After a series of researching on the web, I thought why not kick off this week with gender identity and sexuality.
Gender identity is generally found between the ages 13 and 19 years old. This is when teens are gaining new experiences, emotions, relationships, expectations and all of this can become overwhelming for any teen that age. However, adding gender identity into the mix of everything else that is happening within themselves and around them can cause these years to be the most confusing time for teens. They will find it hard to navigate their gender identity around school and/or home, with their doctors or even with their friends.
One’s gender identity is their inner most concept of self as a male, female, both or neither; outside of that, they could fancy the same sex, or a different sex than what they were assigned at birth. The two words that are most used when it comes to what gender you are attracted to are Gay or Lesbian, Bisexual (Bi) or straight; Gay means you like the same sex as yourself, either male or female, Bisexual means you like both, Lesbian is when you are a girl and only like girls and the last one is straight as in you only like the opposite sex.
Finding the confidence of telling a friend or a parent that your gender identity or sexual preference does not fit the societal norm can be an emotional journey. You don’t know how they will react or when the right time to tell them will be, telling someone or “coming out” should happen when the time comes and when you’re ready. It is a massive thing to tell family members and close friends your secret, at the best of times we may not be able to have any sort of control over our “coming out”. There are ways for you to be able to overcome that fear; if “coming out” is important to you, there is a website called ‘Gender Spectrum’ that offers guidance and helpful recourses for you to look at. https://www.genderspectrum.org/
I have asked a few people that I know that who are straight, bi, gay, and lesbian to tell their stories, but I’m currently waiting to hear back from them. When I do I’ll create another article about friends who happily tell their stories, how they coped, what they did and many other things. Hopefully, this can help you can feel more settled with what you feel and what you may want to do.
You are not alone out there. Everyone is in the same boat there is no shame in who you are; people have to accept who they are at the end of the day.