This October marks the one-year anniversary of an especially chaotic and confusing college Halloween party. That means it has almost been a full year since I stopped thinking of myself as straight (Woohoo!).
Lots has changed since then. For example, I now own a “Love is Love” enamel pin and three men’s flannels. But even though my impeccable gay
These notes helped me bunches, so I hope they will give others who are questioning a little bit of insight:
Labels are not important
Some people find power in labels. And if a label makes you feel better, then label away! In my case, I was overwhelmed by the amount of terminology. Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Pansexual, Homoflexible– it’s a lot to think about it. It helped me the most when I stayed away from labels and really took time to focus on what I wanted. Things change. People grow and adapt and learn– often one word won’t apply to you through the whole process. You do not owe the people around you a definitive label so they can pack you away in a box. As my favorite queer comedian Mae Martin says, “I don’t feel the need to identify as anything else than a human being.”
With that being said, sometimes it’s nice to have a word to tell people when it comes up. I tend to stick with “queer”: it portrays the “I’m not straight” message, without requiring more explanation.
It’s ok to be scared
I was a freshman last year, and there was this
But it’s a scary thing for everybody– identity is a big and powerful thing. No matter how confident you are, no matter how “woke” you are, coming to terms with something new about yourself is always nerve wracking.
There are no prerequisites
You do not need to be in long-term relationship with someone from the same gender to consider yourself queer. Heck, you could have never even held hands with someone from the same gender, and you can still be a part of the LGBTQ+ community. There are no prerequisites, so you do not have to do anything just to prove yourself. Self-discovery happens in many different ways, along many different time-frames; you can identify however you want no matter where you are in your own journey.
Love is love. And you should not be uncomfortable about finding and being your authentic self.