Image description: hand facing palm-up holding a white clay heart in front of a rainbow knit into black fabric.
Jordan Ferranto, LCPC, ATR
As pride month approaches and celebrations of sexuality commence, the concept of coming out and proudly stating your sexuality takes center stage.
It is essential to note that everyone who identifies within the queer community decides if and how they’d like to share that with others. You can come out when you want, to who you want, however you want; it’s totally up to you!
One factor for some folks is how old they are when they decide to come out. At times, we may assume that coming out happens somewhere between adolescence and young adulthood. But what if you are past those eras of your life? There are many reasons why someone might not come out until later in life.
You may have always known this part of your sexuality and never had a safe or positive context to express it. Or, you might never have questioned your sexuality because of the compulsory heteronormativity that was part of your context. You might have gone about your life dating a gender that you were told to date and felt that was fine, though maybe not fully satisfying or fulfilling. Lack of exposure to various sexualities can be part of why you may have defaulted to heterosexuality. Perhaps you never had the desire to label and share your sexuality with others in this way until now (and that’s okay!).
Coming out later in life might feel like you are reliving the awkwardness and uncertainty that punctuates your adolescent years. It may suddenly feel like you are dating for the first time all over again! Among all this uncertainty, you might find yourself asking, “am I queer enough?”.
We all seek acceptance among our various communities, and as someone claims their queer identity, they may seek approval within the LGBTQIA+ community. At the same time, they may notice feelings of inadequacy. There are many pieces of queer culture to catch up on, learn about, and begin to relate to.
My support around this is to remember that the history, books, movies, music, language, etc., that you discover are all there to affirm you, not to make you feel as though you are not enough. Use these resources to embrace who you are and to celebrate the love you are welcoming into your life. It is never too late to discover a new part of yourself or share a part of yourself with others you haven’t shared before. There is no shame in choosing to come out whenever, however, and with whoever you want.
Are you feeling confused about who you are attracted to and what to do with that? Oh Joy Sex Toy has a beautiful comic that may provide some additional support and explanation around this. You can find this comic by clicking the link below.
Are you interested in learning more about Intimacy Counseling?
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Oh Joy Sex Toy comic: https://ohjoysextoy.com/attraction
Intimacy Counseling: https://www.intouchandmotion.com/counseling-services/dance-movement-therapy-illinois/
Contact us: https://www.intouchandmotion.com/contact/