I was young when I figured out I wasn’t like the other girls. I questioned a little too much about why my Barbie had to marry Ken. Or why couldn’t I play with all the guys outside instead of playing kitchen inside. I had a need to stray out of the gender roles that I found prevalent while growing up in the South. I remember (and so can most of my friends) how big of a deal it was when I broke out of my converses, jeans, and boy’s shirts into my dresses phase while in high school.
But the problem I struggle with was that I never quit fit into wearing dresses or staying out of the mud while I was younger. And I continued to struggle with it into my well-extended college career. It took me 14 years to figure out that maybe I’m struggling with these things because I wasn’t a heterosexual but I was trying to fit into a hetero–normative society. It took me until 18 to tell my friends that I “wasn’t exactly straight.” And it took me coming out while in college to understand that I still don’t understand what “box” I fit into. But considering I’ve spent a lot of my life question where I land in my sexuality and society’s gender roles, I’ve learned a few tips.
1. Take some time away from the world.
Give your self some time away from society. Go for a few hikes on your own or spend a cabin weekend to yourself. Or even set aside 15 minutes every morning journaling your thoughts. Spend time getting to know yourself and where YOU think you belong. Or better what you think your sexuality is or how you feel about gender roles or anything. The only way to know you is to examine yourself.
2. Speak to friends about how you feel.
If you’re questioning your sexuality or know you’re different from our hetero-normative society, talk to some friends or adults that you can trust. They are a great sounding board for life advice all around. And they can be there if you need them when/if you decide to come out.
3. Find a community where you belong.
It could be a sports team, sewing club, chess team, politics debate, or a LGBTQ+ community, but find a place with people you can have commonalities with (they could match with number 2). But have a hobby or interest group can help so much when you’re questioning the rest of your life. It is kind of like a constant for your life when everything is uncertain. And having people join in with you will go a miles worth.
4. Know that questioning is an ongoing processes.
You may figure out one thing in this world but there is another thing left a mystery. You may become on of the brave ones to questions their sexuality and become certain with yourself about it. You may become so certain about it that you may be able to “come out about it”. But I just want you to know, that no matter the challenge is through questioning, there is so much life left to live. There is so much left to discover and to figure out.