This is honestly one of the hardest questions, one that I've thought about constantly. No one has ever asked me this personally, but it seems to be a common question amongst the LGBT+ community. Yes, I'm gay, I didn't choose to be, to start off with I didn't want to be, but I am. Even though for years I denied it and convinced myself I was straight. A couple of years ago, if I had the choice, I would've chosen heterosexuality. Now if I had the choice, I wouldn't change for the world.
A lot of members of the LGBT+ community have probably wished at some point that they didn't have to be a minority, that they didn't have to live in fear of discrimination. I felt it was particularly difficult at school when everyone else is talking about who they like, but you're too afraid to and so just isolate yourself. And of course there's the anxiety of how your family will react. Two years ago I hadn't told anyone about my sexuality, perhaps I just wasn't ready, but there was definitely the fear that I would be cast out. Sadly, this does happen to people, but it wasn't the case with me. When I was suppressing my sexuality there was always the feeling that I couldn't truly be myself, and this led to the feeling of isolation as no one really knew me in depth, as a result of me putting this mask on. That was the point when I would've done anything to be straight, to be, what I thought, was normal. I think my physical appearance made it difficult as well. Being a teen, there's that typical school stereotype that all gay men are camp and all lesbians are butch, whereas I was wearing makeup and flower crowns, so although it sounds odd, I couldn't quite understand my attraction to other girls, particularly feminine girls, as there was just the assumption that most lesbians were butch and attracted to feminine girls and vice versa. I think this stereotypical view is probably the norm amongst most teenagers, maybe because it's how the media traditionally presented the LGBT+ community, but my first step on my journey to self acceptance was deciding that I didn't have to succumb to this stereotype and would instead embrace every aspect of myself even if they didn't traditionally mix. After all, how dull would the world be if we were not all unique? My individuality is what makes me special, so just because I'm feminine, and (usually) attracted to feminine girls, it doesn't mean I'm not 'normal'. I'm just my own unique kind of normal.
Then last year I came out. Expressing my sexuality changed everything for me. Obviously, I was lucky that everyone was so supportive, and I'm grateful for that. But it felt like I was taking off the mask and I could see the world clearly again. I didn't have to pretend to be someone I wasn't, and when that happened, I could start focusing on my future, and what I wanted to do with my life, as when you're completely yourself, it's so much easier to strive to achieve your goals. Although I don't think there should be any pressure on anyone to publicly express their identity, I think we all have the power to be positive influences and perhaps support those who are struggling with their sexuality, which is one of the things I hope to achieve through my writing. And more than anything else, being in a same sex relationship makes me happy and I wouldn't sacrifice that just because some people might discriminate against me. No matter how many people say homosexuality is unnatural, I know love was never intended to be confined to heterosexual relationships. Love has no gender, me marrying a woman would be no different from me marrying a man if I was straight. Either way, it'd be the happiest day of my life.
So now I've realized that, I don't want to change, and more importantly I don't need to change. I'm proud of my sexuality, and it doesn't define me. No matter who I love, I know I'm a good person. And that's more important than anything.
By Rachel S.D.B
image sourced from: http://www.fyne.co.uk/category/pride/page/2/
Published by Rachel S.D.B