I struggle being gay
It is not that I’m confused about who I am, I am just scared to be myself. Being Asian, gay, autistic and non-binary goes against society’s standard of norm so for a long time I refused to acknowledge several parts of me. As a result of being forced out of the closet I am now trying to accept who I am, which is easier said than done. I hope that whoever resonates with any of this is able to find comfort in reading the rest of this post.
As a child I knew that I was different to most people but didn’t quite understand exactly why and didn’t wish to since I was so focused on moulding myself into a “normal” person. I always knew that I was attracted to women even though I never felt comfortable being a woman myself but instead decided to repress it all and desperately hope it would all disappear when I was older. Now that I am older, unsurprisingly it never did. As a consequence, I feel as though I don’t have all the right tools or support to navigate my feelings. I no longer have a strong sense of self since I’ve been denying who I am so harshly.
Recently I was forced out of the closet. I felt so humiliated. All those things I was desperately trying to hide for so long were thrown out into the open. My parent’s reaction to finding out was not great, which I expected to happen and that’s part of why I’d been keeping it to myself. They believe I’m confused and began stressing out about how it will affect them. I think that parents really shouldn’t make it about themselves, as if I hadn’t already felt like a burden to them for not being able to change who I am. It really minimises your feelings, struggles and who you are. When your supposedly close family members feel that way, you internalise that rejection.
Getting my autism diagnosis at 21 was one step towards understanding myself better. It was the first step in realising there was no such thing as being “normal”. It definitely erased some of the pressure I had been placing on myself. It encouraged me to face the other parts of me I had been too scared to accept.
Instead of repressing everything, I slowly began to seek out a community where I felt some sense of belonging. I never felt like I could be vulnerable or honest about who I was with my family, but with my friends and online community I could. It took a long time but I finally found other people who were neurodivergent and gay. I didn’t feel like such an anomaly.
Having other people who understand you and share the same experiences really does make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. I know that I still have a long way to go in understanding myself and being comfortable with who I am, but progress is still progress! My biggest piece of advice for anyone else struggling is to not repress and ignore who you are because all you do is hurt yourself in the end and that it’s okay to go at your own pace.
About the author
The author is part of the Ambitious Youth Network.
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