Your Identity Isn't Invalid If You Change Your Label Or Feel Like You Need To Come Out Again

Your Identity Isn't Invalid If You Change Your Label Or Feel Like You Need To Come Out Again

Coming out multiple times or labeling yourself different does not invalidate who you are and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

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When you're younger, coming to terms with your sexuality and gender identity can be difficult. Oftentimes there aren't resources or support for younger questioning individuals and that makes it really hard to process your feelings. For me, all I had was one out friend and the internet. Although my friend was a lot of help, they are only one person and I didn't want to annoy them with my questions. So I looked to youtube, social media, tumblr, and other platforms to hear people's stories and see if I could put a name to my feelings.

Realizing and accepting that I liked girls was a hard task. It was even harder knowing that I still found myself attracted to boys as well. Even though I knew bisexuality was a thing, I still was hesitant to label myself as bi. So I came out as a lesbian and began my first relationship with a girl. Two years later, I found myself hiding parts of myself. I felt like I couldn't talk to boys or comment on attractive guys that I saw. I knew I needed to be true to myself and the people in my life so I decided to come out (again) as bisexual. This felt freeing and I was so thankful to have the support of my close friends and family. Fast forward another three years, and I was confused all over again. I had interactions with a handful of nonbinary and genderfluid individuals and although I was in a happy and committed relationship, I couldn't stop thinking about how I was also attracted to them. One day I remember thinking, "Shit. I think I'm just attracted to everyone." Well, to my surprise, there was a word for that too: pansexuality.

Realizing that all my life I was interested in people, regardless of their gender, and finally finding a label to match that feeling was so wonderful. I came out a third time (5+ years after first coming out) and I've never been happier and more confident in who I am. It was scary coming out again. I was so worried that people were just going to think I was confused or wanting attention. But it wasn't about them. It was about me and who I was.

If you are thinking about coming out again or feel that your identity might be in transition. IT'S OKAY. Sexuality and gender are fluid. They are everchanging and it is perfectly normal to feel like you need to label yourself differently to stay true to yourself. It is also perfectly fine to not want to label yourself at all. That is the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community. We accept everyone. This community was founded in love and no matter who you are or how you identify, you are valid and you are supported.

Coming out multiple times can be a daunting task. But I promise, living as your authentic self is so much better than hiding. Even if it isn't safe for you to come out or you aren't ready to, know that you still matter and your identity is still legitimate. You have an entire community that is rooting for you! Coming out is hard. Doing it again doesn't make it any easier. But I've been there, and I know you're doing your best.

Support your friends and family while they are in their journey of finding who they are. Be there for them, reassure them, answer their questions, and remind them that no matter where they are in their journey, that you will love and accept them no matter what. Also be sure to change your behaviors as necessary. Have a friend who is questioning their gender? Maybe ask them if they'd like to try out different pronouns or if they want to go shopping for different clothes. Know someone who is struggling with their sexuality? Maybe introduce them to other queer friends and share resources that they might find helpful.

Figuring out who you are is scary. Questioning your gender and sexuality can sometimes make it worse. So support your friends and family, be an ally to all, and remember that there isn't one set path to being LGBTQ+. We are all on our own journey, but changing your journey doesn't make it any less real or beautiful.

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19 Reasons Why The 'Part Tomboy Part Girly-Girl' Is The Best Type Of Girl

With us, you get the best of both worlds, the best of BOTH girls.
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1. She has a guy's sense of humor so you will constantly be laughing together.

2. She knows how to handle your sarcasm, and she'll throw it right back in your face.

3. Your friends will love her because she is basically one of the guys (except for the facts that she smells good and shaves her legs).

4. She can kick your ass in dizzy bat, pool or maybe, on a good day, beat you in shot-gunning.

5. Little things don't bother her- she is rational and level-headed.

She knows how to put things into perspective and knows what is worth getting mad over and what just isn't.

6. BUT she also has a sensitive side... she knows the ways to your heart whether it is an amazing home cooked meal or a good back scratch.

She is always thinking of ways to make your day because she is thoughtful.

7. She will call you out on your BS, because let's be honest... someone has to.

8. She'll eat pizza and drink beer with you, and maybe if you are lucky she'll even smoke a cigar.

9. She cleans up nice.

Sometimes her hair is in a messy ponytail and a hat, but other times she looks like she just stepped off the red carpet.

10. She doesn't mind getting dirty.

She can spend a day on the boat, fishing and wakeboarding, hunting, shooting guns, or eating unlimited chicken wings with you.

11. She is go-with-the-flow and always up for anything and everything.

Festival? Amusement park? Concert? Drive-in movie? A day at the beach? Hell yeah, sounds awesome.

12. She likes to work out, but she isn't a health freak… sometimes you just gotta have a McChicken.

No regrets, you know what I'm sayin'?

13. She has an open mind about people, places, and trying new things.

You will never be bored with her.

14. She can get along with pretty much anybody.

15. She doesn't care what people think.

She'll be the first one on the dance floor at the wedding, but the same person who helps an older man carry his bags to the car at the mall.

16. Your sisters will adore her, but so will your brothers.

17. She isn't afraid to voice her opinion and stand up for what she believes in.

18. Not only does she not mind doing “guy things," but get this... she actually enjoys them and will do them with you.

She'll watch late night ESPN with you, play basketball in the pool, be player 2 in "Tony Hawk Underground," go fishing, dirt biking, you name it, she is down.

19. Safe to say, we're pretty word.

So word, in fact, we might even be going extinct... So, if we just so happen to grace you with our majestical presence, you better make damn sure you don't let us go.

Cover Image Credit: Catherine Anne Guarino

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

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The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.

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