When Your “Identity” Changes and You Feel Lost

I have tried to write about this so many times, but the words never seem to truly describe this journey in figuring out who I am.

For months now, I have been struggling with something that I thought I wouldn’t have to struggle with anymore;
my gender.


When I was in middle school, I learned what transgender was for the first time… It blew up in my face when I told my friend at the time that I thought I was transgender and the friend completely rejected me and pretended we had never met.

At the time, I felt like the term didn’t fully fit me. While, I didn’t feel 100% like a guy, I did feel like a guy in so many ways.

After being rejected in that way, I closed off those feelings and vowed never to tell anyone again that I was transgender. Because I was so scared of what it meant, and everyone else in the world would reject me the way my friend had.

Somehow, a few years later I got up the nerve to come out as genderfluid. I thought I could finally relax and just be myself. But at the time, I was in a relationship with someone whom I felt like I couldn’t be myself with. And while I struggled with finally accepting myself, I couldn’t help but feel like my boyfriend of the time wasn’t attracted to me any longer. And I started avoiding being myself around him.

After the relationship ended, I started exploring who I was again, and I felt lost.

Genderfluid never seemed to fit me, at least not in a way I felt truly described who I was. Sure, my gender seemed to move, and by move I mean I seem to fall somewhere between gender neutral and a guy.

But after months of calling myself a genderfluid person, I felt completely distanced from myself.  Even using the term nonbinary, I felt like I still wasn’t properly representing myself.

I was lost and so scared of the outcome that I deep down knew was coming.

I am transgender and nonbinary.

While deep down I have known this for years, I couldn’t tell myself. Even when I came out to my fiancé and through so many conversations about gender, I always described myself as a feminine guy. Yet, I still felt so uncomfortable calling myself a transgender guy or even really using the term transgender without explaining that I mean I fall under the umbrella of being trans because I am nonbinary.

But the lost feeling became overwhelming.

For a while, I questioned if I was just a confused cisgender girl. I even thought about selling my website because I thought it wasn’t fair that I write about queer life when my life isn’t all that queer at all. A staple in my identity as a queer person has always been more about my gender and less about my sexuality. And I felt like I was lying to everyone who even glances at the website.

And as I continued to talk to my fiancé about all of my feelings, I realized that it was time for me to accept who I really was.

When I was in middle school, I learned what transgender was. And after facing heart breaking rejection, I got scared of being transgender. No longer am I afraid of the world rejecting me. Because at the end of the day, I have someone who will never reject me. I have my family, my fiancé, and most importantly I have myself. Because I finally believe in myself and trust myself. And I am comfortable with who I am.

My existence is simply a feminine guy.
And that is fine.

Coming Out in the Wake of The Pulse Shooting

Today, October 11, is the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. And while I want so much to celebrate everyone who is using today to come out or who are sharing their stories of when they came out, what is really on my mind is what it means to come out in the wake of the Pulse shooting.




June 12, 2016 49 people were murdered and 53 were injured in a shooting in a LGBTQ+ bar in Orlando Florida. This shooting also happened to take place on Latinx night. While the FBI hasn’t classed this as a hate crime, it was.

Emotions have been, and still are high since the shooting. Our community was reminded of the hate that exists for us out there in the world. And just how dangerous that hate can be. Some of us have been terrified to speak up, to be out and open, and to simply exist. Others have been afraid, but also empowered more than ever to fight the fights that still lay in front of us.

From the shooting to the people who protested the funeral of one of the victims to the tweets and posts condoning the killing, we are reminded that we are not safe.

For weeks, I didn’t want to leave my home. I found it harder and harder to correct people about my pronouns. Anything that meant people would know I wasn’t a heterosexul cisgender person made me extremely uncomfortable. For months now, ever since the shooting, even sitting down to write a post on any topic that touches the LGBTQIA spectrum, has taken me ages to write and even longer to actually hit the publish button. At times I go into full blown panic attacks when I see I have notifications or comments after publishing an article.

