Growing up the LGBTQ+ Community had more acceptance than ever before, however, it was still looked down upon by my family and they were the only exposure I had ever had to it. My mind was always filled with harsh judgements and stereotypes from a very young age. The weird thing was that I wasn’t prejudice against the LGBT Community as I was growing up, I was scared that I was gay or bisexual. The thought of being ostracized from my family absolutely terrified me.
As I got older there was the constant thought in the back of my head: what if I like girls? I had known that I liked girls since I was five years old, but I didn’t fully understand what it meant. For me, constantly asking myself this question made it a mere thought in the back of my head rather than a reality.
Freshman year of high school I had my first crush on a girl. It was the best feeling but also the worst at the same time. I finally liked somebody and they liked me back, but I felt that I couldn’t do anything about it because I was scared of the judgement I would face at home and at school. I pushed down my feelings as much as I could. I did everything to make myself not like girls. I forced myself to stop liking this girl, I forced myself to like boys, and I came up with a list of reasons why I can’t like girls. None of it worked because at the end of the day I’m attracted to both boys and girls and there’s nothing I can do to convince myself otherwise. One day I finally came to the realization that I didn’t want to settle in life. I wanted to live as authentically as possible, and to be able to do that, I couldn’t hide who I was.
Accepting who I truly am has honestly changed my life. Right now, although I haven’t met “the one” and I’m still in high school learning about myself, I can honestly say that I am content with my life. I know who I am and who I want to grow to be. A year ago I wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to have the picture perfect life with a husband and three kids. Although that is the ideal future for many people, it wasn’t what I truly wanted. Yet again I convinced myself I wanted be something because that was who society was telling me be. After I finally accepted myself, I took time to figure out who I was. For me, that was extremely difficult because I’m a teenager after all. I haven’t experienced many things. However, I started where my interests were: reading and writing. I began to write every night about any little thing that happened during my day and I would create it into short stories. I feel free when I write, I enter a world that I am creating for myself.
Once I started being my true self, my friends and family noticed a difference. They saw that I was happier and more confident, and I really was. Those who I have come out to so far have been extremely accepting. I know that not everyone is able to come out and have a positive reaction, but don’t let that deter you from being yourself.
Moral of the story is that if you are experiencing these kinds of feelings toward someone of the same gender as you, then that is perfectly fine. If you are having contradicting feelings then that is okay, too. If this is still a deep secret for you, then take your time and come out when you are ready. High school is already difficult, but finding who you are and dealing with how you’ll proceed with your life is even more difficult. Find a close friend that you can really trust. Start a general conversation about sexuality and see how they react. Having someone by your side during this time is incredibly helpful. Remember to take it one step at a time. This is your life so you get to decide how fast or how slow you want to take this. I promise that your life will truly begin the moment when you decide to accept yourself for who you truly are.