Growing up is hard enough when you’re going through gaining more responsibilities, becoming more accountable for your future, and your body changing — but our brains change as well. You go through puberty, your hormones are raging, and suddenly you don’t know what category you fall into, especially with all of the labels that fall under LGBT+. It can feel confusing and intimidating when you’re trying to determine your sexuality, but here are some tips that can help.

 

(Flickr/Ambreen Rana)

(Flickr/Ambreen Rana)

You can like whoever you want.

Though the world is riddled with criticisms and back-and-forth arguments about whether it’s normal to be anything other than heterosexual, you need to follow how you feel. There is nothing wrong with being attracted to any type of person, or no one at all for that matter. Whatever you end up identifying as doesn’t define who you are. Never let anyone’s judgments bring you down.

 

You don’t have to label yourself.

Whether you’re questioning where you fall on the spectrum or you’ve known your sexuality for years, you do not ever have to give yourself a label. There are so many different categories of all different types of sexualities on the LGBT+ spectrum, but you still don’t have to choose. Just because the world wants desperately to tattoo a label on your forehead doesn’t mean you have to let it.

 

Don’t come out unless you’re safe.

It can feel incredibly important to come out to the important people in your life, but homophobia is still a major issue in today’s society. If you know your family is more against it than not, you don’t have to come out to them right now. There will be so many other people in your life who you can share this with, but until you are in a committed relationship, financially stable, or living in a different location, don’t come out to family members who might ultimately use it against you.

 

Come out to individuals.

Taking the time to come out to each family member individually is a lot safer than coming out once to the group. Making this a private, one-on-one conversation will allow you to be more clear and better heard. The individual will have an easier time raising their own questions and insights, unlike in a group-setting where one person may raise criticisms which can lead to others piggy-backing onto that person’s beliefs.

 

Experimenting is okay.

You don’t have to know. Determining your sexuality takes time and exploration. So go and explore. You’re allowed to try a bunch of different things until you find what you like, and nothing is set in stone. Your sexuality can change multiple times over the years, so follow your heart and do what you feel is right by you.

 

Being unsure of such a major component of your life can be scary, but you don’t have to let the fear hold you back from pursuing what you want. Start slow, try new things, and be who you want to be.

 

What are your tips for people questioning their sexuality? Follow the conversation below, or on Twitter @VictoriaRimer