We live in a Hetero – centric Society and because of that LGBTQ teens must deal with the challenges of growing up and coming out.
It may have started with feelings of “differentness” as early as four or five. The messages from family, friends and school about what boys do and girls do made you feel different. Or maybe your feelings towards the same sex were not welcomed by others. Maybe your so called “non-conforming” gender feelings caused others distress. You were socialized to hide who you are. Hiding for LGBTQ individuals is destructive. It requires hypervigilance and constant scanning. It can cause so much harm.
Maybe you are at the stage where you are attempting to change who you really are because of social pressure or even fear for your safety. Not being who you are can be excruciating. You might use drugs, alcohol, or other high risk behaviours to supress sexual feelings. If your environment was accepting and inclusive, you might never engage in such behaviours.
At some point, you discover that it is you who can best accept yourself; it is you who can be true to your identity. Even when you do this, you may still experience negative environmental influences. Once you have solidified your identity, you face the decision about how to come out. Coming out can be a relief and feel liberating. It can also be terrifying and painful– because of others.
You may face the challenge of having to educate others: helping others to understand how exclusive they are, what pronouns to use, or debunking the myths they carry.
Family TLC is inclusive. We understand, and we are open to walking with you on the path to growing up and coming out. If you need help, give us a call. You do not have to face this alone.