And now, it is National Coming Out Day, and I see people talking about how coming out is one of our strongest tools in the fight for rights. While I want to encourage people to come out, I understand more than ever why they don’t want to.

I, myself, am afraid of being out.

Seeing so many young people coming out in the wake of the Pulse shooting, has been amazing. The strength it takes when our newsfeeds are filled with stories of murders and protests, when we so concretely know that simply existing puts a target on our backs, makes a powerful statement.

It is a statement of “I am out and I will not stand for the slaughter of our community.”

Coming out in the wake of the Pulse shooting is a statement that we are still here and we won’t be silenced, we won’t be scared out of existence.

But it’s not a statement everyone is ready to make. And in no way am I saying that everyone who comes out is knowingly making that statement, but that is the statement that I and others see when we see you share your story. And it is heartwarming to see when we are struggling, when we are scared, when we feel backed into a corner, or alone.

The Pulse shooting is a reminder written in blood that we can not get too comfortable. That there are homophobic and transphobic people who are more than just words. And so many of us are still trying to go back to normal life, and still don’t know what normal is anymore.

Being out suddenly doesn’t feel safe anymore, when the media ignores our safety needs like it did and has done since the shooting. Not that it really felt safe before considering the laws made against us that also ignored our needs.

I had gotten comfortable. The homophobic and transphobic words thrown at me have been bothering me less and less, as I have begun to accept that I won’t be able to reach everyone and not everyone will like me. I had gotten comfortable with what I now consider mild hate, but this reminder written in the blood of my LGBT family has reminded me why I can never truly feel safe being out as a bisexual+ trans person.

So what does coming out and being out in the wake of the Pulse shooting mean? That we are stronger than ever despite attempts to tear us down. We are strong, we are here, and we won’t go away.

We are stronger than ever, because we are reminded we have to be.


My Identity and My Age

People constantly invalidate my identity because of my age, and it makes no sense.

age & identity

One of my friends who came out later in their life, is told on a daily basis that they should have known sooner therefore they are just making it up for attention, confused, or lying. Yet, when I came out at the age of 18 people constantly have said that I am too young to know who I am. It’s such a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

Come out young and be told you can’t possibly know who you are, or come out when you are older and be told that you would have known when you were a young teenager therefore you are wrong.

We just can’t win.

On a regular basis people say, “You are only 19, you couldn’t possibly know who you are attracted to” or “You are are too young to know if you are trans” or even worse and more annoying “Don’t waste your time and money transitioning when you will regret it in 10 years or when you finally find a man to settle down with.”

It is downright disgusting to see people say these things, not only to me but to young  children and, well anyone.

Age doesn’t determine your identity.

Not only does it not determine your identity, but psychologists actually believe that supporting young trans children actually shows positive mental health as they grow. It doesn’t surprise me any considering how much my own mental health has suffered due to my identity and feeling that I had to keep it a secret with how people would treat me (to be read as how people would abuse me verbally and possibly physically).

“But almost nothing is known about the mental health of a new and growing generation of transgender Americans — prepubescent children who are living openly as transgender with the support of their families. How do those children fare in an environment of openness and family support? When their gender identity is affirmed, are they happy?

New University of Washington research suggests the answer is yes. Published Feb. 26 in Pediatrics, the study is believed to be the first to look at the mental health of transgender children who have “socially transitioned,” changing their preferred pronouns and typically, their names, clothing and hairstyles.” Deborah Bach

One famous person people constantly try to invalidate for waiting so long to come out is none other than Caitlyn Jenner, a controversial person indeed. Some people who use how late she waited to transition as evidence she is fake, don’t realize the damage they are doing using it as “evidence” while others don’t care.

You see the world we live in, while it is still very cold to us LGBTQ+ people, it has changed gradually from what it was. And a lot of people tried their damndest to watch out for their safety. While also struggling to come to terms with who they were in a world that screamed it was an abomination (don’t get me wrong they still do). Now, they live in a world where Ellen DeGeneres, an openly gay comedian, is loved and adored. Suddenly, coming out doesn’t seem as dangerous as before.

