“I am gay”
These three words may look very simple on paper but the amount of weight they carry and the constant struggle one goes through before some courage is mustered to reveal this to oneself and anyone else is immense.
As much as most of us would want to believe that we are in the 21 st century where talking about who you are without being judged, humiliated, and mentally and emotionally isolated shouldn’t be very hard and that people would accept it just as any other fact about you, the picture isn’t so glittery and bright.
The fear of judgment, isolation, and confronting your sexual orientation and gender identity starts
within the self- a place from where most of our fears, insecurities, and criticism stems. A place where acceptance and support are most vital before reaching out to others for the same.
Coming out to yourself is the hardest of the battles and it may take months and years before you accept yourself for who you truly are. It’s not a spur of the moment rather a process that is freeing and painful at the same time.
Entering the phase of life when you are undergoing major changes in your sexual development is extremely hard to comprehend. It's not just the physical change that is happening but associated emotional and spiritual changes that occur with it that take us on a big rollercoaster ride whose lever breaks as soon as the ride starts.
As soon as you embark on this journey, you’ll see co-passengers with you having different reactions to the ride. Many find it exhilarating with its ups and downs and back and forth as if they came prepared for it, some are weeping endlessly not knowing what to do and some sit their confused, dazed, and scared to even utter a word for they fear they might fall down and lose all control if they said anything.
You are held hostage to this ride of your sexual feelings, thoughts, and development, and before you even start figuring out what changes are occurring within yourself; the ride goes down and churns your stomach and senses. Every time you feel that you are gaining some understanding about yourself, a fresh gust of thoughts, expectations, insecurities, and validation is hit on your face and you fall back to the confusing state of square one. There is no respite. The constant ups and down and back and forth leave you completely out of control and out of breath while all you are doing is just sitting on the ride.
This is what coming out as a person belonging to LGBTQIA+ feels like. The constant battle between what you truly feel and whether society will approve of it or not. The struggle to have self- acceptance of your own feelings rather than invalidating them as mere crushes or attraction that will fade away with time. The fear of finding yourself gazing at the same gender person’s body for a long time before you realize what you just did.
Since the community is so vast with its own subcategories, the struggle of different people is
different; some struggle with their undeniable sexual attraction towards the same gender person in their class, some struggle with feeling comfortable in their own skin and the body they have been expected to live in, and some struggle with the acceptance of any sexual feelings or thoughts at all.
Therefore, coming out to yourself by accepting your struggle, accepting the emotions that you have rather than invalidating them, and going easy on yourself for every emotion you feel is important because this is who you are. This roller coaster ride is inevitable but you can make it easy for yourself by giving yourself the time and space to accept that everything you feel doesn’t make you any less human than you are or any less worthy than you are.
We are a society that is progressing materialistically but still laid back when it comes to progressing mentally and emotionally as more and more areas, topics and conversations are gaining awareness.
Accept yourself and love yourself so that you have enough love to outweigh and neutralize any reactions or responses from others that might bring you any kind of hurt.
BE GAY. BE PROUD.