I came out to my parents when I was 15. My mum was very understanding and didn’t react much. She’s always treated my homosexuality as normal. My dad, however, discouraged me “labeling” myself and said the fact I hadn’t been in a proper relationship meant that I had no way of knowing.
He continually asked me if I was “sure” until I told him he was belittling me and not taking my sexuality seriously, and that I didn’t tell him this because I needed or wanted his opinion.
We had an argument during which he eventually apologized. Almost all of my friends are LGBTQ, so I had no issue there. With their support, I have always felt secure in my sexuality and overcome microaggressions.
There wasn’t really a moment of realization. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t gay. It was more like a gradual acceptance aided by LGBTQ peers and celebrities.
Seeing them own their sexuality freely reaffirmed my own feelings and saved me from a lot of potential stress over my sexuality.
I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve never had major issues with others regarding my sexuality. If I’m concerned about a person’s potential reaction, I simply won’t get closer to that person and disclose that part of myself.
At most, there have been microaggressions like shocked and judgmental looks, snide comments, and insensitive jokes. These usually come from people I don’t know well, and, because of their reaction, I don’t want to know them well anyway.
Even in the most progressive countries, being gay is often seen as an illness that requires cruel forms of therapy to “fix” it.
Children are rejected and thrown out by their parents, bullied by peers, and, at its worst, killed.
In more conservative countries, the system is working against them and in many of these countries, being gay is punishable by death.
There is no guarantee of safety and acceptance for any gay or gender non-conforming person in any place in the world.
LGBTQ media allows people in homophobic circumstances to see gay people in a positive light. It’s so important for many gay people because it’s the only positive representation they see of themselves.
However, there is absolutely nowhere near enough media representation for trans and gender non-conforming people, who face as much, if not more, discrimination.
We need more LGBTQ stories in all areas of media, not only for LGBTQ individuals, but to normalize LGBTQ.