We’ve all got that friend, the one who’s really unsure of herself, figuring out her identity for way longer than any of you have had to.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret- she’s most likely LGBTQIA+
I’m here to tell you about how we do it. Once we come out, we’re thrust into an entirely different world. One of support and oftentimes one of closure. It’s more than likely that people will cut off contact- and that’s alright. It’ll get better. This is how to keep yourself strong:
Make sure you surround yourself with people who want you to be the best you possible.
Those who truly love you for what you are will stick around.
I know that these three things seem pretty easy to do, but once you’re out, you’re catapulted into an alien world. Staying true to who you are and what you stand for is pretty hard at times- especially when it feels like the whole world is against you. It’s important to realise that it’s not. There are queer communities all through New Zealand, RainbowYouth is a great way to meet young queer people who’ve been through exactly the same thing as you have. They have offices all over New Zealand and are super approachable.
4. Community becomes more important than you ever thought it could be.
All that being said, getting past yourself proved to be the hardest for me.
I came out and I had a lot of internalised homophobia.
It’s hard to be comfortable with yourself when you’re disgusted at the very thought of what you are.
Communicating with others who have been through exactly the same thing as I had was one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done. It gave me the exact knowledge I needed to push myself forward and keep going.
Seeing other people go through what I had filled me with hope- but we’re not done yet.
We still have so much to prove, and we’re going to do it. Regardless of what any jumped-up upper-class men have to say about it.