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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

If you didn’t already know, I’m gay. 

Well, I’m not straight, I should say.

For years I have known that I like more than just one type of person, but I have always struggled to put my finger on exactly how many types of people I like. So, after lots of wondering and countless tears trying to figure out something that truly does not change who I am, I’m here to tell all of you that I am rocking the “no label” label.

This isn’t really a new development for me – I’ve been telling people that I don’t use a label for almost four years now – but time does not make this conversation any less valuable or important. I can guarantee that either you or someone you know is struggling (or has struggled) to find a label that fits just right, and being able to hear someone else talk about the validity of a “no label” label might be exactly what you or your friend needs to hear. 

Disclaimer: It’s also great to have a label! I am not by any means anti-label, and if having one makes you feel more complete or more comfortable in your sexuality journey, wear that badge loud and proud. Fly your flag, rep your colors and tell everyone you know! 


You are also fine wherever you are right now. Let’s walk through some stages of sexuality that might help you or someone you know figure this all out.


This might sound scary, but (I think) the hardest part about the journey towards finding yourself is the period of time where you know something doesn’t feel right, but you’re also not quite sure what that could be. I like to compare this period to when your hair is in a ponytail and there’s one piece that’s just too tight, but no matter how much you itch your head and adjust your elastic, you can’t seem to loosen that one strand. Unfortunately, there’s no way to speed up this era, and it’ll be hard to feel like you really know yourself, but without this time of confusion and soul-searching (cheesy phrasing, but an accurate description), you can’t figure out who you really are (and I PROMISE that time is coming). The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay not to know what’s going on with yourself. 

Oh, yeah, and don’t freak out if you go through multiple “questioning” stages…it’s normal!

Comfort in the Discomfort

Maybe you’ve figured out that you know you’re not straight, but you don’t know where to go from there. Well, let’s be very clear: if you’re like me, the journey could end there. You could come to a realization that you just like people or don’t like people, and as long as that feels good for you, you can just stop there. You’re just as valid, I promise.

If you don’t want to stop there, don’t rush yourself into a label. Talk to some friends or people who are experiencing similar feelings; read books or articles about queer individuals that are working to find themselves; most of all, don’t be afraid to familiarize yourself with different labels and lifestyles that you might want to try out yourself. And if something doesn’t fit or feel right, there’s no shame in ditching it! 

Just know that this time is uncomfortable, but things will get easier. Don’t sweat anything too much… there’s no “right” time to figure this all out. 

Finding You!

At some point (you will get to this place) you will figure out what fits you best. This time could come in a couple months, a year, or even an entire undergrad experience before you can sit comfortably in your label (or not label). But once you find that sweet spot, all your time spent worrying and questioning and feeling like you want to crawl out of your own skin will vanish. You will feel like you’ve met the real you for the first time in your life. 

Even if you are not someone that is questioning your sexuality, I can guarantee someone you know is. Not everyone is vocal about their journey or their end decision when it comes to their preferences, but regardless of your status as an ally or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, these are some things you should probably keep in mind when discussing the challenges of coming out and understanding the spectrum that sexuality is. 

I would also like to mention that I am by no means trying to speak for every queer person on the planet. I know that I struggled to find comfort in my own “no label” label and wish that I would’ve had someone around to tell me that there were possibilities outside of “gay” and “straight.” However, there’s no right way to work through all of the complexities of sexuality and every journey is different! 

And if no one has told you this, everything will work out. Realizing you’re “different” is scary; figuring out your label (or not label) is scary; coming out is scary; growing up is scary. 

But, finding out what you like is exciting; meeting people who support and love you for who you really are is comforting; being able to celebrate your identity is validating; growing up is exhilarating. 

For all the allies reading this: give your queer friends some grace. Labels are confusing and society is not always the kindest. Provide an ear and a shoulder for the tougher days during their journey through discovery. 

For all the queer readers: you are perfect just the way you are. Don’t fret about putting yourself in a box or rushing to know what’s going on with you. Be patient with yourself; this is your first time figuring everything out! Your sexuality does not change who you are and is not the be-all end-all of your identity. You got this!

Riley Connors is a new member of the St. Bonaventure chapter of Her Campus and plans to write about college, careers, movies and just about anything that comes to her mind that week. She is a junior Adolescent Education and English double major. Outside of Her Campus, Riley is a member of the SBU Dance Team and is a part of SBU College Democrats. She also has a radio show with her roommates on St. Bonaventure's radio station, WSBU-FM. In her free time, Riley enjoys hanging out with her friends and girlfriend, spending time outside in the sun and listening to any song by Boygenius, Hozier or Lizzy McAlpine. She cherishes her time spent at home with her family and dog but loves her St. Bonaventure family that she has created in her three years of college.