Life as a young LGBTQ+ person

Life as a young LGBTQ+ person
Photo by Steve Johnson / Unsplash

Many see LGBTQ+ as a difficult space to wrap their head around. Many don't know quite what it means. Lettuce, Grapes, Bacon, Toast, Quesadilla? No, not quite. As appetising as a nice mix of fresh vegetables and fruit with bacon and toasted bread in a traditional Mexican meal sounds, LGBTQ+ has a much more significant meaning. Originating in the 1990s, the term LGBT stands for 'Lesbian', 'Gay', 'Bisexual', 'Transgender'. Recently it is becoming more common to see Q on the end of the term to recognise 'Queer' or those questioning their sexuality or gender identity. As a young gay teenager, I often get asked for advice related to LGBTQ+. My effort here in this article is to reduce stigma and help anyone out there reading this who may be questioning their sexuality or gender identity.

My story with LGBTQ+ didn't start until (relatively) not too long ago at the end of 2019. I would have been 14 at the time and its a time in life where you begin to seriously consider the type of people you want to be around in your life. It's where one reconsiders qualities of all different people, and the input they can have on your life, and likewise the impact you can have on theirs. Learning more about who I wanted to be around both in the context of a group of friends, and the context of a partner, helped me discover my sexuality.

In my journey, I never found acceptance to be a major issue (as I have family friends that are LGBTQ+), but like many people, telling others about it was the biggest issue I found myself facing. I've heard so many stories of how people have 'come out' to others, whether its by a text message, leaving a note on a table, or just saying it out loud. There is no 'one correct way' to come out to someone, and I don't think this is the right forum to suggest one as it's different for everyone. The most important thing is the support you have around you.

Support is crucial in ones journey with LGBTQ+. I personally don't quite know where I would be without it. Whether its a close friend, family member, or another member of the LGBTQ+ community, it helps a lot to have someone to talk about things with. It's also important to talk to someone who is familiar with the space of LGBTQ+, and I have attached details of some organisations who can help in this article.

I warmly welcome anyone who has questions about LGBTQ or those who might want a bit of support to reach out to me privately on Discord "✨ 𝒲𝒾𝓁𝒽𝑒𝓁𝓂 ✨#0001". I'd be more than happy to support you or answer questions you may have confidentially.

I would like to conclude with a quote from American actor Harvey Fierstein: "Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.".

We provide support, information, resources & advocacy for Aotearoa’s queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth.
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