So you’ve realised you’re not as straight and/or cisgender as you thought?

Experiencing a revelation around your gender and/or sexuality may bring relief and clarity-finally everything makes sense! This may bring feelings of excitement and hope about the future.  Alternatively, you may feel confused and ask yourself, how did I not know this before?  You may struggle to see space in your life to express this new self-knowledge, leaving you feeling sad and scared when thinking about your future.  

It’s common to feel overwhelmed and frightened at this time as fears around rejection from others can dominate. You may fear losing loved one’s and also fear loss of other stable aspects of your life. Given this, getting to where you want to be can feel out of your reach, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and despondent. It’s important to remember that many others have felt as you do and made it thorough to live a more authentic life, enjoying positive relationships with themselves and others. 

Here are 3 tips to help you on your way:

Know that you are not alone

Many people are also currently going through what you are experiencing and many more are living their lives having gone through this. While all of our experiences are unique to us, and while you may be navigating particularly difficult obstacles- you are never alone. There are a wealth of resources out there made by and for LGBTQ+ people. Many people report reading autobiographies can be reassuring, inspiring and encouraging. There are also ‘workbooks’ to help you explore your gender and sexuality further,  alongside books that provide a guide for navigating coming out/transitioning and finding support.  Free resources include Youtube and forums such as Reddit which many people report finding supportive. 

Find someone to talk to

Talking out our thoughts and feelings can help us not only get relief from what we are feeling but also gain clarity-helping us find ways forward that work for us.  It is important that the person you talk to is someone who you trust to respect your confidentiality. Many people find speaking to a counsellor useful as the counsellor is outside the situation and is trained to listen without judgement or agenda. It is vital to find a counsellor who is LGBT+ aware. If you are looking for support around gender identity, kink and/ non-monogamy making sure your counsellor has experience around this is crucial. 

Connect with your community 

Humans have a social need for connections-even the most introverted of us! We tend to be drawn to those that we feel we have something in common with. This is in part because relating to, and being accepted by others is crucial to our social survival. We also have a strong need to be understood by others.  Connecting with similar others can reduce isolation, boost self-esteem and resilience alongside offering practical guidance.  Alongside online forums, support groups or one off events and a great way to connect with others.  You’ll often find these advertised on social media as well through your nearest LGBTQ+ charity (eg. Unity Centre, Yorkshire Mesmac, LGBT Foundation).


Some useful community spaces

Non-binary Leeds, Trans Leeds, African Rainbow family, Yorkshire Open, Fetlife, LGBT hub, The Bookish Type book shop. University LGBT+ societies. 

Image Credit
By yespanioly. Licensed under Creative Commons