Today’s blog will be all about fitting in somewhere where you do not belong. For me nothing or nobody is to blame and this is not because of other peoples impressions or judgments it is purely down to my anxiety and own self-hatred. Inside this blog I will be discussing my battle with feeling a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Since coming out as gay in late 2017, I have done nothing but be proud of who I am and wanted to represent the LGBTQ+ community proudly. Although despite my continued support, I do not feel I belong. With certain stereotypes surrounding the gay community, I feel that they sometimes we are designated towards certain groups and clicks and if you fall out of these certain ‘types’ you are considered an outsider. Although it is not all to do with the typical ‘are you a bottom/top?’ or ‘are you a ‘Twink/hunk/bear’ ect…
Of course no community is without small minorities who still have to deal with negative stereotypes due to their race, body dysmorphia, exploitation of sexualisation and fetishism. Although as stated prior, this blog is not targeted at anybody specific as we all have different stories and paths that got us here. Altogether there is a whole spectrum of identities found inside the LGBTQ+ community, but I still feel like an outsider.
Attending each pride event with my girl best friends who are allies rather than members of the community due to having no real gay friends. I am not somebody who tends to have much in common with the majority of homosexuals due to my sporty background growing up in a ‘masculine environment’. Alongside this all my social anxiety’s do not help as I always overthink and become too scared of people judging me for being different. This is mainly down to my past school-life growing up.School-Life
Since a young age I have always battled with trying to fit in although it was not down to the lack of trying. Trying out for football teams, going to leisure clubs and having friends round my house. Although I was part of these clubs, I always had troubles socialising and making friends. One remark I remember from my footballing days is a teammate telling my friend ‘he is a really good goalkeeper but he is definitely a bender’. Such homophobic remarks was always associated with me growing up despite not actually knowing myself.
Never somebody who was highly popular throughout school growing up, I was always anxious meeting new people fearing that they would judge me for the way I acted. Perceived as this camp boy who got teased for way I acted and spoke. I remember an encounter in a class where a boy was asked to move to the front next to me and replied back saying ‘I am not moving next to this gay boy.’ This was said loudly in front of the whole class which left me red faced and ashamed despite doing nothing to antagonise him.
I feel like there has been a number of scenarios similar to mine for people who feel different no matter the reason. All I can say is that there has been positive shift in the way schools handle these delicate encounters. Returning to a secondary school as a teacher assistant last year, I had many positive interactions with staff and students about me being openly gay and what support is put in place inside the school for children similar to me.
Although once I went to university everybody was more than supportive of who I am and I never once had a bad experience with somebody because of it. If you are looking to make a new start and want to have freedom to be who you want to be, I would heavily suggest going to university. This is where I made my best friends and made amazing memories with some amazing people all with different stories and backgrounds. Similar to school, everybody’s journey will be different, I had the best moments of my life at university but also had my biggest breakdowns during my stay.
Once again my experiences were heavily down to my attitude and battles with my own anxiety and self-hatred which lead to me feeling this way. But please remember that it is okay to not be okay. In the end you will become a better person who is stronger because of these moments. Just be aware that every wound heals with time, it may leave a scar but it told a story that made you who you are. You begin to realise that you don’t need anybody’s approval because not everybody will like you or support every decision you make.
Not everybody will enjoy my content and that is okay. People will dislike the way I look, act and everything in-between but I am in a happy place right now and found acceptance in myself. I hope in the future to contribute more positively towards the community I want to represent, I’m improving everyday. Last year I came out to my family, I attended my first pride(s) and now I am in a very happy relationship with somebody amazing.
I have taken huge strides in turning my mental health battles into learning opportunities to test myself. Overcoming loss, family disruption and no income since leaving my job following on from the passing of my best friend has been harder than anybody can imagine. Although these adversity’s have made me stronger and has given me grit, determination and a new passion and that is to make my best friend proud. You can find out more about my friendship by reading my previous blog titled ‘Dear Best Friend’.
Despite getting so far the journey for acceptance still continues. This is why I began this blog to hopefully use it as a gateway for me to express my emotions and hopefully help others similar to myself along the way. I am still currently in a healing process and with each day I aim to be a better version of myself.
Although this is me reaching out. If you are reading this and feel your story relates, you feel different and not wanted, I assure you that you are not alone. This is why below I will include links to my socials, please if you ever want somebody to talk to, my messages are always open.
Since beginning my blog I have been lucky enough to have been in contact with inspiring people and heard amazing stories that I would have never had the chance to beforehand. Hopefully because of this, I find acceptance within myself and this amazing community so one day I can make a positive difference. After-all it is okay to be different.
Just remember, please be patient. I promise you I will get there. One day at a time, each step forward, I will reach my goal.
Ps if any news companies are looking for a LGBTQ+ correspondent or reporter I’m available. 🙂