In a country like South Africa, which has some of the most progressive laws on the continent, it seems insane that people who are different are still mistreated. Whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, asexual or anything else that is regarded as not-normal, life can be struggle. Which is why something like disclosing your sexual preference or sexual identity can feel overwhelming. Which is why this article is not about telling you how to come out. Instead it is about telling you that it is okay to come out. That just because you are different, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.
It is however understandable why fear would hold you back. However, it is important to remember that on the other side of fear is freedom. Freedom to live your life the way you want to. Freedom to express love which ever way you see necessary and freedom to be a person who is proud to look at himself or herself in the mirror with love.
When you decide to come out, do it for yourself. After all this is about you and embracing who you are. It is not about the next person. Live your life honestly, and be true to who you are. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that when you come out, your family and friends might find it weird and may not be so accepting. Although this can be hurtful do not be offended. Rejection can be a frightening prospect and can be the cause of a great deal of anxiety. Be patient and with time you will find they are usually able to embrace you as you are. If not, this is not your problem or your fault. Rather it is they that are having trouble to deal with their own insecurities and fears.
When you plan on telling your family and friends, surround yourself with a few people that you can count on. Be strong and know that being who you are is your TRUTH and this is your strength. Having the weight off of your shoulders will make your life more fulfilling and take away the need to hide yourself. This journey may not always be easy but it would be much harder to live your life as someone you are not. Regardless of your sexual orientation or preference you can be with the people you love. Above all else you can be around people that love you.
Here is a website that you can go to and read some stories from people who have come out: www.rucomingout.com
Remember that you aren’t alone. Live, love, laugh and be fearlessly you. After all, that is all you can be, everyone else is taken.