It can be difficult to come to terms with your sexual identity. Especially if you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or other. Anything different from the “normal” of society can be hard to accept and embrace. You might struggle with feelings of shame or fear. These are all normal feelings as you figure out yourself. But, it is important to learn to accept yourself so that you can find happiness in life.
First things first, repeat after me — “I deserve happiness.” Now do that five more times while looking in the mirror. Because you do. You deserve to be happy. What you are feeling is ok and whatever happens, you will be ok. You must find a way to accept yourself for who you are. You may be struggling with self-acceptance or other issues related to being lgbtq+. If so, consider seeking the help of a licensed mental health professional. A counselor or therapist can help you through this challenging time. At Move Forward we have counselors that can help you adjust and open up to your life as lgbtq+. We want to help you find happiness.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1.) How Do I Know My LGBTQ+ Feelings Are Real?
You may have grown up in a family or community that refers to lgbtq+ as “confused.” These types of statements may leave you wondering if your feelings are real. How do you know if you should trust yourself? If you are unsure you need to take some time to shut down the world around you. Sit in quiet and think on a deep level about who you’re attracted to, how you feel when you see a man, woman, they, etc. Check-in with yourself. Then go with your gut. You know what is best for you, you only need to shut down all the noise to find it. Confusion comes from a place of denial. It can be hard to accept that you may be lgbtq+. You might not feel ready to come to terms with that reality. Take the time to listen to yourself.
2.) Use A Journal
It is important that you feel comfortable with yourself before sharing this part of yourself with others in your life. It might not be easy to have those conversations but if you feel comfortable then it will be easier for you to manage emotionally. Journaling can be a great tool to connect with yourself and your true thoughts. Take a few minutes each day or whenever you are feeling frustrated, sad, scared, or even comforted to jot down your feelings. It might sound silly but simply writing the words “I am gay” can be a great first step towards self-acceptance. Share your story in your journal, or share:
- When did you first think you were different
- How did you feel when you found out another person was lgbtq+
- How do you feel about yourself, etc
Remember these words are for your eyes only. Be honest. This is a safe space.
3.) Find A Community
Human beings are social. We need community. We thrive in a community. Nobody wants to be alone or feel alone. Community is so important in accepting yourself as who you are. Once you have come to terms with your feelings and your identity, look for like-minded people to share your time with. Online forums and groups can be a great help. Check out community boards for gatherings or attend specific hangouts. Whatever you can do to find a friend or two that “gets it” can go a long way towards your personal healing.
4.) Let Go of Toxic People and Situations
You are going through something very personal, challenging, and life-changing right now. You need support from others. Let go of toxic people or situations. You have a choice to leave or not put yourself in situations that you fear will be harmful to your personal growth and healing.
5.) Get Help
Accepting yourself is so important to your mental health and wellbeing. This means feeling comfortable in your own skin and feeling free to be yourself. Feeling confident and comfortable are all so important in building a healthy life.
You don’t have to do this on your own. There is help available. A licensed therapist can meet with you online or in person. Together, you can discuss your troubles and provide tools to help you move forward. Our counselors work with clients from around the state of Pennsylvania.
Begin LGBTQ Therapy in Pennsylvania
You deserve support in finding self-acceptance. Our professionally-trained and licensed counselors would be happy to help. Call our Hershey, PA-based office at 717-462-7003×1 to speak to our administrative assistant. Get started to start feeling better today. To start getting the tailored help you need, please follow these steps:
Meet with one of our expert therapists
Start coming to terms with who you are.
Other Services at Move Forward Counseling
LGBTQ therapy isn’t the only service available at our Hershey, PA-based counseling practice. We offer many online therapy services. This includes treatment for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and trauma. We also offer online relationship counseling, CBT, DBT, teen therapy, postpartum therapy, relationship problems, work stress, and more. We are happy to support people of all ages and genders.