It can be incredibly important for some people to understand their sexuality and in turn then be able to live the truth of what they discover, in an authentic and safe way. But sexuality is not a black and white process of discovery. You should also not feel any pressure to have an understanding of your sexuality at any point in your life but it can be helpful if you decide to take the risk.
While some people feel relief from a label others will not want to label themselves at all – both of which is okay, there is no right or wrong way to approach your own preferences. Sexuality can be as fluid as are our identities, it can change and often as society continues to progress you will come to learn more about yourself and that is exactly its beauty. This experience is unique to each individual but here are some benefits you may reap if you seek to understand your sexuality:
Our society has long been heteronormative which has been a great disservice to many different populations of people. Understanding your sexuality can bring a great deal of peace to some people. That peace may come from being able to label your feelings out loud or it may simply come from a quiet and honest conversation that you have with yourself. No one’s sexuality will look exactly the same as yours if we were able to see our sexualities in a mirror, so it’s important that we don’t take anything as truth but instead just as helpful suggestion.
If you have spent much of your life at war with yourself over how you feel reaching a place of understanding can be transformative and freeing and it is this feeling of peace that is the important part of the process. For this reason it can be important to understand our sexuality, even privately, in order to feel a sense of peace and calm over our lives. This can allow us to feel confident in who we are and sure that there is nothing wrong with our the preferences that we have but rather a beauty in remaining true to that.
While some people would rather keep their sexuality private, understanding your sexuality can encourage an incredibly powerful invitation for visibility in your area and in the lives of the people around you. It is this visibility that is important, rather than the labelling. The idea of being known and seen can be a mortifying concept for some people while for others it can be necessary and a great relief.
Regardless of how you identify or choose not to, when we understand our sexuality it is then that we can be honest about who we are and then be seen exactly as we are. Visibility can be life changing particularly for anyone who has ever been repressed. But don’t make any judgements as this won’t be the case for everyone and don’t feel any pressure to be out and loud in your community. Visibility matters but visibility does not always have to be obvious. You can be visible to yourself and allow your own view of yourself to be the line of sight that matters. Whatever visibility means for you is what you should strive for.
When we understand our sexuality we are better able to seek the correct people to which we will connect with healthily. If we don’t understand our feelings it can be harder to feel loved and understood by the people around us and in some cases, the people we are intimate with and trying to love. Like the aforementioned points, all these important components of coming to understand our sexuality work together. When we are visible to ourselves we can make more informed and healthier choices. We can also create the correct boundaries in our lives and demand exactly what we need to feel fulfilled and respected.
Connection is perhaps one of the more important roles we play as human beings. The truth of the matter is that as people we need other people. It is important to not rely on others for everything but our greatest accomplishments often come from our relationships with the people around us. If we understand our sexuality, even if we are not open to others about us, internally we foster better connection with people. You deserve to have fruitful and worthwhile connections with others, and you also offer a great deal of value to others lives. How lucky are your friends to have you, someone who is true to who they are.
Lastly, when we understand our sexuality we can then be proud of it! Events through the year such as Pride Week and Mardi Gras are great festivities to be surrounded by other people who too, have come to understand their sexuality and are living authentic lives. You can be proud of your sexuality and still be private but you can’t be proud if you don’t understand it. Remember through this journey of discovery that your comfort is what matters and you aren’t obligated to follow in any one else’s footsteps, only forging your own path. Understanding your sexuality is just one step along that path you’re creating. That’s something you should be proud of and I really encourage you to begin the journey and accept yourself, you are wanted and valued here no matter who you love.
What did your journey of understanding your sexuality look like? Let us know in the comments and tell us of any helpful strategies for others who may only be beginning their journey now. Let’s create a supportive community below!
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A poet, INFP and an empath who is never without a book, and thoroughly enjoys a soy latte. Based in Melbourne, Australia.