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Emily Wood is a love chalice full of water that is pouring over. The fountain of love is overflowing. That is the impact of her energy and kindness.

We met Emily in the winter of 2020, where she was the makeup artist on one of our fashion editorials. Since then, Emily is a reserved favourite to paint the faces of the many people that have been featured throughout GAY TIMES editorial shoots.

It’s not just the makeup skill that we admire, but it’s the radiating positivity she brings to every room and set.

She writes her letter to her best friend Vicky, aka Tally Beans: “As somebody who was internally questioning her sexuality, whilst growing up in a suburban, heteronormative area, it felt safe to have a friend who was so radically accepting.

“Although it wouldn’t be till years later that I come out and tell you I’m queer, watching you always questioning the norms and conventions was so special and important.”

It’s the notion of being the example rather than the lesson, the healing and honest power of love can be soaked up by the receiver.

“There is no one on this planet like you, Tally Beans.”

You can read Emily’s love letter in full below.

There is no one on this planet like you, Tally Beans,

We met 22 years ago at primary school. You weren’t in my class and, if we’re honest, we’re both fairly confident that we never shared one word with each other until the last term of year 6.

And we only started talking because we heard that we would both be attending the same high school. Yep, just like that I’ve shattered the perpetuated myth that we’ve been best friends since four.

So 2007 is when our story truthfully began. I wasn’t consumed by the worry that I’d experienced in other new friendships, we just effortlessly existed in each other’s orbits, without complications.

Some time after this though, we slowly started to learn that life can be unfair and dark. I feel unbelievably honoured to have had each other through it all. The panic attacks, grief, sadness.

These are some of my most illuminating and cherished moments. To be that young and have the privilege of being friends with somebody who completely sees you and holds you and supports you is the biggest gift.

You taught me the all the beautiful parts of being a best friend, but also showed me how to be better person. You have always showered people with kindness and compassion.

Even at such a young age you were more concerned with these eternal truths than the latest popular thing. Never distracted by the new fashion trend, the new pupil, the new unsafe social spaces that I desperately wanted to be part of.

It always felt like you’d been here before. A hundred times over. An old soul who knew what life was really about. You seemed to naturally know it was best to chose true acceptance and love.

So, I think I’ve conveyed how deeply kind and wise you are but that doesn’t mean you’re a complete angel. I also love this about you. With this wisdom came a rebelliousness. Kids who really know themselves are rarely rule followers. One of my favourite memories is my nana (who is also your beloved empress) finding out that you smoked.

We were walking home from college and saw a car slow down beside us. Nana Sylvia rolls down her window and says despairingly, “Who smokes in the street?!” You inform her, “Smoking hasn’t been legal indoors since 2007, nana.”

I had spinal fusion for my scoliosis at 14. I will never forget your comfort in all the chaos. Lying silent for hours with me. Helping me to the toilet. Being there for mum. What came with this though, is that you were vicariously operated on too.

I decided post op that I would never attend another PE lesson ever again. Therefore neither did you. Our mums had a joint meeting with our PE teacher at parents evening and feigned shock, as if they weren’t fully aware of our dire attendance.

Australia has whisked you away and is showing you the time you have been longing for. I miss you more than words can articulate but watching you glow sets my soul on fire. I adore you forever.

All my love


Through the coming weeks you will get to know more GAY TIMES chosen family member in even more vibrant depth, and in even more Calvin Klein designs – online and across our social platforms.

They all undoubtedly have different superpowers connected to love, but the universal message is the same: Love never stops.

It’s all around us and everywhere we go. Queerness is love. You are love. We are love. This is LOVE.