As an adult lesbian, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to find self-acceptance. I don’t know if this is the case for you as adolescents coming into adulthood, but I imagine you have either been through this at some point or may be going through it now.
I wish I had all the answers as an older, wiser person, but the truth is, I don’t. I have, however, learned a few things along my way of coming out and growing into who I am. Here are some of them:
(1) It’s okay to dislike yourself -- as long as you work towards getting over it.
You might think this is counterproductive and kind of dumb. It came naturally for me and possibly you too. I learned that disliking myself for some time and because I didn’t fit in or was unaccepted by others actually caused me to have a better appreciation and greater self-love once I got over the initial self-hatred.
(2) Feeling alone is normal.
Whether you’re approaching something new or coming out, it’s normal to feel alone at times. It can be very discouraging and sometimes it may even feel impossible to continue on solo. But there is some consolation for you: eventually your aloneness will be met with new friends, supportive family and organizations and other sources you never imagined. It's hard to trust in what you can't see, but take my word.
(3) You can’t change how others think of you. You can only change how you think about yourself.
Others will form their own opinions about you and your sexuality. That’s okay. They are entitled to those opinions and no matter what you do, you cannot change them. You can, however, change yourself and how you view yourself as a person. Over time, you will learn to love yourself and see yourself as a valuable person.
(4) You may feel like giving up on yourself and others -- but it'll be worth it to stay strong.
At times, you might feel hopeless, worthless or even suicidal. Do not give up on yourself! You are worthy of living, a wonderful human being, and you deserve happiness. Also, don’t give up on others. They may be shocked, in disagreement with your life; however, they have the ability to come around and accept you just as you are. Don’t think because their initial reaction is negative that it will always be that way.
There are no words to describe the relief you will feel once you accept yourself as you are, even if some initial experiences can be momentarily painful. You are loved, valued and important as a future generation. You forge the way to more acceptance for all and to show it’s okay to be who you are and love it.