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What helped you accept your own sexuality and gender identity?

37 Answers
Last Updated: 09/30/2019 at 3:19pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Adam Brown, PhD, LICSW (WA & MA) LCSW (NY & IL)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Asking for help can be a challenge, especially when feeling shameful, guilty, or embarrassed of our thoughts and/or behaviors. I am happy to support you work through this.

Top Rated Answers
IreneGrey
February 10th, 2015 9:29am
Realizing I can't change the way I feel and that the only way for me to be happy is to be true to myself. People surprised me with their support once I started opening up, it almost made me wonder why I had waited for so long.
Anonymous
May 13th, 2015 6:18pm
When I was in 8th grade, I always had a cloud over my head. It appeared as a guy and girl figure fighting over my head at night. I then dismissed it. Then in 9th grade, when I had a crush on a girl, I was in denial. I can't be gay!!! And then it struck me that it was ok, and I did my research. Then I learned about non binary gender, and I found that I was genderfluid. Then with that, I found I was actually pan and transgender. It was all with research and protest
JenniferEckles
January 14th, 2015 6:55pm
Having supportive friends and family, and having the strength to stop being friends with people who didn't support me. It also helped me enormously to give myself the time and space to explore my sexuality to eventually get a better idea of what I want.
JustAnEmpath
June 14th, 2016 5:36am
As someone who is both a lesbian and genderfluid, I can tell you that the thing that really and truly helped me was connecting with the LGBT community. Whether it be local, or online, it really did help to talk to people who could relate to me. Ultimately it takes time, but it's definitely worth it. Love yourself- you're a beautiful person!
Anonymous
June 29th, 2015 5:31pm
Coming from a strict Christian background, I struggled to tell my family about my feelings towards other women. I knew from a very young age that I was attracted to both sexes, but it took me time to come to terms with it. Especially because being bi was somewhat frowned upon. It was viewed more of a call for attention, or a "stage" than an actual sexual identity. I knew in my heart that it wasn't a stage, and after I came to terms with it, I realized that the only opinion on my sexual identity that really mattered was my own. Eventually, my family came to terms with it, even though it's not a topic ever discussed. But being able to let other people know who I really am, freed me.
iammyown
September 21st, 2015 5:31pm
What helped me? Telling myself that I was amazing as who I truly am, and not as who my parents/peers wanted me to be. And knowing that in the end, I'm more comfortable expressing myself as me. It's hard to pretend to be someone your not! Especially when you have to do it all the time!
dreamRose10
December 3rd, 2018 9:26pm
So to start- I identify as a lesbian as well as nonbinary. Since I knew of other people and friends who were gay or bisexual, it was easy for me to feel like it was ok for me to like girls the way I did. It took me a lot longer to come to terms with my gender. A lot of it was just realizing that I wasn't alone and there were tons of other people who felt the same way I did. I was watching a YouTube video specifically about Pride, and there were about 10-15 LGBT+ people in this video, helping to make the audience feel that they were accepted and loved for who they were. If there's no one in your life who can relate, try connecting with someone here who does. One social media platform where I found a lot acceptance was Tumblr, but just remember to stay safe :)
Anonymous
January 16th, 2015 4:18pm
Connecting with others, who provided me with knowledge and acceptance, if not face-to-face, than by books and articles, forums and chats.
Anonymous
April 3rd, 2015 2:42pm
The self-confidence and self-acceptance helped me accept my own sexuality and gender identity. The confidence in myself and my choices made me accept myself easily.
gracefulLover20
June 23rd, 2015 12:37am
What helped me accept my own sexuality and gender identity is being around very supportive friends and family, especially my queer friends/family who know what it's like to struggle with one's own identity.
Anonymous
December 15th, 2015 4:25am
Realizing that there are others like me with the same experiences, that there was so much support in places I never expected it to be.
Emma16
May 17th, 2016 5:35am
For me, I think it was just a matter of time. And honestly, I'm still a work in progress. I have days where I feel ashamed or I find myself lying about my sexuality to fit in, but I've gotten better. Another important thing that helped me was surrounding myself with positive people, people who loved me regardless of my sexuality. It can be really hard to accept yourself if you are around people are not accepting (though sometimes this can't be changed if you live at home, etc. etc.). Lastly, I would say find role models in the LGBT community. If you don't have any in your real life, look to people online or in the media. Sometimes it helps to look up to someone who is LGBT and is also so many other things and to see how they are living openly.
briannathestrongone
July 11th, 2016 7:34pm
hey guys I bri and I have to say its hard learning who you are but once you do don't give up don't let any stuck up idiot out there persuade you that your not who you say you are ok
Anonymous
October 11th, 2016 7:09pm
Processing what I knew and slowly coming to terms with it. Day by day. It's never easy accepting something that maybe new or different, and it definitely does take time, but with time comes patience and understanding. It may not happen over night and it will take some getting used to, but the way you feel and are happiest is part of acceptance.
