When I first started to come to terms with not being straight, I remember not knowing how to tell if I was faking it. I knew LGBTQ+ people existed, but they always seemed too distant from my own life for me to belong to the community. I was Me Over Here, and they were Those Other People Over There. They were different. I wasn’t. The community and their experiences seemed so far removed from my reality that I just couldn’t imagine I could possibly be one of them.
So here’s something I wish someone had told me when I was questioning: You can be one of us. We’re people just like you. You don’t need to wait for a sign from the God Of The Others to tell you that your feelings are real. Because the truth is that there will never be a sign. You get to decide whether your feelings are real or not. If you feel like you might belong here, it’s probably because you do, and we will welcome you into the community with open arms.
It really bothers me when people pester closeted LGBT+ folks about why they haven’t come out yet. Like, maybe they don’t want to, or they’re uncomfortable doing so, or they’re in a toxic environment where it’s unsafe for them to do so. I see it a lot coming from people who ARE out of the closet, and have been for awhile, and who are extremely comfortable with themselves. Just because you are, doesn’t mean the next person is going to be the same way.
Coming out is not an easy journey for a lot of people! Support those people too, though. Support the FUCK out of closeted LGBT+ people!