People are coming out more, for one reason or another, in their “later”ages. But they are still valid. Many knew who they were for a long time and battled with self love as well as the idea of the world around them knowing.

So what am I saying?

I am saying age doesn’t determine a person’s identity. Coming out at an older age doesn’t mean the person didn’t know who they were, or that when they knew even mattered. And when they come out at a younger age, you should probably listen because they more than likely do know who they are. And supporting them can help them have fewer mental health struggles in the future.



Changing Identity

“How do you take someone seriously when they are constantly changing identity?”

Sometimes multiple identities simply fit us.

In a world like what we live in today, having people invalidate queer people is such a regular thing that we sometimes don’t recognize the little things people say and do to try to invalidate us. Sometimes the people saying and doing these things don’t even realize that they are actually harmful things to say and do.

One big thing I see on a regular basis is people saying “kids can’t know who they are enough to come out” then ironically they claim that adults who come out should have known who they were before. On top of that they use those of us who are still discovering who we are or who use multiple identities or titles, to attempt to prove we are wrong. Personally, I face that on a regular basis. People think that because I use many different terms and identities to describe myself, I don’t know who I am or that my identity has changed because I am so confused.

That brings me to three topics.

We grow and discover more about ourselves as well as other terms.

I know who I am today, I can guess who I will be in 50 years, and I know who I used to be. But as I grow older, I learn more and more about myself, which is something we all do.

When I was younger, I knew I was transgender. But, I actually thought that I was FTM. I feel like that is because I was barely aware of how binary our world was and how little I fit. I have talked before about how I always felt like I didn’t fit one or the other, but my distaste was more for being a girl than the possibility of being a boy which made me feel like I was a boy. However, as I grew older and learned more about other terms that fit me better, I realized I was actually nonbinary trans and not FTM.

 Sometimes more than one term describes us.

People get so confused about this, and understandably so. Sometimes though, people fit more than one identity. If you think of an identity as a way to describe someone, then you realize there are lots of ways to describe a person. So basically, if you use an identity as an adjective you will notice how many other adjectives fit a person. Therefore sometimes multiple identity related adjectives fit us.

Example: I am transgender because my gender identity differs from my sex. Nonbinary is an identity I use to describe myself as well because I do not fit the binary; I am neither male nor female. I am also bisexual+, because I am attracted to multiple genders. I could also say I am pan for this same reason. And, because how much more male or female I feel (meaning sometimes I feel more masculine or feminine than other times) I could also identify as genderfluid.

Now, another reason I could use so many terms is because terms like bisexual, nonbinary, and trans are all umbrella identities. That means that other identities fit underneath them. To make that sound less complicated: Some identities are broad, but more defined identities fit under the broad identities.

Some of us come out as what we feel people may accept us better for.

I personally did this myself, but I also don’t think it’s the best idea either.

However some people come out as bi when they are actually gay because they feel like people would accept them more as bisexual than as gay. The reason I don’t support this is because it helps support the misconceptions of being bi (and other identities people do that with). People feel like people who are bi can’t choose or are confused. And when they watch people come out as bi then come out as gay later on, they feel it validates what they feel about bisexuals not being real.

My story: I didn’t think my boyfriend of the time would accept me as trans, so I thought coming out as genderfluid (a term that does fit me but not as much as nonbinary or agender) would make him like me more. He would think just every now and then I am more guy like. And that would be easier for him to live with. In the end it hurt me more having one toe out the door while everyone else thought I had stepped fully out. I felt like I had to fake a smile and pretend I was happy being out, even though to me I wasn’t out at all.

In conclusion, sometimes people use multiple terms, or the terms they use change with time. That doesn’t mean that they are lying (at least not always) or they don’t know who they are or that they aren’t valid. We grow, we change, and even sexuality can be fluid. So don’t try to invalidate us. Just step back and let us be us. Respect us for who we say we are.

