Ok, quick kiki. I hate using sexual identity as a form of marketing as much as I hate the commercialisation of anything very human, but I also recognise that “”Coming out is the most political thing you can do” (Harvey Milk) and it’s important to make it very clear where I stand.​​​​​​​​
I’ve said this before, but let me say it again: I 👏 am 👏 queer 👏​​​​​​​​
When you were born this way, or “Fell out of the womb and landed in my mother’s high heels” (Leslie Jordan) being outside of the heteronormative standard that dominates most of the world doesn’t just exist for a week or a month. ​​​​​​​​
This is my life. ​​​​​​​​
And as proud as I am to stand with my LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈 family, there are days where it also means being afraid, because it’s so very easy for those who disagree with who I am to resort to violence and unkind words.

Sometimes it even means dealing with discrimination from within the LGBTQ+ community when you don’t neatly fit into the (unironically) binary boxes that make translating the world so much easier for people. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”It’s so much easier to see the world in black & white. Gray? I don’t know what to do with gray.”” (Garrus Vakarian)​​​​​​​​.
Announcing your sexual orientation publicly also seems to be this strange invitation for people to voice their opinions about who and what I am.

So, I say this, not to open the door for advice on how I should live my life, but to make it clear that love is love is love, and basic human respect is non-negotiable.​​​​​​​​

​​​​​Coming out as LGBTQ+ is a deeply personal journey, and the decision to be open about your sexual orientation or gender identity should always rest in the hands of the individual.

Never feel obligated or pressured to disclose your LGBTQ+ identity.

Respecting each person’s autonomy and allowing them to determine if, when, and how they choose to come out is crucial.

Being open about your LGBTQ+ identity holds immense personal significance.

It allows us to embrace our authentic selves, fostering a sense of self-acceptance, well-being, and fulfilment.

By living authentically, free from the burden of hiding or suppressing an integral part of ourselves, we can experience greater happiness and mental well-being.

Furthermore, being open about our identity can lead to a sense of belonging, connection, and support within the LGBTQ+ community, where we can find understanding and empathy from like-minded people.

Visibility and openness have the power to challenge stereotypes, foster acceptance, and drive social change.

When we are open about our LGBTQ+ identities, we humanise the LGBTQ+ community, dismantling misconceptions and prejudices.

This openness encourages dialogue, understanding, and empathy, paving the way for a more inclusive society.

Additionally, the visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals can inspire and provide support for others who may be questioning their own identities or facing societal pressures.

By sharing our stories, we become beacons of hope and resilience for the next generations.

While being open about your LGBTQ+ identity can be empowering, there are also risks.

And it’s essential to recognise the potential risks and challenges that we may face.

Factors such as cultural context, family dynamics, and personal safety concerns impact your decision to come out. Discrimination, prejudice, and rejection are unfortunate realities that the LGBTQ+ community faces.

The decision to be openly LGBTQ+ is taken with consideration for your unique circumstances, safety, and well-being. Every person’s journey is unique, and no one should ever be forced into coming out or disclosing their LGBTQ+ identity.

Also never, ever out someone else.

Respecting each person’s autonomy means allowing them to decide when, how, and with whom they wish to share their truth. It isn’t a matter of secrecy or shame, but rather a personal decision that should be met with support and understanding.

No one has the right to demand or expect disclosure, as it is a deeply personal and vulnerable act that should be undertaken on the individual’s terms.In LGBTQ+ dating, in addition to the fact that it can be a little awkward at first, one staple is swapping coming out stories.

But even on a date you shouldn’t feel pressured into sharing it if you’re not comfortable doing so, because not everyone’s coming out story is without pain.

Openly LGBTQ+ dating is relatively new as it has historically been swamped with fear and secrecy.

This has been due to several factors, including societal attitudes, legal restrictions, and the threat of discrimination and violence.

Here are some key points that illustrate the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the realm of dating throughout history:

