Whatever your journey might look like, feeling good about who you are and who you like can have a huge, positive impact on your mental health, which can also positively impact your relationships, like with your (chosen) family, friends, partners, and more.
Still, figuring out your gender identity and sexuality can be... ✨a process✨. We’re here to support you through your journey of learning more about yourself, what gender and sexuality mean for you, and how you can begin sharing them with others. 💓
Below are some common words folks might use to describe their gender identity or sexuality. Remember that the meaning of these words can be different depending on who you ask, and there are so many more ways to describe our gender identities and sexualities than what’s listed here!
Before coming out, it's important to think about how your relationships with your friends, family, and partners might change. Sometimes, coming out can help you feel closer to the people in your life because you can exist around them as yourself. Other times, they might not respond the way you want or expect them to, which can put you in a difficult or unsafe situation. Check out our blog post for some more tips on how to come out, and some things you might want to consider first.
Some folks may have negative ideas about the 2SLGBTQ+ community, which can also affect how people might respond to your coming out. Your identity is something you’ve probably thought about for a long time, but they’re only hearing about it now, which sometimes prompts emotional or intense reactions. Sometimes the people in your life need to go on their own journey after you’ve shared your identity with them. Still, you shouldn’t have to change or modify your gender identity, sexuality, or gender expression to make anyone else more comfortable. Always remember that other people’s feelings are not your feelings, meaning that you’re not responsible for how they react.
For some, coming out can mean losing your home, work, family, community, and so much more. Not being accepted by the people in your life can cause emotional hurt for many 2SLGBTQ+ folks, which can sometimes lead to longer-lasting challenges with your mental health. Growing up in a society and culture that views heterosexuality and cisgender identity as the “norm” for everyone (also known as cis-heteronormativity), is just one of many reasons why 2SLGBTQ+ folks are more likely to experience mental health challenges than others.
If you’ve experienced loss after coming out, it can be helpful to try and connect with folks who understand how tough the world can be, and who will accept you as you are. Sometimes, we call these people our chosen family. 🌈 People who affirm and validate our existence are so important to our mental health because when we have folks who accept and care about us, we can manage the other obstacles we go through in our lives better. ⭐