When I was 12 years old I started to question my sexuality. I had just turned 13 when I began questioning my gender. At first I didn’t know of any terms to describe myself, but by using the internet I was able to find out more words that fit. The internet is one of the most common ways that LGBTQ+ people can explore, find terms, and connect with one another quickly. It even helped me to find myself.
As I settled on the labels asexual, panromantic, and fluxfluid – a combination of genderflux and gender fluid – I found myself fearful of being found out. One of the most common things that comes with being LGBTQ+ is fear. So I came out, first with my sexuality and later with my gender. However, I’m not out yet at school and face the fear of being outed every day. It can be difficult and frightening to go to a school where I can’t be who I am, but being LGBTQ+ has let me meet new and amazing people and given me the opportunity to participate in Project Contrast.
So, for those who are struggling with being who you are: you are who you are. And being LGBTQ+ is part of you. If someone doesn’t accept that and you can cut them out of your life, then the sooner the better because you don’t deserve that type of negativity and hurt. And remember, there will be always be someone who will help you and accept you. It doesn’t matter how long your journey takes, or when you start it, or what labels you choose. Identity is a difficult thing for all of us. Sometimes being a minority will affect that.
You deserve to be respected and to have the tools to discover who you are, like I did. With these tools you can learn how being LGBTQ+ affects you and your relationship with the world. So, while you may be afraid and frightened, take your time on your journey and don’t be afraid to ask for help from other LGBTQ+ people.