So I wanted to take time to talk about how LGBT identities potentiating changing as we grow and change plays into mental health. How struggling with your identity and realizing it's different than you thought or changed after you think you've finally got your labels locked down can affect your mental health. Not to mention what sort out your identity while in the closet can do to your brain.
Before we get into it I want to say that this my personal experience. Everyone's is different. I'm sharing how my sexuality effected my mental health as I've grown. I want to share in the hopes it might help someone else struggling with the mental heath side of coming to terms with their sexuality.
So let's start from the top. I first realized I wasn't straight when I was around 11 or 12. Puberty hit and suddenly I liked girls. I was raised around homophobia so my reacting was to suppress it. I was already in the beginning of my struggles with depression so this did not help. I grew with the whole bible spiel about man and woman blah blah.
Looking back I suppressed my feelings long before that. I remember having huge crushes on Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini in Scooby-Doo. I had crushes on the cartoon Dalphne and Velma too. I didn't look that them that way at the time cause of the environment I was in but that is defiantly what it was looking back. I also used to have my barbies date all the time too!
I suppressed the feelings for so long until puberty was like "well we aren't letting you do that anymore." I struggled for years. The mental health got pretty dark there for awhile. Even after I found LGBT YouTubers and started to learn for myself and get my parents homophobia out of my mind. I accepted the LGBT and even considered myself an ally.
It took about 2 years after I found LGBT on YouTube to accept I liked girls. But then I went in the complete opposite end of the spectrum and thought that I only thought I liked guys because society told me to. I then spent about a year wishing I was bi because it would be easier when I finally came out to my Mom.
I was still struggling since I was deep in the closet still. Scared to tell anyone I knew. When I was 16 I came out to my older sister as a lesbian. It felt so good to tell someone! I knew my sister would be chill (turns out she's bi too) but I was still so nervous. It did help my mental health a little to know someone knew and accepted me.
But I was still crying thinking about telling my Mom. She's the one that was about the bible bs and she was trying to set me up with boys. Finally one day when she was talking about a guy I could date I just hit my point and blurted out that I didn't like boys, that I was a lesbian. She took it a bit better than I thought. She didn't really preach at me but she did pull that whole "how do you know if you haven't been with anyone" thing.
It was a super shitty 4 years coming to terms with it but I was finally happy that I'd excepted my love for girls. But the fact that I had crushes on some guys before and after puberty. I'll be honest my entire "I don't really like guys" thinking hinged on my thought that because I really didn't like looking at a penis, like didn't find it nice looking at all, that meant that I didn't like guys as a whole. Then I kinda learned that there are straight women who don't like looking and I was like well shit.
After was time I decided I didn't care about someone's bio sex. If we had a connection I'm down to date. So I landed on Pan around 18. Around this point is when I started to learn about the Q+ part of LGBTQ+ community. As I learned more I realized that bio sex or gender identity didn't matter to me when it came to dating. For me it just wasn't a factor.
At this point the mental health was a lot better and coming into the community and becoming more and more accepting I started to move pass my LGBT status affecting my mental heath. I still had some issue still being in the closet with my Dad (which I still am) He was born in 1951 in a conservative state. You do the math. So I'm going to stay that why. It still ways on my someones. Since I'm living with him and hiding that part of my life.
Anyway back to the journey. Someone in all of this I realized that I really didn't have the same level of enthusiasm for sex that my peers seamed to have. Around the same time one of the YTers I liked uploaded a video about being Demi-sexual. It clicked with me at the time. I did notice my sex drive for someone went up the more I got to know them so demi-sexual made sense.
Until I discovered Demi I did struggle a little with the thought. I questioned being Ace but I knew I had some interest so that was right. Before I finally landed on demi I did spend a bit of time worrying about it. So for the last 2 years I identified as Demi-sexual, Pan-romantic.
About 6 months ago I started to go by bi again simply because Bi is an umbrella term for liking more than 2 sexes and because the flag is prettier. But I did struggle with changing it. There is at lot of biphobia within the community. I spent months worrying that other people in the community would shit on me "you're not bi! You like more than 2 genders!"
Eventually I saw some other community members doing the same and it really helped.
Then in the past year or so I've realized my actually sexual bit wasn't necessarily linked only to getting to know someone but more of a varying levels of "sexual energy" day to day. My interest in sex fluctuates from day to day. I could take it or leave it most of the time. The making out and such is more to my liking pretty much. I asked the community and they say that falls around the Grey-sexual area. I read up on it and it really does feel like it fits.
Labels aren't super important but some part of my brain craves them sometimes. So not knowing why to call my placement when dating drives me crazy. Needing to find these labels is probably attached to being some repressed as a kid. And even though I seek out the most accurate labels for my individual feels I do still just go by queer sometimes.
Then we come to the last few weeks. I recently had a crush on a celeb couple and my brain went down the route of wondering if I'd be cool with polyamory. So I started looking into it you know what I'd be chill with being in a 3 people relationship. Thought it was something I thought about years ago I just kind of filed that way because I was raised in a heavily "monogamy is the only way" environment.
I'm not exactly seeking a poly relationship but I'm not opposed either. Like a 3 way partnership sound pretty cool. According to some people on the LGBT subreddit said that since I'd be satisfied in a monogamous relationship that I'd fall under ambiamorous. Which is kinda cool. I didn't know their was a term beyond poly that covers people who would be happy with a single or multiple relationship.
Anyway I'm still on my LGBTQ+ identity journey and my mental health journey. Taking everything day by day. Right now I'm a Bi/Pan Ambi Grey-sexual. Bit of a mouthful huh? I think I'll stick with Bi or Queer in my profiles and get to the more details if someone askes. I don't have enough characters for the full identity.
Coming to terms with not being straight was defiantly the hardest of the journey. I've come so far and by being open to my labels and sexuality changing is a huge step toward a healthier mental state for me. Our personalities change some mush over time. So it makes sense our sexuality would too. Accepting that and allowing myself to explore the changes is all part of the healing.