The LGBTQ+ community is a safe space for people around the world. It provides a place where everyone can be authentic, without shame or fear. While this community is welcoming, it also has a great deal of judgment and bias.
Here are a few things that I wish the LGBTQ+ community would address in order to support feelings of security and validity:
The Spectrum of Identities
The idea of the spectrum of identities is a relatively new concept, and not everyone is familiar with it yet. Not everyone fits in a specific box of expectations for what their gender or sexuality should be. Instead, we are all different and unique. If the LGBTQ+ community addressed these differences, the world could be a more accepting place. People would feel freer to be authentic, providing a sense of ease for everybody.
A common situation for LGBTQ+ people is being asked intrusive and uncomfortable questions. Not all queer people are comfortable with answering every single personal question. Just because they are queer does not mean that they are obligated to be “out and proud” all of the time. Also, there are people who are in the closet. They deserve to take their time and reveal themselves when they are ready as well.
Proving Your Identity
This is a prominent issue for those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, and asexual. If someone identifies with one of these sexualities but is in a straight relationship, many people may assume that they are not queer. This is absolutely not the case. People do not need to have been in a queer relationship, or any relationship, to know how they identify. Just like any other identity, this is something that is already inside of you. You are not obligated to prove yourself to anyone. You know who you are, and that is enough.
Identities That Are Welcome in The Community
All queer people are welcome in the LGBTQ+ community. This should not be an issue, and I wish that the LGBTQ+ community would address this further. Instead of being selective about who is “queer enough”, this community should be open to people of all queer identities. This community is meant to be a safe space, rather than a place that decides who is valid and who is not. Instead, we should promote inclusivity, respect, and acceptance.
It’s Okay to Change Your Labels… Or to Not Use Any Labels!
Labels are meant to help you discover and understand who you are. You are not obligated to stay with the label that you choose for the rest of your life. It is okay to change your labels as you grow. It can be similar to shedding your skin because you outgrow it. As you learn more about yourself, you may learn that another term fits you better, so go for it!
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