On Not Coming Out

The pressure to come out can be overwhelming, but it’s your choice.

On not coming out

During this time of year, Pride Month, my newsfeed is always full of people sharing coming out stories. And it’s great, don’t get me wrong! I love that people feel empowered to share their intimate stories of coming out, whether it went fantastically or horribly. Even I have been sharing my coming out stories.

But, I know that seeing these stories all over the web can also add an extra pressure to those who haven’t come out. For me, when I first started seeing article after article, before I came out, I felt overwhelmed. There were so many stories that had amazing out comes, which gave me hope that when I came out it would be the same way. But then, there were also a lot of horror stories that went south quick, and I felt like that was more likely to be what would happen to me. It truly frightened me to see people sharing about getting kicked out, videos of people being verbally abused (and some physically), and to see how heart-broken they were.

Overwhelmed and frightened, that’s how I always felt during pride month before coming out.

On one hand, the support shown to the LGBT community at this time of year is great. At the same time, it’s not always support I see when scrolling through Facebook.

And there’s often pressures for coming out that most of us do not know how to deal with. Whether it’s pressure from a partner, being hurt by the way you are labeled, feeling alone in a struggling no one knows you are in; there are so many reasons we decide to come out.

But I want to talk about not coming out. Because I feel like there needs to be more emphasis on the fact that it is your decision to come out when you are ready. 

If you feel you are still finding yourself, and you don’t want to come out as a term you may feel doesn’t fit you 100%, that is more than ok. At the same time, if you are struggling to find a term to fit you and want support from your friends and family, that is fine too.

Coming out is a highly personal thing, not just something to go viral on the internet. It takes a lot of thought and time to figure out how you want to come out, who you want to come out to, and how you will feel. As always I suggest being ready for questions.

But, if you are feeling pressured to come out and you aren’t ready, it is more than okay to wait.

Don’t allow anyone to force you to come out before you are ready. Coming out is about you, not anyone else. I understand when partners don’t want to be hid, or when wanting your family to know about your partner is your inspiration, but it is still about you at the end of the day.

I waited years to come out as trans. Each year I kept telling myself, “This year will be the year.” And I would let the year pass away without ever opening my mouth to tell a soul. Year after year slipped away. And each year I talked myself up a little more, convincing myself that my family loved me for me, and therefore they would accept me. That nothing about me had changed. I was still the same person they knew me to be.

Finally, after enough years had slipped by, I began believing myself. I still broke down and cried when I came out. It felt like 100 pounds had been lifted off of me.

And I guess I did change a bit, because I became increasingly vocal about issues and privilege.

But if this is a year that needs to slip you by, don’t sweat it. There’s always next year to try again. 

Always know that you are valid, even when you aren’t out.

Coming Out As Bi

“I didn’t want anyone to know how much I loved her, or that I was bi.”

coming out

I was fourteen, she was fifteen. Her hair a golden blond with hints of strawberry. Eyes that were made of crystals, cheeks carved by the gods. Perfection, that’s what she was. My girlfriend, that is also what she was.

My mouth was sealed about our relationship, not even my friends knew she existed, let alone how much I cared about her. They were completely unaware of how perfect I thought she was, or the fact that the “emo girl” on my phone was her. Oh how Myspace introduced me to a world where sexuality didn’t have to be what everyone else wanted it to be.

She my first, though not the first girl I found myself attracted to. I had realized I was bisexual or pansexual the year before, when my love for my best friend seemed less and less like a sisterly love. Around this time period I was also exploring the idea that I could be trans.

I didn’t want anyone to know how much I loved her, or that I was bi. It was something that eventually tore us apart. She wanted my family to know about her, and I don’t blame her for that. Now, if I was dating someone for months and they didn’t tell their family I even existed, I would be pretty upset myself. But, I couldn’t bring myself to tell my Christian side of my family. And I didn’t know how to explain to her that I didn’t want to hide her, and that I wasn’t ashamed of her.

