People with gender and sexual identities beyond heterosexual are called by many names; many not so positive. There seems to be a limited set of identity labels to choose from. Often, it is other people deciding which “box” we are in. Ever felt that way?
As online chatter picked up following the Associated Press article on my ministry, I have felt like I am back in high school. Everyone is trying to figure me out. Some say I am bisexual or that I am in “gaynial.” Others say I am a wacko, a freak, a fraud, a hatemonger or the worst of all: ex-gay. But do not worry about me.
I worry about the LGBT+ youth who get wounded by identity labels. Many youth wrestling with gender or sexuality have to put up with this kind of system at a very early age. Check the “box” others put you in: fag, homo, dyke, sissy, pansy, or other. If you are LGBT+, what do you do?
Most live with it. Some do not live with it – quite tragically, they take their lives. For others, they absorb the negative epithets until they mean something positive. The word “queer” is distinctly missing from the list above because it has morphed into a positive identity label. Despite the significant progress of LGBT+ identity in culture day, this system remains quite hurtful to many young people.
What if you experience same-sex attraction but do not identify as LGBT+ – who are you? Join me next time.
FOOTNOTE: Whether you are LGBT+ or experience SSA, you need support when you are surrounded by a system that denigrates your personal worth. If you have support, use it. If you do not, we offer free counseling to ALL young people. Know that there is help available: simply contact us. God bless you.