So You Think You Might Be Gay, Let's Talk About It!
Updated: Feb 23
I’m a bisexual woman in her mid 20s, and while I’m not a seasoned veteran of the LGBTQ+ community, there are some things I wish I would have known about what being queer means when I was younger. I grew up believing that queer people were like mythical unicorns, never even thinking that I could ever grow up to be one. One of the biggest things that made me think that queer people were super uncommon, was the fact that the AIDs epidemic robbed us of so many gay men who would have been middle aged now, and young adults when I was a teen. There was also a massive lack of queer representation on TV, movies, books, etc. In high school, I searched “am I gay quiz” and I asked my friends if they’d be shocked if I came out in college. Here’s a list of the things I wished I’d known about being queer when I was a teenager, that I’ve learned in my early-mid twenties.
There’s Nothing Wrong With You
As a result of toxic religious groups, so much of the queer youth grows up thinking they’re sick. That they’re sinners, and for some reason their sin is exponentially worse than anyone else’s. The text in the Christian Bible that so many people quote as evidence of homosexuality being a sin is Levitacus 18:22. This verse was translated as “Man shall not lie with man, for it is an abomination,” but this translation didn’t show up until 1946. The original text reads “Man shall not lie with young boys as he does with women, for it is an abomination,” which is a condemnation of pedophilia not homosexuality. We see this repetitively anywhere homosexuality is assumed to have been mentioned in the Bible, even in 1 Corinthians it translates to “Boy molesters will not enter the kingdom of God,” (source). Now, this is not me calling the entire religion of Christianity out for being terrible, because there are many Christians who recognize this mistranslation and love queer people the way God intended for all of us to love each other, but there are a select few religious organizations that are so passionate about condeming homosexuality that it’s harmful to enough people in the LGBTQ+ community that its worth writing about. If you’re growing up and you think you might be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I speak these words from the bottom of my heart, you are not sick. There is nothing wrong with who you love. There is a massive community of people who are ready to welcome you with open arms whenever you’re ready to come out.
Coming Out Doesn’t Have To Be Huge
If you want to come out in a big, dramatic way, by all means, do, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to come out to everyone in your life at the same time. You can come out to the people closest to you and wait to come out to everyone else until you’re comfortable. You don’t have to make a big long Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok about it, you can just start being yourself and let everyone else catch on. If you’re in a situation where you think it may be unsafe for you to publicly come out, you don’t have to publicly come out. You can come out to your closest friends, and your clinician, and even not tell your parents/guardians if you don’t feel comfortable. Coming out doesn’t need to be this big scary thing that you have to do, it can be casual. Come out when you’re ready, however you please.
It’s Okay to Change Your Mind
If you come out as bisexual and later realize that you’re gay or a lesbian, or even straight, you can change your label. You also don’t even need a label to begin with. You can define your sexuality however you please, so long as all parties involved are giving you enthusiastic, informed consent. When I first came out I explained it to my mom as “I want to fall in love with someone’s soul, not their gender,” and that was very influential in her understanding where my heart was. When I first came out I identified as bisexual, then I decided I liked the label queer, and now I’m back to bisexual, but I also identify with queer. You’re allowed to be more than one thing, and it can change. Sexuality is a spectrum, and your attraction to different people can change as you grow as a person. There is no one way to be queer correctly, so long as you’re not hurting anyone or yourself, you’re doing it right.
You’re Not Alone
Growing up it felt like I was the only one who had ever felt the way I felt. I thought that no one would ever understand me, because I didn’t understand myself. I didn’t know why I had these feelings for my best friend, I just knew I had them and I didn’t know what to do with them, so I just choked them down and snuffed them out and didn’t really deal with them until I got to college. Which that was right for me, I wasn’t ready to be queer in high school, but you can be if you are ready. Even if you’re the only queer person at your school, or in your friend group, as you grow up you will find LGBTQ+ communities in different places. Whether it’s a gay bar (once you’re 18/21+) where you meet your new best friends and love interest or LGBTQ+ communities online, you will find your people. You will find the people you’re supposed to be surrounded by.
If You’re Searching “Am I Gay Quiz”
If you’re looking up “am I gay quiz” on Google, you probably aren’t straight. You might be, but you probably aren’t. Every one of my friends that is part of the LGBTQ+ community has looked up “am I gay” at least once in their life. When I was in the process of coming to terms with my sexuality, I saw a post online somewhere on social media that said “if you’re laying awake at night wondering if you’re gay, you’re probably not straight,” and that just clicked with me. I thought to myself “oh yeah a straight person probably wouldn’t be sitting here wondering if they’re straight.”
If you think you might be queer, talking to one of our clinicians would be a great next step for you. To schedule an appointment, click here.