31 March 2006

What can I do to accept my sexual orientation ?

While I came out at the age of seventeen (I will soon be 22), I am finding it more and more difficult with every coming year to accept my sexual identity. I feel suffocated by how the word “lesbian” makes me feel and the hurt it has caused my very traditional immigrant family. I have even grown to dislike being near women, leaving me with nothing more than empty sexual attraction and loneliness. I simply have no clue how to pull myself out of this situation.


Dear Taz,

First of all, I think that you have to give yourself some credit. Many people push away feelings they have for somebody of the same gender as them because of prejudice against lesbians and gay men. But against all of that you were able to come out and talk about your sexual orientation. It takes strength, courage and determination. These times can often be frightening and lonely. It may cause some internal struggles because you are opening yourself to others and there is a risk of rejection.

Only you know what is right for you and you should not feel guilty because of the feedback you have gotten. Unfortunately not everybody accepts homosexuality. That can be very painful and hard to accept when it comes from family members. But the important thing is that you accept yourself the way you are and that it allows you to grow as a person. That is about feeling good and comfortable with your sexuality. Always remember that you are not alone, many people go through similar struggles. It would probably be a good idea to talk to a friend you can count on, that person could support you through these hard times. There are many resources on the Web like Alter Heros that you can count on and reading other stories can help you find strength. It is not easy, but you are not alone.

You need to know that even if you are homosexual, you don’t have to identify yourself to the word lesbian. Only you know what is right and how you wish to define yourself. The word lesbian can have many definitions and can be interpreted in many ways. There are many social constructs and stereotypes associated with words used to define or designate people with a homosexual orientation. So it’s okay if you don’t like the word, there are many ways to express your sexual orientation and it doesn’t have to be using the word lesbian. You can explore your sexual orientation, figure out what it means to you and how you wish to define your identity.

I hope this has offered you some kind of comforting and I hope that you will keep your spirits up through these hard times. Feel free to write back it you feel the need.