If you are gay or transgender, you realize how hard it was to come to terms with, especially if you came out long ago with a society that may not have been accepting, or your family and friends didn’t accept you. Things are much different now. Society does accept those who are different from them, and for the most part it is safe to come out.

gay and transgender pride flags waving on the sky

However, many people still have a hard time, and many still have a hard time figuring out if they are gay or transgender. However, there is often a process that people go through that may help you identify where you are and how to figure out if you are gay, transgender, or neither.

One of the first things that happens is denial. You may be thinking, “Why me?” This often happens because you do not want to be gay or transgender because in your mind there is a stigma around this and how society shuns those who are different. However, this simple isn’t the case anymore, so learning to realize that while things won’t be easy when you come out, and you may lose people and be ridiculed, you have rights and freedom to express your true self. You may be in denial because you do not want to go through what you perceive is a difficult path ahead. You may want your life to be easy. But, life is not easy, and challenges are here to help you learn and grow.

Boy with hashtag why me written on his arm

With denial often comes repression of feelings and emotions. If you are gay, you may try to force yourself to be straight. If you are transgender, you may force yourself to be cisgender. This causes unnecessary frustration as you try to figure yourself out. But because you are in denial and repressing how you truly feel, you end up feeling worse and like something is not right. You force yourself to be in straight relationships, but you don’t like it. You force yourself to do activities aligned with your biological birth sex, but it just doesn’t feel right. You know something is wrong, but you try to hide it because you do not want to be gay or trans. Some transgender people even think they are gay before coming to the realization that they are trans. So, they will also have relationships with those of the same sex, but still realize it’s not right.

Bottled up feelings watercolor illustration background

After the denial and repression phase, which can last a very long time for some individuals, comes the acceptance phase. The process of getting from denial to acceptance is one of the hardest tasks the person who is gay or trans faces. There is an internal battle of self-acceptance and self-worth, constantly thinking over who to tell first, and pondering if they will accept them. Some don’t even make it to this phase because while they accept themselves, they often fear that others will not accept them and thus will not come out.

To accept yourself fully is to realize that no one else has any say in how you live your life. You are free to be you no matter what, and if someone else doesn’t accept that, then that doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy, but rather that the other person doesn’t know how to accept others who are different from them. The moment you fully accept and love yourself is when you don’t hide who you are. No matter who looks at you, judges you, or even hates you, no one can take away the happiness within you and all the hard work and inner struggles you went through just to come to terms with yourself, come out, and make the changes necessary to fully be you and express yourself. For going through all that, you are an amazing strong person and deserve to be respected as such.

Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!

Additional Info

The process of realizing one is gay or transgender and actually coming out and making the changes necessary is often difficult. Many will not do it or struggle for years before they finally accept themselves. Regardless, the process is well worth it. I know from my own experience that I lived for many years hiding who I truly was inside. I hid because I didn’t want others to judge me. I took a step out of my comfort zone and made sure I did the changes necessary that would allow me to be happy. In the end, it was well worth the struggle to be me and what I had to go through to be truly happy.


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