While I didn’t come out while dating her, as I sit here writing my story (or a part of it) I feel the need to include her. She was patient and waited for several months while I struggled. We were too young to truly know what we were doing with the relationship, and I was too scared. But thinking of her, her young pain, made me feel the importance of coming out.

Fast forward several years, and I am a young high school student.

In and out of relationships just like everyone else in school. More than anything, I was trying to fit in. Then I met them. They were a year older, their energy and laugh being one of the first things that caught my attention. But oh that brain of theirs, how it caught my heart. I could listen to them for hours as they talked about anything. Gym was my favorite time of the day because of the time I could spend with them.

To this day, the thought of them and the two years we spent as friends, still makes me smile.

Friends, was all we ever were and still are. They don’t know, even now, how much I loved them. Or how someone they loved, I also loved. Or how confusing it all was for me. We have talked about it some, but not in too much depth, because I really don’t think I could. Not that I am not happy or in love with my current partner, I am. But it’s the memories and the thought of how different things would have been.

Their attention was not with me, but I did all I could to get it to me. Including, coming out.

First, to my father who was accepting and loving. He said he didn’t care who I was with, as long as I was happy and who ever I was with treated me right. It was later a sentiment I was truly thankful for.

Then, to my friends, of which this person with my attention, was a part of. They were accepting, loving even. In later conversations we talked about how so many people I came out to felt that it was a phase or I was attracted to men more because I was in a lot of relationships with males. And how this friend never questioned my attraction despite not seeing me in any real relationships with females. Though, they did see me in a relationship with a genderfluid person, without knowing they were.

They were the only friend I had who never truly questioned my sexuality. Maybe, because they understood what it was like when people did. Or maybe, because they simply didn’t feel the need to judge me in that way.

When I came out, it was as bisexual. Over time of exploring terms and finding “identities” that better fit me, I have began to use bisexual and demisexual interchangeably, because it is easier to explain bisexaul than it is to explain being demisexual biromantic.

Yes, there were negative parts to my coming out, and I may talk about them later on. But really, I wanted to talk about why I came out, and the people who influenced it. Because sometimes I feel that we forget to talk about those who inspire us to be true to ourselves, or those who helped us to discover who we were.

I want to note that I am only sharing my experience and not saying someone should come out before they are ready because a partner is pressuring them. And your partner should respect your decision to come out or not, or when you will. 

On Coming Out: It Isn’t A Once And Done

Unless you are some really famous youtuber, or celebrity in general, you can’t just make a video or do an interview and come out in a way the whole world will see.

Yet so often I see people giving LGBTQ+ (usually the person giving the advice isn’t LGBTQ+ in any way) advice of “pull it off like a bandaid. It’s just once and done.” No, no, no, no. Just so much no. I can’t help but over dramatically roll my eyes at that notion. It is almost never a once and done thing.

To this day, I am still coming out about not being straight, let alone not being a girl, all the time. Because there are people I didn’t know when I first came out who may not know my identity, there are people I didn’t think to tell or I originally didn’t feel the need to, and people who don’t read my articles, facebook posts, and blog. At the same time, I still want them to respect my pronouns and not make homophobic remarks around me.

The thing is, unless your coming out goes viral, it will be something you may have to do over and over. Beauty of it is, for some people, it does get easier with time.

You will always have that one or two or five people that coming out to was a big deal to you, maybe because they are really important to you. And those will be the coming out stories you will share the most. Those are the coming out stories others share the most. But that doesn’t mean you are done coming out. Often, you will have to do it for new people you meet, or by living your queer life, those people will automatically know.

My best advice for coming out is something I have preached for a long time.

Be ready for questions.

Especially if you are coming out as something not really heard of. People will have questions, and preparing yourself for them may help you feel more confident. You could walk into the situation knowing that you are who you are, you are ready for their questions, and you are confident in your answers.

Of course, they may have questions you aren’t ready for, but that’s ok to.

Also, always know that you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.

