Hello. I know you're probably reading this and feeling scared about coming out about your sexual orientation or gender identity because you're scared as to how everyone's going to react. How people will think that you're just going through a phase or will ask questions like "Well, if you're REALLY gay/bi/trans/non-binary/etc., why don't you _____?" I know that these are extremely common fears for LGBTQ+ people who just come out to the people they trust the most, but I'm here to tell you that these fears are completely valid to have, and none of them make you any less queer than you already are.
Coming out as an LGBTQ+ identity is a scary thing for everyone who is LGBTQ+, and if there is anyone that you are absolutely not comfortable with coming out to, you have no obligation to do so. There are a lot of horrible people in this world, so if you don't feel too safe coming out to someone, even if it's a family member or a close friend, you don't have to. If you absolutely have no choice but to use your deadname in front of someone that you do not feel comfortable coming out to, that's entirely okay, and you are not any less queer because of that.
The best advice I could give regarding this is if there are friends that you have come out to, remember to tell them if there are people in your life that you have not come out to. This can protect your safety, and if a friend is not sure if they can refer to you by your preferred name and pronouns, they can know before accidentally putting your safety at risk. Having to go by your deadname or dead pronouns in certain situations does not make you any less queer, it just means that you love yourself enough to care about your own safety in these situations.
And to the people who don't feel queer enough because they don't do certain things that "all queer people are supposed to do", you have absolutely no obligation to do anything that you don't want to do just to prove your queerness. Gatekeeping (or in this case, gay-tekeeping, hehe) is one of the worst things anyone can do and is extremely homophobic and transphobic when it comes to LGBTQ+ identities. Don't let any of those people control your identity; you are not any less valid just because you don't meet up to those standards.
There is no one particular way to experience queerness, so don't let anyone else's "standards" of queerness make you believe that you're not queer enough. You are so much more than the boxes and labels that others put you in, so don't allow others perceptions of certain types of people make you think that you are not valid. And you want to know something? Everything you do, every step you take on your journey, and all of your stories are valid. No one should ever have the right to tell you otherwise.
A queer woman who doesn't feel queer enough.
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