Identity Eggs and Your Basket

Going off to college is a big change for those of us in the LGBT community. Suddenly, we’re no longer at home where our family and high school companions will see everything we do, there are other LGBT people near you (and they’re out? What?) - hell, there’s even a club dedicated to being LGBT. It can be easy to get swept away by the new freedom to explore yourself and your identity, we’ve all been there. However, there’s a danger in making your whole personality about your gender or sexual identity!

 

Most of us in the LGBT community are or were at some point on the social media site Tumblr - honestly, none of us know how it’s still standing. Tumblr offers a whole range of education for LGBT people: telling trans masculine people to never bind their breasts with ace bandages, validating bisexual people’s experiences, sexual education for same-sex relationships, and so much more. At first glance, Tumblr is a good place to start off your exploration of your identity. 

 

On the flip side, there are so many negatives to Tumblr’s LGBT communities: the rampant nature of trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), biphobia and lesbophobia, racism, and the ridiculous range of identities created to describe certain attractions. At one point there was serious conversation about being sapiosexual, or only being attracted to intelligent people. Yeah. Let that one soak in. These parts of websites like Tumblr are what so many LGBT youths are exposed to, and it’s the mindsets of these communities which cause many people to make their LGBT identity their entire personality. 

 

While I do acknowledge that an individual’s sexual and gender identity is incredibly important, the act of making it your only identity is unhealthy. There are so many parts of you that matter! Are you an avid book reader? Are you a lover of certain movies or TV shows? Do you play sports? Are you passionate about Greek or Egyptian mythology? These are all aspects of who you are, and they’re just as important as your being LGBT. 

 

Think of yourself as a basket, and the things that make you you are eggs, like at Easter. The only eggs in that basket shouldn’t be about who you’re attracted to or the gender you identify as. Include the things you’re passionate about, like the things you advocate for, the movies, TV shows, and music you like, your favorite subjects, your sense of humor, and so much more. 

 

Make sure your basket is filled with eggs that represent you. All of you.