I previously blogged about how people seem to be coming out younger and younger but there are many people who still don’t come out until they are older.  Everyone goes through times of self discovery and self understanding, and these times occur at all different intervals in someone’s lifespan.  This can be related to gender, gender expression, as well as sexuality and sexual expression.  The term questioning, like queer, is another kind of umbrella term except it relates to an individual’s self discovery.  People who are questioning their sexuality deserve as much respect as any other member of the community but oftentimes they can be targeted negatively by people.  They can be seen as people who can’t make up their mind or if they are young they are seen as looking for attention or following some kind of trend.  That is how I was looked at when I first started openly questioning my sexuality.  My family thought it was part of my rebellious stage and that I was trying to get attention in school.  Self expression comes in many different forms whether it relates to our sexual expression, gender expression, or creative expression.  Just because an individual goes through a stage where they question themselves doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously or their choice to change how they express themselves.

             Much of our individual life has been socially constructed through media and government, including the ways in which we express ourselves.  It’s socially acceptable to go through periods of self discovery but oftentimes this experience is taken away from those who choose to move away from the mainstream ideals and question their gender identity or their sexual identity.  For example, it is much more accepted for someone to go through religious questioning and experimentation than for an individual to choose to start exploring their gender by dressing in clothes that their gender doesn’t “typically” wear.  In fact, people can be removed from their housing or fired for their gender identity or expression.  People who are questioning deserve and often need the most support.  It isn’t someone’s job to pressure a questioning individual to come out but it is important for people to have someone to talk to, or to guide them when needed.  As members of the LGBTQ community, we often can relate to those who are questioning or beginning the coming out process and can be a lot of help without even realizing it.  People need to be encouraged to question their identities because so many people don’t realize how socially constructed our lives really are, so don’t be afraid to question what you’ve always been told!

Be sure to check out our website to look over some of our books as well as t-shirts that support individuals who are questioning!

http://www.nohoprideandjoy.com/

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