Coming out to people - whether it be your family, friends or people in school - can seem very scary and stressful. When you’re still young, you know people might question you or try to make you change your mind.
I was around twelve when I first had a crush on a girl. I identify as a cisgender female myself, so this seemed a bit crazy. How could I like girls? I wasn’t even a teenager. Am I weird? Is it wrong? Is it bad?
The answer to all those questions is no - Liking people of any gender is not weird, wrong or bad. I thought this at the time because I was raised in a house where literally everyone I knew was heterosexual. My family aren’t homophobic in any way, as I later discovered, but they had never said a word to me about homosexuality. I didn’t know how they felt, or how I felt.
So I left it. I said nothing about it, except to my sister, who didn’t care. Not in a bad way, she just genuinely saw it as something so casual and normal, and she simply just shrugged and said, ‘Okay, cool.’
It’s been three years since, and I know I’m not straight, but I’m not gay either. I could be bisexual or pansexual, but I don’t to decide anything yet.
There’s so many more labels these days - bisexual, pansexual, asexual etc - and these can be very helpful and comforting, but also make it so much more confusing.
Labels are such a huge part of our identity, but do they really change who they are? It’s just giving a name to something that we are. Not having a label doesn’t mean you’re not something.
It doesn’t make you any less valid, or any less important. You’re still you.
And that’s a label right there - You.
It’s great if you do find something that suits you, because it can give you a sense of fitting in.
But if you don’t, it’s nothing to worry about. Not at all.
You’re still valid, you’re still important and you still matter. You’re still you, and that label is good enough as far as anyone should be concerned.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.