"To jump off the 6th floor you really don't have to be a queer. In fact you are." A shocking sentence for a reality that is just as much. This is how the Inter-LGBT association challenged the public on the high risk of suicide among young homosexuals, during an awareness campaign.
A clear sign of the difficulty in coming to terms with one's homosexuality, whatever the age and social condition, the "super-suicidity" of young gays, lesbians and bisexuals should not be seen as inevitable.
While it is true that acceptance of one's sexual orientation can lead to difficult moral and personal situations, homosexuality and depression are not synonymous! It is quite possible to come out [internal link to the pillar page on the terms “come out” in the text] with complete peace of mind
In 1979, psychologist Vivian Cass offered her version of the different stages of coming-out. Without being formally applicable to everyone, it is interesting to see how this model describes the states that a person goes through when they acquire a homosexual identity.
The first step would be confusion about identity, by being aware of gay or lesbian thoughts. This is the start of questioning, which is followed by comparison, where the individual begins to consider the possible implications of their sexual attraction (rejection, social isolation, acceptance, etc.).
When the context and education allow it, the third step is when the idea of being gay or bisexual takes hold. Gradually, the person tolerates this identity and the confusion decreases (often at the same time as the anxiety). However, it can also happen that this stage coincides with fears in the face of the awareness of the discrepancy vis-à-vis the expectations of society, family, entourage.
Making contact, discreet or even anonymous, with members of the LGB community, to obtain answers and support [internal link to the Coming-Out training page on the terms “obtaining answers and support” in the text] , allows you to move more serenely to the fourth step: acceptance of identity. In other words, the moment when you really wonder how to come to terms with your homosexuality.
Table of contents as clickable bulleted list of h2
- How do you know if you are homosexual?
- At what age to come out?
- Accept your homosexuality while being surrounded
- Assume homosexuality with resources
How do you know if you are homosexual?
If you feel different from other people and don't have friends in the same situation as you, it is going to be difficult to identify yourself as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This is why you feel so lost in the face of your feelings, your impressions, your doubts.
For some, the revelation of their homosexuality came abruptly, sweeping away all past certainties. For others, who have never felt attracted to the opposite sex, their sexual orientation was obvious and the question of "how to know if you are homosexual" [internal link to the level 2 page on the terms "how knowing if one is homosexual ”in the text] does not even arise.
The trigger often comes on two different occasions, which can occur later or later in life:
- When you are confronted for the first time with "homosexual role models", that is, seeing two gays holding hands, a lesbian woman openly declaring her attraction, etc.
- When you realize that you have a strong attraction to a person of the same sex, in other words, a huge crush!
Two women kissing give you butterflies in your stomach? An openly homosexual man of power is not caricatured and flaunts his success? A bisexual athlete is not stigmatized for her "tomboy" physique, but praised for her performance? These are all examples that show the importance of having media, films and series that finally put LGBTQ + people on the screen, without falling into clichés and prejudices. That's why HappyGayTV exists!
Starting to put words into your attractions is the first step to thriving, and for that there is no age. According to French child psychiatrist Xavier Pommereau, a little boy can feel attracted to men from childhood, even if there is no sexual representation of this attraction. These are signs that come back a posteriori, sometimes at an advanced age.
Need to talk about it? CTA: Towards coming-out training
At what age to come out?
When you spend more than half of your day at school, it is normal that this is the main place for socializing. For better and for worse. So it is sometimes as early as college years that some gay teenagers come out and assume their sexual identity. Depending on the school and family context, and also depending on the support received by fellow students, this can lead to the start of a life in tune with oneself or the hell of bullying.
Insults, social isolation, beatings: these homophobic attacks can unfortunately happen regardless of the age of your coming out. [internal link to the level 2 page on the words "regardless of the age of your coming out" in the text]
Some are aware from an early age of their female or male homosexuality, even without being able to put words on it. It is then puberty that will confirm his sexual attractions, even if it may seem young to those around him.
Sexual identity is built over time, gradually, but it is not always evident to pay attention to the thousands of signs that would allow us to decode our romantic attraction.
For different reasons (cultural, social, moral, family, etc.), a repressed homosexual could not or wanted to accept his impulses. You can spend years ignoring each other as gay or lesbian, until it clicks, which only comes after a long inner unconscious journey.
Discovering your homosexuality late is not necessarily an obstacle to a fulfilling sexual and sentimental life. Unlike younger people, life experience and past relationships lead to greater maturity with age. These superpowers, coupled with the ability to take a step back, are powerful assets for accepting homosexuality and coming out late.
However, the issues of acceptance remain numerous:
- Accept your own gaze and face yourself in an authentic way;
- Accept the new look, sometimes stigmatizing, of others;
- Get rid of shame and guilt.
Not to mention that coming out after having built a heterosexual relationship that can lead to marriage may increase the barriers to full acceptance. Keep in mind that you owe yourself happiness, you have the right to it, whatever your past.
Coming out can be a new beginning. On this journey, finding help is necessary: associations, therapists, HappyGayTV.
Accept your homosexuality while being surrounded
Being gay and not accepting it can become a real suffering on a daily basis: double life, lies, feeling of being an impostor ... To repress your homosexuality or at least to hide it from some of your loved ones is particularly painful to live with.
We're not going to lie to each other, your life context and those around you play an important part in your coming out and how you will be able to cope. Not that its success or failure depends on it (besides, you cannot fail in your coming out: to assume yourself is not to make a mistake). In fact, your family and friends can prove to be valuable allies or toxic enemies to your growth.
One of the first things to advise a homosexual or bisexual person is to surround themselves with people who will be able to listen to them [internal link to the level 2 page on the terms “surround yourself with people who will be able to listen to them”. listen ”in the text], reassure and advise him in what he is experiencing. In other words, LGBT centers, association hotlines, non-heterocentric media ...
Need to break the loneliness? CTA: Towards coming-out training
While it may not always be easy to ask for help, know that when you reach out to other gays, gays or lesbians, you are reaching out to people who have been through these stages. The course of life will be different, childhood, trials ... but emotions, doubts and fears will be shared. What could be better than being guided by someone who has already come the way?
Assume homosexuality with resources
Books, films, series or articles: accepting your homosexuality is also done with a little outside help!
Nothing to be embarrassed about, we are not talking about pornography, but about testimonies, gay stories, homosexual fictions ... In short, everything that allows to approach with words and images the question of homosexuality and bisexuality.
Coming out resources [internal link to level 2 page on “coming out resources” in text] are sometimes the most direct, discreet, and immediate way to reassure yourself about this special moment. and prepare to come out of the closet.
Whether it's documentaries that empathetically show the emotions of a courageous coming out or movies that feature gay or lesbian love with ease: these resources can help embrace one's homosexuality. This is one of our missions at HappyGayTV, moreover because different mechanisms will come into play:
- Identification with characters or situations;
- The guilt in relation to homosexual feelings;
- The normalization (finally!) Of love and affection between two people of the same sex.
In short, all the diversity that exists and is lacking on our screens!
From discovery to full acceptance, there is no straightforward path to come to terms with one's homosexuality. However, being a happy gay or a fulfilling lesbian is within everyone's reach. Kindness, acceptance and above all support.