I first came out to my best friend when I was 17-years-old. From there, it was a gradual process of telling friends and family when the time was right.
I had known I was gay and into girls rather than boys since I was around 7-years-old. However, I figured that I would eventually get over it and find a “cute boy” to crush on.
The thing was I never saw the “cute boys” in my classes as “cute.” I actually was much more intrigued by the “pretty girls” in my classes.
Besides this, fitting in for me was very hard because I have such a tomboyish style. I was actually teased and put down by most of the boys in middle school for it.
The teasing escalated in high school because most of my peers assumed I was gay based on my style.
Therefore, it wasn’t too hard to come out since half of my friends had their suspicions. Luckily, once I came out, I was talked into joining a local LGBTQ+ group where I met amazing people.
The increased presence of groups such as these has definitely helped young people like myself embrace their sexuality. In fact, without groups like these, I think the transition would be much harder for people, including myself.
However, while our community has made major progress in recent years, there is still more to be done. Recently, my good friend got married to her partner of 10 years after the legalization of same-sex marriages.
I was overjoyed to see them finally have the traditional ceremony they always wanted, surrounded by their loved ones. Sadly though, they had to wait a while to find a venue that would accommodate them. I think if we were more vocal earlier on, this might not have had to be.
Representation is still very scarce in the media. It is very rare to see pansexual, bisexual, or transgender people on popular television shows or movies.
I believe the media needs to have broad and diverse representation so that people understand the LGBTQ+ community on a deeper level. If this happens, then I believe there can be a universal understanding of all sexual orientations and identities.