (“Happiest moment: mistaken for a boy.”). They also reflect someone whose complex family relationships and life experiences derailed his innocence (“Raising hell trying to escape it.”) and propelled him to mature beyond his years. It’s hard to believe he’s just turning 20 this year!
Luke has shared his ups and downs with a forthrightness that is refreshing. We’re so glad Six Words has been a safe place where he could be brave and express himself. Join us in congratulating Luke as our Memoirist of the Month for March 2014. Our six words for Luke: “The best is yet to come.” But Luke can choose any six words he likes for his winning T-shirt, thanks to our friends at Spreadshirt. Read more in our six questions about how Luke found us and what keeps him here daily:
How did you first hear about Six-Word Memoirs and is there someone’s writing on the site that’s especially moved you?
My sophomore English teacher gave us an assignment on ”Hemingway’s six-word story.” A few weeks after the assignment was due, I was still dwelling on six words, so she told me about SMITH. Later, she let me use things I submitted to SMITH for her class assignments. Though I had accounts on both sites, I posted on SMITHteens for the first couple of years because the “big people site” seemed way too daunting for me at the time.
I absolutely love everyone on SMITH and they’ve all impacted me in their own way, but I think I’ve been moved the most by _Miracle, Believe, and DynamicDbytheC. I’m not really sure exactly how, I guess just seeing and knowing that they’ve made it through some pretty intense stuff gives me hope that I’m going to be okay.
When did you start writing, and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I think around 12 or 13, in 8th grade, is when I started really writing outside of school assignments. When I first started writing on SMITHTeens, the account “Latona/Ashton” was originally created with my brother, but I kind of took over after about a week. The main thing that really affected my writing was when my twin brother, Ashton died in December 2010. Before that I always thought I was protecting him and my other siblings by not openly saying anything. After his passing, I realized that that wasn’t really true and I wasn’t really afraid to say anything anymore.
I think I may have heard about To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) from someone at school in junior high. When I found TWLOHA on SMITH, I started out mostly posting there because it was the only section I really thought I knew—at that time, I was in and out of the hospital for different reasons involving my bipolar disorder. (“Bipolar changes evident in my writings.”)
You could say my writings on Six Words are similar to a personal blog or a journal. I check the site daily, but I don’t always write something. Sharing my transition (via Six-Word Memoirs and backstories) has been interesting at times, but the support that I’ve gotten from everyone in the Six Words community has been amazing and incredibly empowering; some days [the community’ is the only supportive thing I hear or see.
Can you share a favorite Six-Word Memoir, Moment or other backstory of yours on SMITH and tell us why it’s meaningful to you?
I think it’d have to be “Apologizing to, thanking former English teacher.” I was just so terrible to her when I was in her class—she was stuck with me for two years—even though she understood me and helped me much more than any of my other teachers. When I got to graduation I felt like I owed her a thank you and I realized I was wrong for treating her like I did.
What authors inspire you or do you admire?
From what I remember, Ellen Hopkins‘ books are what first got me writing as much as I do so she inspires me quite a bit; I admire John Green a lot, just because of the reach his books have and the community he’s been able to build online of young people who want to make a difference.
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I spend a lot of my time at the LGBT Youth Center. I’ve talked about SMITH to a few people there, I think some have made accounts and started posting. I’m on two leadership committees there and help with different programs and presentations. I’ve met some of my best friends through support groups there, people I otherwise wouldn’t meet because we live on different ends of town. When I’m not at the youth center, I usually run or draw and paint. I still play drums and trumpet sometimes, although I haven’t as much since 2012 when I moved in with my dad.
Finally, what are your Six Words for today?
I’ll probably never really shut up.