Lots of you took the time to share your experiences, opinions and you have offered some advice. The information below has been given by Young People like you, young people who are LGBTQ, who are dealing with being LGBTQ every day. They have taken the time to offer you some advice and help you to understand that being LGBTQ is Okay and that you can be yourself! We have all been scared, confused and fete alone at some point but it’s important to know that being yourself is the most important and rewarding thing.
What would you say to someone like you who feels alone or confused?
“There are people who have gone before us, and there will people who come after us. All with our own history. Chely Wright once said that you need to feel safe and able to come out. Not everyone is ready. If you don’t feel safe at home then seek help through stonewall or other charities. They will understand”.
“Reach out to someone you trust. They may help you on a path to figuring yourself out”.
“You’re not alone, try and keep the negative thoughts out of your head, because they are merely just thoughts”.
“Be proud of who you are”
“I would try, without belittling their own journey and experiences, tell them that there is a strong likelihood that the majority of people surrounding them are struggling with something. The only reason why I would do this is so the individual would feel like less of a monster / so alone”.
“You’re not alone. We have to get out there and make it better for it to get better”.
“The first thing I’d say to anybody like me who feels alone or confused would be, you’re not alone. Despite the fact it feels like it, there’s a whole community waiting to accept you, because that’s what you deserve. It’s okay to be feeling confused, and there are many people out there who can help you work out what it is you’re feeling. There’s nothing wrong with that”.
“I’d say find someone to talk to, someone who you are comfortable with, be it online or in person. Read, listen and take part in queer media – it goes a long way to helping you feel part of the community. Be comfortable with yourself”.
“It’s ok. There are so many other people in your shoes. You are not alone”.
“Look for opportunities to volunteer with lgbtq organizations and meet other people. Look for resources online”.
“That although being out and happy feels utterly impossible at the time, you will and can get there. you need to push yourself, be brave, do things that scare you if you know they will help you move forwards”.
Kind and reassuring words from lots of Young LGBTQ People like you. One of the most common things here is that speaking to someone you trust and can understand you is very important. This can help you feel better about yourself and help you to take the next step when you are ready. You may not have to ‘Come Out’ as such but feeling good in your own body is important first.
There are things that we can do together to make things better…
If you could make a change in your school/college or work place what would you like to see happen?
*Have more openly queer students involved in school activities and making it known that its okay and normal to be yourself.
*People becoming aware of the language they use.
*More education on LGBTQ subjects
*For schools / colleges to take more action against anti gay bullying etc.
*Policy statement against *phobic and racist speech; adoption of a Safe Space-type designation that means something.
*In school, I’d want to see teachers taking some sort of stance against transphobia and homophobia. These are real issues, but instead most teachers seem intent on pushing it under the rug like it doesn’t actually matter. I’ve been on the receiving end of enough homophobia to know that it does matter, and teachers need to create a safe space, which is inclusive and not just tolerant.
*Proper sex education that doesn’t ignore LGBT individuals, even in religious schools. They sometimes bend religious teachings to provide information for sexually active heterosexuals but not LGBT people, which I think is unacceptable.
*I would have more visible support information.
Tell us what your favourite thing is about being Out?
“Allowing people to ask about being gay without feeling like they are stepping over the line. Openness & education is the key”.
“being unique and different!”
“I get to be myself. And that is something I think we all strive for. I recently came out to an old college friend who asked me how life was after not seeing each other for a while. Usually I’d b*tch about work, plans to travel somewhere, anything that didn’t involve any reference to me being a lesbian. But this time, after splitting up with my ex – girlfriend and dealing with so much hurt and emptiness in the quite erratic moment just thought you know what.. I’ll be completely honest and say how down I was feeling and why. And breaking down this barrier has only made our friendship stronger. It’s weird, when someone knows his about me I feel I can look them in the eye, the same happened after I told my parents. I just felt more honest with myself and with others. It feels good”.
“To the people I’ve told it’s a relief because I don’t have to hide or lie”.
“It gets it over with and life will go on. No one knows how to deal with “bi” so hopefully look forward to an “oh” and nothing changing”.
“My favourite thing about being out is not having to constantly censor myself. I can say what I want, when I want, because everybody knows I’m gay, whereas before I was constantly checking myself, to make sure I wouldn’t ‘give it away”.
“My favourite thing about being out… being able to be myself, without having to watch my pronouns, without having to explain or justify anything”.
“I’m living an authentic life”.
“Life is so much easier! Harder in other ways, but in the months before I came out , it was on my mind all the time and I felt like I was suffocating if I didn’t tell people the truth. I hated having to lie. Also, being out gets me more girls ;)”.
As you can see above there are lots of reasons why being OUT is a positive thing! Yes there will be difficult times and times when you wish you didn’t have to be Out, but from what we’ve all experienced being is Out is better for lots of us. For me it was definitely a relief. All I wanted to do was to be honest to the people that mattered to me. This is still the case now.
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Thanks for reading! xx The Outing xx