Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, even in this day and age, can be extremely difficult. Even if you find yourself having been accepted by your loved ones in your life, coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identity can be difficult. What is always important to remember however, is that you are never alone. When you feel upset and discombobulated, rest assured there are many others out there who feel exactly the same as you do. As a transgender man myself, I can honestly attest to this.
The first necessary step is coming to an understanding with yourself, and accepting that how you feel about your gender or sexual preferences is completely natural. Even if you are part of a sexual or gender minority, that doesn’t make your identity or feelings any less real or deserving of validation and acceptance. Once you reach a point of accepting that this is who you are, then you can really go ahead and move forward into feeling stronger and proud of your identity.
Being LGBTQ+, though it is a vibrant community, can often feel very lonely. Most of the time you feel like you are the only person who will ever feel the way that you feel, and it can cause you to want to withdraw and isolate yourself. One thing that may help you feel less alone, especially if you’re not yet ready for socialisation, is looking for people like you in books or media. One film I would particularly recommend is Pride (2014), set in the 80’s and based off of true and truly empowering events. Meanwhile, a book I would recommend would be Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar, whose main character is a transgender person of colour.
Pieces of film and literature, like those aforementioned, can really help you feel less isolated in your own skin, and can really help you realise that you are known and seen by so many other people in the real world; then with time, you will gain the confidence to find those real people and connect with them in loving and truly fulfilling ways. Having the confidence to find others in the community and make connections is a big step that takes a strong amount of confidence to reach, but when you find yourself surrounded by those who understand and love you then there is truly no going back, and it’s wonderful.
Something that is also so important to remember, is how much support is out there for you if you are LGBTQ+ and are struggling with your mental health. You always have the option to book an appointment with your GP, who can help refer you to one of the NHS’ gender clinics if you wish to start a journey of transitioning; also, your GP can help you find an appropriate counsellor if you feel that therapy would be beneficial to you personally. Alternatively, Student Wellbeing at the University of Lincoln are always here to support you, and will most likely be able to connect you with groups of people at the University who may be like you, or are there specifically to help the LGBTQ+ community feel safe and catered for at University and in Lincoln.
Always remember that you are never alone here, you will find acceptance, and with time and care you can come to have great pride in your identity, and your mental health.