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Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

Have you or are you questioning sexuality? 
I know that this is not the experience of everyone, but I have thought about this question for a while now and have to be honest. I haven't ever felt the need to question my sexuality. I have known my sexuality since I was five or six years old and it has stayed largely the same until now. It just came naturally to me and I've always been aware of what my mind and body tells me. I never doubted my feelings. I can't really think of an exact moment when I became aware of my sexuality. For me, it was probably something that I was born with and innate rather than something that developed over time. It was always there and not influenced by anyone or anything.

 

What did questioning sexuality look like for you?

My sexuality is not what comes to mind when most people think of sexuality. I grew up in a family and community where expressing sexuality of any sort was considered to be shameful, and there was a 'normal' sexuality and way to have a relationship. People tried to force their own ideas of what sexuality should look like onto me. I did not question my sexuality, only others' opinions of it. I didn't want to cause conflict and disappoint anyone. It took me a long time to realise that I wasn't the person that people wanted or expected me to be, and never would be. It was a while before I felt comfortable in my own skin and could decide that I wasn't going to change who I am for anyone. I had to learn to put my happiness first, and if other people don't like or understand my sexuality, that's their problem to deal with.

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

Have you or are you questioning sexuality? 

Yep, definitely. Many years after I first started questioning, I have figured out that I'm not straight. 

At this point I have almost no idea what my sexuality is, but I'm okay with that.

 

What did questioning sexuality look like for you?

Well, I thought I'd figured it out, and that I was lesbian. 

Until I realized I was genderqueer, genderfluid and (mostly) non-binary.

So... that didn't really fit.

I also think I'm demisexual. Or asexual. Probably. Possibly?

When you add to that the fact that my brain likes to throw me the occasional curve ball, it gets confusing.

Right now, I'm paying attention to how I feel so that I can learn more about myself, but otherwise I just let it be.

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

I have really loved reading through all the posts in this thread so far! Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences so far! I have been catching up on the posts from @not-an-otter @Esperanza67 @Tiny_leaf and @WheresMySquishy last week Heart

 

Today we are posting the last activity for our special discussion on sexuality!

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Check out our community activities calendar for July 2019 here

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

Part 3: Conversations about sexuality and coming out

 

Sharing what you’re going through can lighten your load and help you feel less alone, but it can also feel daunting. 

 

What can I do if I’m not ready to talk to anyone in person?

If you’re not ready to have this conversation with someone you know, speaking online can be helpful to engage anonymously with people in the same situation (just like we are doing now!). You’ll find a tonne of people who can relate to what you’re going through. 

 

Do I have to ‘come out’?

The phrase ‘coming out’ is often used for the conversations we have about sexuality. Most of the stories we hear about LGBTQIA+ people relate to how and when they ‘came out’ – and it can make it feel like a big event or announcement. While that can feel right for some people, it’s not for everyone. It’s entirely up to you whether, when and how you share your thoughts on your sexuality. Coming out can also be evolving process that may occur throughout your life. 

 

Check out this video from Qlife with three people who share their stories of questioning their sexuality and coming out: 

 

 

How do I know if I’m ready to talk?

If you’re thinking about sharing your thoughts on your sexual identity, there are a couple of important questions you should ask yourself first:

  • Am I ready? Do you really feel like the time is right for you to do this, or are you reacting to pressure from the outside?
  • Will I be safe? 
  • Do I have someone I trust enough to tell? The first time you have this conversation with someone could be hard. It should be with someone you trust completely.
  • Do I feel good about the decision? 

It may feel you can only share with others and talk about your sexuality when you are 100% sure, however in reality it is a process that may change many times. No matter where you are at on the journey of questioning your sexuality, it is okay to share your thoughts about your sexuality before you are 100% sure. It is your choice when and how you talk about sexuality. 

 

I’m ready to talk – but how do I actually have the conversation?

If you’re ready to come out or invite in, ReachOut has some resources on how to have the conversation here.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to these things, so what has worked for other people may not work for you. It’s up to you to find your own way of handling it – to decide what it means for your life and how you eventually choose to identify. There’s no right or wrong way to be you, and you’re now well on your way to celebrating what makes you unique! 

 

Activity 3:

Have you had a conversation about sexuality?

What worked or didn’t work? 

How can you create a safe environment for others around you to talk about sexuality?

 

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Check out our community activities calendar for July 2019 here
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Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

I have personally yet to have a conversation about my sexuality so I'm keen to hear what others have to say here! Smiley Very Happy
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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

Hi @Esperanza67, I am sure there are a lot of our forum members can also relate Heart I am also looking forward to hearing from other members too. What are your thoughts about the last question @Esperanza67 - How can you create a safe environment for others around you to talk about sexuality?
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Check out our community activities calendar for July 2019 here

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

I haven't had a real in-depth conversation about sexuality, but some people know about my sexuality through casual conversation. I think what has helped when I've had conversations with people about sexuality is not making things into a big deal, not persuading anyone into doing things that they don't want to do and not getting other people involved. Having a sense of humour can be really helpful in lightening the mood and making people more comfortable. If someone tells me about their sexuality, I try to make sure that they know that I'll support them.

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

@WheresMySquishy, you have raised some really great strategies around creating a safe space for anyone in your network to talk about sexuality. The point around making sure that the person feels no pressure- giving that space to be heard where you will sit, listen non-judgmentally and not necessarily jump in to offer advice is so important Heart
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Check out our community activities calendar for July 2019 here

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

If I know that it's safe to tell someone and they won't mind, I personally enjoy doing the equivalent of jumping from the closet and yelling "surprise!" Smiley Tongue

Like I'll be in the closet for a "safety period" while I work out how safe it is to come out, and then come out using a bad pun or something.

Though this obviously isn't the best approach in more delicate situations, or where the other person might need some more time and space to process it...

 

With my extended family, who luckily aren't homophobic, I've made a decision not to "formally" come out or discuss my sexuality. 

I figure that if they see me holding hands with a girl or notice that I've never had or wanted a boyfriend, they'll put two and two together. 

They've probably noticed by now that my straightness level is closer to a noodle than a ruler, and I'm happy to leave it at that.

 

When I came out to my best friend, I wasn't at all sure how she'd react, but I didn't want to lie to her. I waited for a moment when we had some time for a conversation, and just said something along the lines of "I have a crush on a girl." and tried not to panic.

She just causally said "Yeah, I know." and gave me a hug.

I'm still not 100% sure how she figured that out, she just said that she couldn't imagine me ever having a crush on a guy. Point is, she was really supportive.

And may be a mind reader Smiley Tongue

 

I also once came out to someone for the sole purpose of getting them to think about how homophobic they were being.

"If anyone calls you "queer", let me know and I'll beat them up."

"But.. what's wrong with being called queer?"

"Don't worry, just let me know if they say you are."

"Right.... you realize I actually am queer?"

"Oh...... that's interesting.... um.."

It worked, and I didn't have to put up with anymore homophobia from them, but in hindsight was a bad idea that could've gone wrong very easily..

Definitely make sure it's safe to come out before you do so. 

Re: Sexuality: Special Discussion

Hi @Tiny_leaf,

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences of coming out to the important people in your life Heart A few things really stood out for me in your post. The first was that coming out doesn't always need to be a direct conversation, and with your family you were able to show your sexuality over a period of time and that worked for you! The second was around the importance of coming out to people you trusted and when it was safe to do so. Safety is crucial. Even when you didn't know how your best friend would react, you created the space and to have that conversation she was really supportive. It's great to hear that you have a supportive network of people around you- so important! Heart

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Check out our community activities calendar for July 2019 here