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Don't dim your light for others around you.

By Rebecca SmithPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2021

Growing up, I always felt disconnected from family and friends. I’ve never had a boyfriend or girlfriend. I’ve never been sexually attracted to someone. As I grew up, I realised that I am a Cis-gendered woman, whose pronouns are she/her, and that is Asexual, bordering on Demisexual, who is Bisexual under certain circumstances. Basically, whilst I’m not sexually attracted to any gender, if I have a deep connection with someone, there is a potential for me to be aesthetically attracted to them (which is a really fancy way of saying that I can have a crush!).

I always read articles about young people who are struggling to come out to their parents and friends. Some who know that they are not the gender they were assigned at birth. And it breaks my heart. I cannot understand why, in the twenty-first century, that we cannot just be who we are; stand proud and not have to worry about what others may say. I wish I could tell every young member of the LGBTQIA+ community what I wish someone had told me as a teenager:

Don't dim your light for others around you. So what if they don't understand? You will meet your people. You will be happy. You can shine as brightly as you want and you will find love, happiness and most importantly - acceptance - when you just forget the idiots, and be your unique and wonderful self.

When I was younger, I was surrounded by people who wouldn’t accept anything other than a relationship between a cis-gendered man and a cis-gendered woman. It was so hard for me to feel like I belonged, but eventually, I met more people like me and it opened up a whole new world. I remember confiding in a teacher at school, and he gave me some advice that I’ll never forget. He told me that I shouldn’t have to diminish who I am to please other people. That I should love who I love, be who I feel inside and live my life knowing that I’m a kick-arse woman. That has always stayed with me. His words gave me the confidence I needed to stand up and live my life as who I want to be.

The world right now, is a much different place to what it was when I was younger. I’d love to go back and tell myself that ‘In 2021, when you’re in your twenties, you will have super supportive friends who embrace who you are and celebrate with you. LGBTQIA+ will be celebrated and times are changing! You be you, girl!’

Having said that, we do have a long way to go for complete acceptance and inclusion. In ten years (or sooner!), I hope that the world as a whole is more accepting of love and gender. That no matter what race or religion you belong to, you don’t have to hide who you are. That hate crime is a thing of the past and that being Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Pansexual, etc, isn’t a ‘dirty little secret’. That the gender you are assigned at birth, doesn’t count towards anything; people can grow up to be whoever they know they truly are.

The acceptance of Bisexuality has always been much slower than the acceptance of Gay and Lesbian. Like many other categories (such as Pansexual, Asexuality, etc), Bisexuality was still sneered at and not acknowledged as being ‘real.’ I think the biggest accomplishment in the Bisexual community has been the recognition we get now. People are realising that Bisexuality is real. It isn’t ‘greedy’. We have had misorientation forced upon us for years – but that’s finally changing and I couldn’t be more glad for myself, but more for the whole bisexual community; especially the younger generation! We f**king deserve this!

Being young can suck, for so many reasons, but one thing that should NEVER, ever be a struggle, is your sexuality. For me, it took a long time to feel comfortable opening up to anyone. Even my closest friends didn’t know. I’d pretend to fancy the same boy they did, just to fit in. But I hated myself for it. I’m so angry at myself now, looking back. No one should ever have to hide who they are in order to fit in.

Now, with social media being such an integral part of youth culture, you can find more support. Even if the people around you are homophobic idiots, you’ll always find someone online who will accept you. I have been part of some great online communities that support gay rights.

Find your people and support one another. Fight back against bigots. Raise your voices, stamp your feet and be the glorious, beautiful, wonderful humans you were born to be.


About the Creator

Rebecca Smith


Just be f*cking nice 🙌

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