The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By, Bridget Turro
Growing up and maturing can be a difficult journey of exploring yourself and finding out who you really are. As we grow older and spend more time with ourselves and our thoughts, it becomes easier to decipher what we like or don’t. Experimenting is a crucial part of finding out who you are and getting to know yourself better. In our current society, it is generally accepted to explore your sexuality and be free with it. However, there is still a stigma against queer people in society.
At first, it can be tough to come to terms with the fact that you might not be straight. Even if you support queer people, there are still many people with internalized homophobia that prevents them from experimenting or being their true selves. When I was growing up, I only knew straight people. The thought of ever being with someone of the same sex just wasn’t a thought. As I grew up and got more exposed to queer people, I knew that there was something about them that I could relate to.
One of the biggest things that stopped me from exploring my sexuality was the idea of labels. Labels in today’s society can be hurtful and used with malicious intent. I didn’t know what to label or how to. I always thought of labels as something useful that can help us identify and describe people until I realized how harmful they could actually be. I felt the need to put a label on myself, not for anyone else, but just for me to know what to identify as. Sexuality is different with each person, so why label me when it is just going to change or I might not stick with it?
I chose not to label my sexuality because I still don’t know what it is. As I grow, things change, and I feel like picking a label and sticking with it is a big commitment. Not labeling myself while being able to explore my sexuality has been a very freeing thing for me. Exploring your sexuality is special and not something to be ashamed of. Everyone has a different journey with their sexuality and how they chose to explore it. Everyone has a unique experience with sexuality and it should be something to be embraced and shared rather than hidden.