Aayla
- Expert in LGBTQ+
September 30th, 2019 3:19pm
First of all, awareness. The more I learnt about my orientation, about the LGBT realities and the experiences of LGBT people, the better I felt about being part of it. Another great help comes from feeling supported and accepted for you are.
Rainbows94
May 8th, 2015 9:28am
Online information and especially online friends from twitter helped me come to terms with my own sexual identity. From there, I continued to seek support from friends in the real world and that contributed to a whole acceptance of myself. It is always important to find sources of support that understand you and encourage you to be yourself.
PhoenixMozza
May 8th, 2015 12:58pm
Sadly, as an agender person, I don't get much media representation, which can be crucial in helping people accept their identity. However, by finding the LGBTAQ+ community online and being a part of it, really made me realize that my identity is valid, normal, and natural
Anonymous
May 15th, 2015 1:24pm
Personally It helped when I come out and was open to myself and others. After a while of opening up life was hard to be actuated due to the put down but after a year life got better.
Anonymous
June 22nd, 2015 3:06pm
Well, what helped me is, i didn't mind myself at all but, telling friends helped calmed me down just to get me comfortable with who i am, 'i am me' noone can change me. im still wondering on my gender but im trans at the moment, and my mind had helped me in that where i feel female emotions.
Anonymous
July 27th, 2015 6:46pm
Reading lots of science fiction where queer people and different weird gender stuff happened and a lot of it was taken for granted. I had also been reading radical feminist books from the 70s about lesbians and as is typical of a lot of bi girls I applied it to myself and didn't understand yet that lesbians would hate me because I was bi. I was actually fine with myself *as myself* right away once I became queer as a teenager, because I had already been reading this stuff. The first time I noticed myself being attracted to a girl I thought, "Huh. Cool." The problem was in how to present myself to everyone else, because I didn't know of anyone at my high school who was queer and I was afraid people would think I was some kind of monster. I was not dating yet and was already refusing to talk about who I had crushes on, so becoming bi didn't change anything on the surface, except that I fell in love with my best friend and EVERYONE could tell.
Anonymous
August 3rd, 2015 7:07pm
What helped me accept myself as who I am is realizing that other people are like me to, and that it just makes me I little bit more special then other people.
Anonymous
January 4th, 2016 3:05pm
Realizing that it was true. It took me a long time that was full of twists and turns and not being sure if I was this or that until finally I landed with what I stick with today. Realizing the truth of it helped me to accept it because I knew that there was a word for what I was feeling and that meant that I wasn't the only one to feel that way.
Anonymous
March 15th, 2016 11:31pm
Personally, I grew up in an environment where any sexuality was safe, so I didn't struggle with this. But I think the first step would be to admit it to yourself. Look in the mirror and just say it out loud.
Silent0raindrop
May 16th, 2016 1:13am
I learned to love myself no matter how I looked if I felt litre a woman I was a woman if I felt like a man I was a man if I was happy I was happy no matter how anyone else felt about it
trashcat
August 16th, 2016 1:36pm
The fact that all people have different priorities and like or feel diffrent things. There is no wrong or right!
AmandaAbroad
October 4th, 2016 10:34am
Having the words to define different genders, sexualities, and romantic attractions; and having other people "testify" that sexuality and gender can be fluid and don't need to correlate with romantic feelings.
LoveAndPeaceOnThePlanetEarth
October 17th, 2016 1:35am
If I'm honest I went to Instagram and followed sooo many LGBT accounts that just got me really comfortable with knowing that this was who I was
LoveAndEquity
December 12th, 2016 9:53pm
When I first realised that I wasn't like other girls, and I liked both boys and girls, I was really scared. I live in a religious family, and although they aren't homophobic, being gay isn't exactly seen as the best way to live. However, after meeting lots of wonderful, supportive people online, I started to accept the fact that I was bisexual. Then I told my friends. They were really helpful and supportive, which made me feel more comfortable being bi. Now I can shout it proudly from the rooftops; I'M BISEXUAL AND PROUD!!
BradyHero
January 24th, 2017 12:52am
Time helped me more than anything else. The longer I had to get comfortable with who I was, the more I grew to accept myself. It's hard to learn to accept yourself overnight, but as long as you keep moving forward and opening yourself up to new things, you will get there.
CaringUnicorn70
January 30th, 2017 2:06pm
To accept my sexuality (or lack of it) and my gender identity it helped me to understand that there are people around me who feel the same way and I am not alone. By connecting with them I realized those people share some of my struggles and understand me in ways others dont.