We’ve all been there: disliking our true self. We try to hide it, deny it, but in the end, it always surfaces. The hardest part is admitting to ourself that we are a gay, a lesbian, or a transgender. For my part, I began rejecting the idea at 12 years old, when all the girls seemed cute and beautiful to me. I spent countless hours coaxing myself into having crushes on guys and finding them handsome. It obviously never worked. Then, I tried to focus only on friendship, but there was a catch to it : I fell in love with my best friend. She didn’t want to hear anything of it and left me behind. A year later, I dated a guy whom I thought I liked enough, which resulted in a poor choice as it seemed I was kissing plastic. So we broke up. I then found myself a girlfriend, but I always made sure she wouldn’t tell anyone that we were dating… I couldn’t face everyone’s thoughts and looks yet. It was too scary at that time. We broke up after a few months; she just wasn’t made for me, and I guess I still had to learn how to overcome my fears of being a lesbian.
I spent years figuring out what was wrong with me, only to find that this does not need fixing. Truth is I’m still fighting the monster in the mirror. It’s called auto-homophobia, from professionals’ point of view. I know a lot of us either went through it or are living it. I am. But as the days go by, I feel more confident. There’s a little step in accepting myself here and there. Look, I’m even writing about it now! It’s quite an improvement and I know you can do it too.
Auto-homophobia is real and needs to be acknowledged. It’s a constant feeling of shame gnawing at your heart and making you want to cry or hide. It also makes you choose the exact contrary of what you would normally do. It’s the feeling that you’re wrong, broken, never good enough. Because, in your opinion, you’re not normal. That’s what auto-homophobia is and it’s sad. But it can be fought. We can win this fight! People need to become aware of this internal mayhem we experience every day.
If you don’t accept yourself first, who will? Some have a very understanding family, which is great. But some will need the confidence admitting their homosexuality to themselves will give them. We go through different phases at different times, but I know I had to read through many gays and lesbians’ stories to push myself towards the light. If you love to read, do it. If you think hearing someone else talk about their own experience will help you, listen to them. But mostly: listen to that little voice inside of you. The real you is trying to breathe and live their own life.
I bet you would do a lot for a friend of yours, wouldn’t you? Just do the same for you, at your own rhythm. I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy race, but you’ll be free in the end. And isn’t freedom what we’re all aiming for? The freedom to be who we really are.
Don’t be your first bully. Be your friend.
Because a friend in need is a friend indeed.
Think about your well-being. I know you might want to cry, or never wake up again, but truth is this world needs you. Because there’s only one of you. So let your colors shine! Push the doubts aside and stand into the light.
You’re worth it.
And most importantly : others can’t knock you down if you don’t let them, so fight your bad emotions and thoughts and become the best friend you’ve ever been to yourself!
I know I will.