  1. Stigmatisation and social taboos: anything other than heterosexuality and non-heteronormative relationships have been historically stigmatised in many cultures. LGBTQ+ individuals faced societal disapproval, condemnation, and moral judgment. This created an atmosphere of shame and secrecy around same-sex relationships, making it difficult for individuals to openly pursue and express their romantic and sexual interests.
  2. Legal criminalisation: laws criminalising homosexuality were prevalent in various countries for significant periods of time. These still exist in some countries today. LGBTQ+ individuals faced the risk of arrest, imprisonment, and even corporal punishment or execution in some instances. These oppressive laws forced many LGBTQ+ individuals to hide their relationships and engage in clandestine dating, driven by the fear of legal consequences.
  3. Lack of safe spaces: in a society where homosexuality and gender nonconformity were not accepted, LGBTQ+ individuals often struggled to find safe spaces to meet and connect with potential partners. Establishments that catered to LGBTQ+ communities were limited and frequently subjected to police raids and persecution. This lack of safe spaces further exacerbated the need for secrecy in dating.
  4. Discrimination and violence: LGBTQ+ individuals have faced discrimination, harassment, and violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This created an environment of fear and insecurity, making it challenging to openly date and form relationships without the risk of facing prejudice, rejection, or physical harm.
  5. Impact of HIV/AIDS: the epidemic in the 1980s further intensified the climate of fear and secrecy in LGBTQ+ dating. The disease was initially stigmatised and associated primarily with the LGBTQ+ community. This added an additional layer of fear and caution, impacting dating dynamics and leading to further secrecy and reluctance to disclose one’s sexual orientation or HIV status.
  6. Lack of representation and support: The absence of positive LGBTQ+ representation in media, literature, and popular culture for much of history contributed to a sense of isolation and invisibility. The lack of support systems and resources made it challenging for LGBTQ+ individuals to find guidance, connect with like-minded individuals, and navigate healthy relationships.

Over time, advancements in LGBTQ+ rights, growing acceptance, and the tireless efforts of activists have gradually challenged and dismantled these barriers.

Even with all the work and leaps forward we’ve made, it’s important to recognise the historical context and the ongoing struggles faced by LGBTQ+ community in many parts of the world.

The fear and secrecy historically associated with LGBTQ+ dating underscore the significance of creating inclusive and affirming environments that allow individuals to embrace their identities and pursue loving relationships without fear of discrimination or violence.

The historical factors shape and affect LGBTQ+ dating and identity today.

Albeit to varying degrees depending on the cultural, legal, and social context.

Historical influences continue to shape and affect LGBTQ+ dating today in various ways.

The fear and secrecy ingrained in LGBTQ+ dating history can impact individuals’ coming out journeys, with the fear of rejection and negative consequences often causing delays or struggles in revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity to their families, friends, and communities.

This can hinder their ability to openly engage in dating and form relationships without fear of judgment or harm.

The historical legacy of fear and secrecy can lead to hesitancy and caution in disclosing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

It can be challenging (if not nearly impossible) to separate your identity from dating due to the interconnectedness of personal identity and romantic relationships.

For many LGBTQ+ individuals, dating serves as a platform for exploring and expressing their authentic selves, connecting with others who share similar experiences, and forming relationships that are rooted in shared identities and understanding.

Dating often provides an avenue for LGBTQ+ individuals to navigate and embrace their sexual orientation or gender identity openly.

It allows us to connect with potential partners who appreciate and affirm our identities, fostering a sense of validation, acceptance, and belonging.

For many, dating within the LGBTQ+ community offers an opportunity to establish meaningful connections that can enhance our overall well-being.

Additionally, dating can play a role in the process of self-discovery and self-acceptance for LGBTQ+ individuals. It allows us to explore our desires, preferences, and romantic inclinations, contributing to a deeper understanding and acceptance of our own identity.

An individual’s LGBTQ+ identity extends beyond dating.

While dating may be an integral part of the LGBTQ+ experience, it is not the sole defining aspect.

LGBTQ+ individuals have multifaceted lives and identities that encompass various aspects beyond romantic relationships, such as friendships, careers, hobbies, and activism. Just like cis-het people.

Not all LGBTQ+ individuals engage in dating or prioritise romantic relationships. Some individuals may choose to focus on personal growth, self-discovery, or other aspects of their lives that are unrelated to dating.

Each person’s journey is unique, and they have the autonomy to define the role of dating within their LGBTQ+ identity. LGBTQ+ individuals have diverse experiences and priorities, and they can choose to define and navigate their identity and relationships in ways that align with their own values and aspirations.

Supportive and inclusive environments are instrumental in fostering a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals.

By creating a climate of acceptance, understanding, and non-judgment, we can help individuals feel comfortable and supported in being open about their identities.

It’s important to listen, learn, and educate ourselves about LGBTQ+ experiences, recognising the diverse journeys and challenges faced by individuals within the community.

By doing so, we can collectively contribute to a more inclusive and affirming society.

Respecting the autonomy of LGBTQ+ individuals is paramount.

The decision to come out or be openly LGBTQ+ is deeply personal and varies from person to person.

By acknowledging the personal and societal significance of being open, understanding the potential challenges involved, and creating supportive environments, we can foster a society that celebrates diversity and respects the individual journeys of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Remember, you don’t owe coming out to anyone—your identity is yours to embrace and share when and how you choose.

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