Dear LGBTQ, here are some lessons that I learned from experience <3
I see you. We see you. We equals a lot people in your life. Your supportive family. Your chosen family. Your best friend. Me. I was you 15 years ago. Hell, I was you 5 years ago, 30 years ago and am you NOW. I know you are wondering where I am going with this but please follow along. This is my “It gets better speech” but mixed with so much more. I’m sure you feel silenced and that you have nowhere to turn and trust me, I’ve been there. It’s an all too familiar path. Part of the reason I am so outspoken now and using my voice is because I have been silenced & deafened for so long. My voice used to be a huge weakness. An insecurity that has been plagued with bullying, suppression and resentment. But no more. I am here to help you and my mission, my mountain to die on, is to ensure the LGBTQ and many others live their authentic life exactly how they should. Here is what I’ve learned and my experience in our Prideful community. This is also my advice to others. One thing I will point out is there is no right or wrong way to live your life authentically. I am providing my advice from my experience along with conversations and years in the community.
Here is what I learned along the way and some lessons to help. This is specifically for those LGBTQ members and/or those that do not feel like they fit in. Reminder, you were born to stand out, you were born to not fit the status quo.
Lesson 1: You will feel relief if you rip the bandaid off
Phew! One thing I said I always wished I did was come out earlier. Easier said than done right!? I just wished I would have been able to go through college life as a gay man and experience a few things in my younger life fully who I was. It would have been a harder experience, but a beautiful one nonetheless. Another perspective on this is that when you start being more authentic with who you are, you begin to heal quicker and find the right people to be around. It could indeed be painful at first, but it allows you take a HUGE step in the right direction. And once you take that first step, WOW, the relief sets in, the weight is lifted off your shoulders and the healing can start.
Lesson 2: You will lose insignificant people and gain much more valuable people
I’ve written about this before in one of my earlier blog posts and it’s something that will ALWAYS be true and ALWAYS hold value. Its tough but just think about it. Do you want to be around or involved with those that do not support you to the core or your lifestyle? I would imagine the answer to that is no. I think too, you will be pleasantly surprised, those that love you will come around or even be extremely supportive and those that aren’t, well, it’s like taking out the trash. To read more in depth about Lesson 2, check out my blog post here:
Lesson 3: There is a price with authenticity but more importantly a huge reward
The price is simple. You won’t live up to normal standards and you will not please everyone. But once again, think about it. If you did live a ‘normal’ life will you escape judgement or scrutiny? Absolutely not! So why not live a life you are proud of and more importantly happy living than one you feel the need to escape. The reward here? Happiness, joy and LOVE. It all comes and will come with time. Everyone is different and we should all embrace living differently. The bigger the sacrifice, the bigger the reward. Here you are sacrificing fitting in but the reward is something much more greater than that. It’s loving who you want to love and not hiding who you are. I am here to tell you, it’s all worth it. Promise.
Lesson 4: Be mindful of how you cope. Problems can arise
I am an open book about this. I was a drunk and I am an alcoholic. Now while this is a genetic thing it was FUELED by the fact I am a gay man. It started in high school and progressively got worse. So bad it was to the point I was drinking alone, on an empty stomach, in the morning and had bad liver pain and often the shakes. My point through all this is that when you are struggling to get through something tough we all tend to cope with unhealthy behaviors. A lot of time in the gay community this is done through drugs and alcohol. I have shifted my coping and therapy to healthy related mechanisms! Such as fitness, meditation, infrared sauna, salted baths and creating content for my blog and YouTube!
You can create healthy ways to cope. Talking to someone or a professional can be a great way to deal with your sh*t. Getting it out and handling it is truly the best medicine.
Bonus Tips!!! Here are couple links to some of my favorite tips and tricks. I have included the links to my YouTube on how to start and how to finish you day. The start is so you can WIN the day and the finish is so you can recover, destress and sleep like a baby!
Start your day here:
Finish your day here:
Lesson 5: It gets better is an understatement
You never really understand this statement until you go through it. But hell, it gets SO MUCH better! You get through the tough times, you learn a lot about yourself, you become strong AF and you find the right people to be around. It does get better, I promise you that!
When we go through tough sh*t, that is what builds us character. It’s what develops our fighter mentality and builds for a better future.
Fellow LGBTQ Brothers & Sisters & Straight Allies, let’s embrace all walks of life and all decisions made by one another.
Let’s also stand together and fight for a better future. I hope you all found value in this post and stay tuned for so much more.
Live prideful. Live powerful. Live for YOU. <3
We are in this together,