This lesson is overdue. And for that, I apologize.
Recap of last lesson: Questioning your sexuality is a natural part of maturing as an individual. So, if you are thinking that you might be gay, it is absolutely nothing to panic over.
Onto Lesson Two: Coming To Terms With Your Sexuality.
There are a lot of opinions out there. Some will tell you what you are feeling is just a phase. Some will tell you that you are just second guessing yourself, and to let that idea go. Others will try to get you to believe that what they are saying is the truth.
Ignore them. Ignore them all. No one can tell you how to feel, who to love. The only person who can uncover the truth is yourself.
If you are struggling to come to terms with the fact that you might be gay, know that you are not alone. Many struggle with these exact issues. And there is a way to deal with it.
You need to spend some time to reevaluate yourself. Go somewhere quiet where you can be alone, and think. This is key! You need to think. Think about who you are, what makes you you. Remember all of the positive things about you, and know that no matter what your sexuality is, it does not determine your self-worth.
Having said that, you will need to do some intense thinking. Imagining yourself as both heterosexual and homosexual – ignore social norms and figure out which one feels more natural to you. When you imagine yourself kissing someone, is it always a girl? Do you find women attractive, and in more than just a physical way? Which gender makes your heart race and palms sweat more?
Homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual – they are all just labels used to describe types of love. Focus less on the labels and more on your feelings. How you feel is more important than how other people might label you.
Coming to terms with your sexuality takes time. It won’t happen over night. You’ll go through some emotions, very similar to the Five Stages of Grief. You’ll begin in denial (“No, I’m not gay. I can’t be.”), move through anger (“Why is this happening to me?”), bargaining (“Maybe if I experiment a little I’ll find out I’m not actually gay…”), depression (“I can’t believe I might be gay. My life is ruined.”), until finally you come to the most important stage: acceptance.
Accepting your sexuality (no matter what it is) is a profound experience. It’s this moment where your mind suddenly become crisp and clear. You stop, and realize that, yes, this is your sexuality and that it isn’t that bad. When you accept your sexuality, you will feel this huge weight lifted off of your shoulders. Suddenly, everything falls into place. All your problems have a source and all your feelings have a reason. Suddenly, you can’t stop smiling.
Acceptance of yourself is such a great feeling, it’s almost indescribable. Some people have always known that they were gay. It takes others a long time to come to terms with their own sexuality. No pace is wrong, or too slow. You have to take your time and really feel confident in yourself.
No one can tell you what to be. If you’re gay, you’re gay! You cannot decide to be gay or straight, you can only decide how and when you will accept your sexuality.
And when, and if, you accept your sexuality, it will feel amazing. Your confidence level will raise, and suddenly it will feel like you could conquer the world. You need to realize that you are never alone. Reaching out to others who have gone through this exact process can bring new light to your situation. Finding support forums on the internet or talking with someone you personally know and trust can help you muddle through all the useless stuff and help you find that acceptance.
Like everything in life, there are things you cannot change. You cannot change your sexuality, you can only change your reaction to it. If you choose to accept that you are gay (or straight, or bi, or whatever), it is a huge step in your growth as a person that needs to be celebrated.
Once you have accepted your sexuality, you need to congratulate yourself. Because you are one step closer to your next step: coming out.