So…you are ready to talk about your sexuality but are not sure HOW. You may be questioning your sexuality, wanting to talk to someone about your physical, emotional, and spiritual attraction (or lack of attraction). You may be wondering about your sexual orientation, curious about how you might label (or choose not to label) your sexuality.
Consider the following:
When do I talk about my sexuality? Timing is important and so it is pacing. You have the right to choose when, and how much to disclose at a time. Talking about sexuality can be naturally incorporated into parenting; there are awesome age-appropriate resources available across the life-span. Talking about sexuality sooner rather than later is also encouraged when entering new relationships. Overall, the decision of when to talk about sexuality is a personal choice.
What setting is going to feel the most safe and comfortable? Where will I most likely feel accepted? Taking these factors into consideration can be very helpful. For students, going to a gay-straight alliance can be a great setting as well as LGBTQIA+ community spaces. A space where supportive friends, family, or community allies are present is another option.
What do I say? It can be difficult to know exactly what to say. Naming what you are feeling can be a good way to start. Here is an example of how one might start a conversation:
I have been thinking about [my sexuality, that I might be ____, etc]. Lately I have been feeling ______. I would like [someone to talk to about this, etc.]. Thank you for _____.
It can be helpful to prepare for situations in which conversations do not go as planned. There are coming out resources such as the following that can provide additional guidance: https://www.hrc.org/resources/coming-out
Who do I talk to? Consider starting with someone you trust. You might start off by talking to one person or a select few who will be accepting of whatever sexuality you disclose. Consider talking to an LGBTQ+ friendly therapist or chatting with someone on a free chatline, text, or phone hotline https://pflag.org/hotlines. You may also consider joining a support group. Here are a few options to get started:
https://www.reclaim.care/ (ages 13-25)
Why talk about my sexuality? Sexuality is an important part of who you are; therefore, being able to have conversations about sexuality can be incredibly powerful. Sexuality is an integral aspect of identity. Remember that talking about sexuality is a process, not a one-time event. It is my hope that through supportive, affirming, healing, and empowering, conversations, one can fully embrace sexuality. Being comfortable to talk about sexuality is a great place to start.
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