Hello NMG friends!
I hope you’ve all been finding ways to express yourselves and stay connected during the continual crazy 2020 year. :) Today I’m here to talk to you about questioning your gender identiy/sexaulity & figuring out how to deal with new changes!
First of all, I want to say that questioning your gender identity or sexual orientation is completely normal! You’re not “weird,” or “bad,” just because you’re trying to get to know yourself better! I personally have been on a journey of self love and acceptance for a really REALLY long time and I couldn’t even admit to myself that I liked girls (what! crazy I know,) until early September of this year. And I’m a senior in high school! It’s a process, and it takes time. If you’re out, questionting, or closeted, know that you’re completley valid in the New Moon Girls community and that you have a beautiful LGBTQ+ community that’s so loving and happy to embrace you <3.
Questioning looks different for everyone, but please know that you’re not alone. I’m going to try and give you a few tricks and tips that have helped me in my journey (although it’s been a bit of a rough one!). Even though I’m giving these to you, I know that everyone’s journey is different and what might work for one person could be horrible for another. Take these pieces of advice however you’d like them, and use them in whatever way works best for you.
- Spend some time with you: This one sounds like it’s completely unrelated to anything to do with questioning, but knowing yourself as a person is so important. Through spending time with yourself and knowing your strong suits and weaknesses, you’re able to talk to yourself and dig into your feelings. When we’re only surface level with ourselves, we’re not able to dig in and find the beautiful things about ourselves, or some things we need to work on. Whatever this means for you, do it. If it’s journaling, write your heart and feelings out. If it’s taking a bath, take a moment to take care of yourself and know what you’re dealing with is valid. You could go on a walk and talk to yourself (it sounds crazy I know,) but sometimes those words and feelings coming out of your mouth in a conversation with yourself are legitimate and important. Do what makes you feel good as long as it’s safe and it’s healthy.
- If you’re comfortable, talk about it!: I know that this can be super difficult, especially when you’re just questioning or trying to bury the idea yourself, but talking about this subject with others can help so much. Specifically, if you have any queer friends, I’ve found that they can be helpful in talking about their experience and relating it to your experience. Remember, if it’s not safe to talk about in any part of your life, make sure that you put your safety first! It’s important for you to stay safe and healthy too, so please don’t do anything that would risk you being in a dangerous situation! If you do have any sort of friend/adult/parental figure in your life that you feel okay talking to about this subject, do it! It can take so much weight off your chest and give you insight from others who could’ve been through the same thing. Remember that we’re ALL here for you <3.
- Come out to yourself: This step (if you decide to identify anywhere under the queer umbrella of terms) is so crucial. Admitting your feelings and identity to yourself is a great first step in “coming out,” to yourself. When I first did this, it was a huge step and change for me. By admitting to myself that I wasn’t straight, I was able to fully accept and realize myself for who I am. Coming out to yourself can help you figure out how you feel before you start coming out to friends or family that are close to you.
- Channel positive vibes: I know when I first started coming out to my friends, I was terrified. And most of my friends are queer! Coming out can be a scary process that usually involves a lot of anxiety and worry. So do something that makes you feel good! Channel positive energy and dance around, sing your favorite song, and just know that whatever happens YOU are beautiful just the way you are. Personally, I fell into a bit of a depression after I came out because of a variety of factors. In order to pull myself out of the deep hole I was in, I needed to remind myself of all the awesome positive things that I have in my life and how those things affect my life in a positive way, even if I’m struggling in other areas. Remember this doesn’t mean to ignore your issues, you should continue to work through them, but you should also do things that make you feel good and channel positive energy. A great mindset is a very powerful thing.
- Find a community: A lot of people like to deal with their issues by themselves and think they can do it all by themselves, but a community is so important. I understand that there’s parts of your journey you need to go through alone, but remember that there’s always a community that is there to support you. Many people feel that they’re the only person going through a specific issue, but that’s not true at all. By reaching out to a community, whether that’s your friends, an adult, a teacher, a group of LGBTQ+ people, or an online friend, it’s important to find support elsewhere. Sometimes life can feel like it’s crashing down on you, but you don’t have to do it by yourself. People are there for support, they want to help, and their experiences could be helpful in educating us on things that can be worked on in our own lives. So reach out! This is easier said than done, but I promise it’s an amazing tool to help you feel like you’re not alone in your struggle and questioning.
- Celebrate you!: This one can sound silly to some people, but celebrate you! You’ve come a really long way and you’ve spent some quality time with yourself that some people haven’t seen is important yet. You know YOU and you know what makes you feel good and bad. You have put work into your self love journey, you’re incredible, and you’ve done amazing things. So do something to treat yourself! Take yourself out to ice cream, have a dance party, or call a friend to talk about your journey. Most of the time we see positive things that others have done and praise and celebrate those things, but we forget to do the same for ourselves. So get your party hat on and throw a party for you too!
I know that questioning can be scary and that finding out new information about yourself can be difficult, but by getting to know yourself better as a person, you’re able to grow, change, and become more you than you’ve ever been. Remember that you always have support and many people have been through the exact same thing as you have!
All of the S2S mentors love you and are here for you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you have!!
Sister to sister,