When did you first know you were LGBT+?
How old were you? Were your family surprised? Or were you told to “fight your urges”?
Well, it’s a big moment of self-realisation. You may have felt relief, joy and excitement for the future ahead. It’s a big moment – but definitely not a simple process. Sadly, such an important time of one’s life can also be followed/compounded by bullying, rejection and isolation.
With increasing levels of anti-LGBT+ rhetoric, especially regarding queer children and inclusive education, it’s important to raise critical awareness of the experiences of our LGBT+ siblings and understand their experiences.
With that in mind, Stonewall recently took to Twitter to ask this exact question:
When did you realise (that you were LGBTQ+)?
Of course they received a lot of responses! Stories of joy, prejudice and self discovery all followed.
These experiences can tell us a lot about how far we’ve come (thankfully!). However they also reveal how far we still need to go to fight LGBT+ discrimination and bigotry. How things could have simply been so much more positive for so many people if attitudes had been different…
So, with that in mind, we’re sharing our 10 favourite responses (in no particular order). Warning: some are more cheerful than others…
1. Be my prince!
2. Feeling deeper friendship
3. Teenage transitioning
4. Being ahead of society
5. Recognising your reality
6. Hoping for change
7. Surviving suicide
8. Leaving the pain behind
9. This tomboy is queer!
10. The barriers of bullying
It’s great to see our queer siblings out and proud!
However, with such experiences of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, we need to help make the world a less hetero-normative and more queer-inclusive place!
Support your LGBT+ siblings, children, friends and family – and let’s work to make these experiences a thing of the past:
- Accept and celebrate them for who they are
- Listen to their experiences, wants and needs – without judgement
- Don’t force them to choose between their gender/sexuality and their faith or cultural identity
- Allow them to come out (publically) when, how and if they want – on THEIR terms
- Share the message that #loveislove and that we’re all equal!
For further information and support, please visit:
And remember, say it loudly and clearly: love is love!