Queer Joy

Queer Joy isn’t something that is talked about enough! It is often the negative side of being queer that we see in the media so I wanted to share something more positive by sharing how I experience Queer Joy…

I have had a lot of severe traumas throughout my life and this lead to me being diagnosed with various mental health conditions including PTSD. When I came out, it took a lot of strength and it was something that had been on my mind for a long time but the responses I got shocked me. People accepted my queer identity because they put it down to a symptom of trauma. They thought that I was gay because my traumatic experiences with men had lead to me feeling safer with women. They thought that I was non binary because I didn’t want to associate myself with being a woman because I didn’t want people to see me as a target or weak. They thought that I didn’t identify as transgender because I didn’t want to have anything in common with the men that abused me. This really affected me. I felt damaged, like somebody had hurt me so much that even my sexuality and gender identity had been mutated and formed an abnormality. I was so ashamed that I hid my queerness for years in dark fitted clothes, long hair, makeup and dresses that I absolutely hated!

This was me with long hair and makeup on
Here I was in a dress that I didnt feel comfortable or like myself in

For a long time, I really struggled with my LGBTQ identity. It was something I refused to admit to myself because I was so ashamed. Growing up, I didn’t meet any queer people and I didn’t see much representation of the LGBTQ community in the media. I also had people around me that were uneducated when it came to the LGBTQ community so the conversations around different sexualities and gender identities where quite biased. I had a few crushes on some of the girls at school but I just learnt to ignore my feelings and I told myself that it was a normal part of growing up- just platonic feelings of admiration towards friends. I had a few short relationships with boys that I was friends with at the time because I wasn’t ready to admit to myself or anyone around me, that I am queer and I didn’t want to lose those friendships.

This was me trying to fit in by wearing eye makeup and crop tops

After a recent hospital admission where some of the NHS staff talked to me about my gender identity and my sexuality without judgement and reassured me that my traumas did not “turn” me gay or “change” my gender identity. They were openly queer and discussed pronouns, talked about LGBTQ relationships and wore rainbow lanyards- I finally found it in myself to be proud. I started wearing my colourful bright clothes again and found that a buzz cut hairstyle made me feel more confident-more me. I wore LGBTQ t-shirts and sang songs about queer relationships and queer pride without fear of judgement. I added my preferred pronouns to my social media accounts and email signatures. I challenged the people around me about their homophobic and transphobic views. I shared LGBTQ news articles on my social media accounts and followed queer influencers that I could relate to online.

This was me today

Finally, finally I felt free and happy and like I actually had a place in this world. A place with beautiful people of different sexualities and gender identities! A place where people were free to express themselves through experimenting with makeup, clothing and could educate others! A place where everyone is free to be themselves and to support each other. Being out and proud, not caring what people think about me and connecting with people that are part of the LGBTQ community is how I experience queer Joy.

This is me being proud of who I am

So, if you are reading this and wondering how you can be proud of your identity- remember that so many people around the world identify as being part of the LGBTQ community. Everybody experiences gender identity differently and there is no right or wrong way to feel or present yourself. Everybody experiences sexuality differently and it’s ok if you’re not quite sure what that looks like for you or things are a bit confusing right now- there’s no rush, you have your whole life to figure things out and it’s totally fine not to label things at all. Love is love and it is complicated and messy and beautiful all at the same time. It doesn’t matter what other people think- it is you that has to live your life and why not live it authentically and happy if you are safe to do so? You will find your place in this world one day and you will find your people- the type of people that will love you and accept you for exactly who you are, no matter what labels you do or don’t use. Being LGBTQ is hard but it is so beautiful and brave to be proud of your identity!

You are amazing and unique and it’s ok to be different!

-Naomi 💜

4 thoughts on “Queer Joy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s