This blogpost mentions bullying which can be triggering.
Being queer is beautiful. Being queer is liberating. But it wasn’t always this way for me. When I first started to realise that I might be queer, my initial thoughts were scary. I didn’t know what to do with all these feelings and thoughts I was having and I certainly did not have a queer person around me to answer those questions. Was there something wrong with me? Was I going to have a hard time in college? Would I be bullied?
I still remember the first time I came to terms with my sexuality. It was during a therapy session, and I will be eternally grateful for the privilege that I got to go to therapy and was guided through the coming out process by a warm and loving therapist. Unfortunately, therapy is expensive and not all queer people, closeted or questioning or out, have access to it. And this is why I strongly believe that we need more queer people coming forward and putting forth their experiences for the closeted and questioning members of the LGBTQIA+ community to gain inspiration from.
When I was first questioning my sexuality, it was through much reading and understanding the journeys of multiple strong and courageous queer people that I was able to garner the strength to come to terms with my sexuality.
Recently, there has been an outpour of support for the LGBTQIA+ community on social media, with brands turning their logos into rainbow colours during Pride month as a symbol of support for the queer community. But is that enough? There is a serious need to question these brands who seem to support the community on the surface but don’t really make any changes on the inside to make queer people feel safe. Making workspaces and offices queer-friendly, including an option for pronouns and gender identities are just some of the steps that can be taken to make queer people feel safe.
I’ll have to admit it, it isn’t always easy being queer. Everyday, as a queer person, I have to think twice before wearing something that might come off as provocative. If I choose to wear heels today, is there a chance I’ll be bullied or worse, assaulted? This is never the concern for heterosexuals. The point that I’m making here is that only posting rainbows over your feeds is not enough. Understanding and learning about the struggles that queer people face on a daily basis; becoming aware about all the struggles that the community has overcome over the past; and something as small but significant as adding your pronouns in your email signature and Instagram bio are just some of the steps that, in my opinion, are the bare minimum for making queer people feel safe and creating safer spaces for LGBTQIA+ community, virtually and physically.
That being said, it is beautiful being queer. The queer community is warm, beautiful, bold and courageous and I’m so grateful to be a part of it; and I’ll keep doing everything in my power to share my experience and stand up for my community for as long as I can.
And for my fellow queer folks, it does get better.