Gay! Is that all I am?

February 2, 2017
Nick, Allsorts Young Person

Coming out is a liberating experience.

Coming out can sometimes be a baptism of fire but it is an event that is very specific to LGBT. Every LBGT person at some point comes out, and usually must come out again and again in their lifetime. We all can choose to come out, but not all of us get to come out. Coming out can be a scary experience, you enter a world far removed from what you know and yet so familiar. You can finally admit that Ryan Reynolds is good looking and not have to justify why you watch Rupaul’s Drag Race. And yet with a culture full of lip syncing, high fashion, pride event and media representation of the ‘gay scene’, is being gay all that I am? Does being gay define me? 

Before you fling open that closet door, it is important that you accept who you are 

This is hard step as you go against the societal social norm which makes you feel different. Once you accept yourself, you may choose to come bursting out or gently dipping your toe in Luckily there are not rules on how to come out, so you get to choose the how and the when. Congratulations! 

You are now a card carrying member of the LBGT community and forever more will be labelled. You are constantly linked to this label. Sam Smith and Troye Sivan are both brilliant singers and they are known as ‘Gay Singers’. Ellen Page is the ‘Lesbian actress’. But is being LGBT all they are? 

The LGBT community can be an exciting, vibrant, unique and fascinating community. Yet it can also be a frightening place.

Like any other community there are sub communities and types and navigating your way around as you figure out where you fit in can be exhausting. While in other communities you are born into that culture, being LGBT you are not. You are not born to two LGBT parents, nor can LGBT parents choose the sexuality of their child. Being gay transcends race, gender and culture. Which is what makes the LBGT community unique as it is inclusive of everyone from all walks of life, from West Hollywood all the way to Lesotho. In the LGBT community there is a very mixed variety and as Rupaul says, we don’t choose our family we have to find them. 

So to the wider social community if being gay is really all that we are, then that is okay with me. Because being LGBT is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to be celebrated. There is no other community which is so inclusive regardless of race, gender, religion, culture, disability and class. To the world at large we maybe just ‘A gay student’, ‘a gay singer’, ‘a gay nurse’, but that’s is not all who we are. 

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