What I Wish I Had Known While Questioning My Sexuality

What I Wish I Had Known While Questioning My Sexuality

You are not alone in your personal discovery.


Figuring out who you are can be a tricky process. It can seem daunting to identify with a new label and even scarier to express yourself in our judgemental society. These are some of the things I wish I had been told while discovering and exploring my sexuality.

1. Questioning your identity is a perfectly normal process.

Everybody goes through self discovery. In fact some may argue that self discovery is a life long process. Your sexuality is a part of who you are whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, or somewhere in between. Be kind to yourself and know that you are the only one who can truly define how you feel.

2. Figuring out who you are takes time.

Nobody understands their personal style overnight. Sexuality is no different. Maybe you love wearing dresses and lipstick or maybe dress shirts and bow ties are more your jam. Think back to a few years ago. Has your style evolved? Chances are it probably has. It's okay to take your time and experiment with different labels just like it's okay to update your style. Eventually, just like your style will most likely become more defined, your expression of sexuality and preferred labels will become more prominent as well.

3. If you don't want to label yourself that's okay.

How cool would it be to live in a society that doesn't put so much pressure on putting yourself in a box? Look, labels can be helpful and most are not created with bad intentions in mind, however sometimes when you're in the process of learning who you are labels can make things even more confusing. It's perfectly okay not to put a label on how you feel, especially if you are still figuring that out.

4. Find a support system.

Find people who will support you no matter how you feel. Not everyone will understand right away and unfortunately there may be some people who will never fully understand. BUT remember there will always be someone in your corner who is rooting for you. Find those people and make them your family.

5. Be kind to yourself.

I cannot emphasize this enough! Learn to love who you are. The more you can learn to love and accept who you are, the more others will appreciate your presence. Life can be pretty damn tough sometimes. Remember to give yourself breaks. You're only human. Be nice to you.

6. Forget about the word "phase".

Eventually and unfortunately you will most likely be faced with the oh-too-overused "are you sure this isn't just a phase?" question *deep sigh.* Maybe it's from your grandma, a best friend, or a parent. Whoever asks this probably won't understand the hurt and shame this can cause even if they don't mean to be hurtful. Keep you head up and remember that no matter how you feel, you deserve to be respected and validated. Even if your attraction to a particular gender doesn't last, that part of you still existed and deserves to be acknowledged. Feelings can change. You're allowed to evolve.

7. Stereotypes are not always true, but sometimes they are and that's okay too.

No matter what that BuzzFeed quiz tells you, playing softball and wearing flannels doesn't make you a lesbian. Your attraction makes you a lesbian. Sure there are some gay women who do seem to only wear Birkenstocks drive Subarus. I mean stereotypes exist for a reason! However don't let those define who you are.

8. Above all, live gratefully, lovingly, and unapologetically.

Be true to who you are. Be grateful for the people you have supporting you and love who you love. At the end of the day, you decide who you are and how you want to live your life. Live it the way that makes you happy.

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.

To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.



Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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If You're Against Abortion, Here's What You Should Do About It

There's more you can-- and should-- do than picket outside Planned Parenthood


Upon the recent passing of a law that permits late-term abortions, I have seen many of my friends cry out uproariously that our country is fallen and has forsaken God. While you could probably argue this point with other examples, I don't think that this particular one serves as proof of our current state. Let me first explain to you what this law really is about and then encourage you to take other actions to lower the abortion rate.

Now in case you're not familiar, New York recently passed a law allowing abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy. What I think a lot of people have still yet to realize is that this is only allowed in the case that the fetus is not likely to live once outside the womb or the birth will be of danger to the mother. So one more time for those who still might be confused, abortion doctors are not just taking babies out of the womb and killing them a day before birth because the mother decided she didn't want it anymore. This is to save lives and prevent pain and suffering.

I know many think that aborting a terminal fetus before birth still counts as murder, but let me equate it, instead, to ending life support for a loved one who is brain-dead. In many cases, these children are experiencing pain inside the womb only to be followed by more pain shortly before death once born. Parents that are choosing to abort their pregnancies in the third trimester for these reasons are devastated and only trying to end a child's suffering, often at the expense of their own.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that not all abortions are just being used as a form of contraception and that there are many painful stories about the necessity of abortion for a mother. What can you do to lower these rates though? Well, I might add that making abortion legal probably isn't going to do the trick. While you might want to close your ears to this information, women who want an abortion are probably going to get one whether it's legal or not. Many anti-abortion individuals happen to be the same individuals that are anti-gun control with the argument that illegal guns will be procured no matter the laws. Might I turn your eye than to the case of abortion and the fact that people will probably always do what they want to do. Anyhow, let me get off of my soapbox and actually provide some information.

If you're really in it to lower abortion rates, walking outside of Planned Parenthood with a sign, shaming the women who enter probably isn't going to do the trick. First of all, Planned Parenthood does more than just provide abortions, so you may be scaring/shaming a woman who just wants access to healthcare for her pregnancy out of seeking help at all. What you can do, however, is push for your local schools to teach real sex education and not abstinence-only contraception. Yeah, scary pictures of STD's might do the trick for a while, but as we've previously discussed, people are probably going to do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them. We need to be teaching our young people how to have safe sex, and just be teaching them about sex in general. I know that the thought of your teenager having sex probably scares the crap out of you but, if they're going to do it anyway, don't you want them to be safe?

Another thing that you can do to lower the rate of abortion is to call for easier access to birth control for women. When they can easily and affordably access safe methods of contraception, there are bound to be less unwanted pregnancies. The United States needs to not only be educating its youth about all aspects of sex, but it needs to be making it as easy as possible for them to be SAFE about it. It may not be your first preference for young people to be having sex, but if they're going to do it anyway, we need to ensure that they feel comfortable taking the countermeasures to be safe about it.

The last point I'd like to make before I finish up is that even if you think that abortion is morally wrong, it's not your choice to make whether or not another individual decides to get one. Many times this decision is going to be a painful one for the mother, especially if she knows that her child will not survive outside the womb. There is no reason to make this process more painful for her, or even dangerous by illegalizing it. We need to be supporting mothers and not shaming them for whatever decision they decide to make.

If you're anti-abortion, that doesn't mean you have to be anti-choice. If you would choose not to get one, that's totally fine and I understand that, but it's important to look at the bigger picture and ensure both the physical and mental health of our women who are probably already going through a lot. Now is not the time to tear others down for their choices. Now is the time for the human race to stand together and support each other and make sure that our country is a safe one to live in regardless of your beliefs.

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