And never come out before you are ready. It’s about you, no one else. When you feel you are ready to come out, then I and others will be supportive (even if it is just through a computer screen).

Just remember that it won’t be a rip the bandaid off and be done with it thing. But it will get easier. Over time you may be like me and develop a little speech that gets the job done quickly and effectively. You may also find there are people you don’t feel the need to come out to. Maybe there will be people who just kind of know.

I hope this helps. And soon I will be sharing some of my coming out stories. Because I don’t have just one.

If you want to share your coming out story on Living Queer, use this form.


Ace Spectrum 3: Romantic Orientations

In part one of this mini series, I talked about the difference between asexual and sexual. In part two, I talked about what gray-ace and demisexual are.

But now let’s talk about romantic orientations, because in most cases, romantic orientations are in reference to someone on the ace spectrum. As I have mentioned in the first part if this series, people on the ace spectrum are usually attracted to people more in a romantic way than a sexual way.

This is where romantic orientations come into play.

Basically, they are a way for people on the ace spectrum to identify who they are attracted to, while respecting the fact that it is not necessarily their sexual orientation. While it is mostly used in reference to people on the ace spectrum, it can also be used to describe people of sexual attractions. You can be bisexual, but only romantically attracted to people of the same gender or vice versa. So while they are usually used more to describe people in the ace spectrum, they are not solely ours. Anyone can have a romantic orientation that differs from their sexual.

That being said, the romantic orientations fall in line with the sexual in the fact that they are defined nearly the same way, with the only difference being that they are a different form of attraction.

Aromantic: not experiencing romantic attraction to individuals of any gender.

Biromantic: Romantically attracted to people of both (2) genders.

Demiromantic: Romantically attracted to people more based on emotional connection.

Grayromantic: Somewhere between being romantically attracted to people and not being romantically attracted to people.

Heteroromantic: Romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex/gender.

Homoromantic: Romantically attracted to people of the same sex/gender.

Panromantic: Romantically attracted to people of all genders.

Polyromantic: Romantically attracted to people of multiple but not all genders.

I am personally demisexual, panromantic. Because I am romantically attracted to all genders, but my sexual attraction depends on emotional connection.

The biggest thing to know is that there is a difference between sexual and romantic attraction.

Example: A bisexual person is sexually attracted to both genders. They have a physical attraction to people of both genders and often desire sexual contact or interactions with both genders. However, that same person may not want a romantic relationship with girls. While that doesn’t change their sexual attraction therefore they are still valid as a bisexual, their romantic orientation simply doesn’t align with their sexual orientation.

Emotional attraction is also different, because it is more about the personality of the person.


The Ace Spectrum 2

In part one of this article, I explored what asexuality is and how it differs from other sexual orientations. I briefly touched on the fact that there are identities that fall under what we call the Ace Spectrum, and they are Demisexual and Gray-Asexual.

So let’s explore exactly what they are and how they differ from asexuality.

Gray-asexual: Somewhere between asexual and sexual orientations. Gray-asexuals very rarely experience sexual attraction, usually only experiencing it a handful of times in their lives. Terms that can be used along side it: semisexual and hyposexual (low sex desire).

Why is it a part of the community?

In short, they are asexual “mostly” asexual but have the ability to be sexually attracted to people. But, because their attraction is so rare, they identify and connect better with other asexuals and demisexuals. Their experience with sexual attraction is a lot more like that of an asexual than it is of a person who is gay, straight, bi, ect. Therefore we in the asexual community openly accept them in our community where they feel they fit in better.

How do they know they are capable of sexual attraction?

Some have experienced in, but it was rare. While others who identify as gray-ace may not have experienced sexual attraction but believe they have the ability to. And they are still just as valid as those who have rarely experienced sexual attraction.

Demisexual: Asexual, but capable of feeling sexual attraction when emotionally (not always on a romantic level) connected/attracted to someone.

Why is it a part of the community?

They, like gray-asexuals, relate more to the asexual community than the sexual community. Their sexual attraction is also rare, and because they need to be emotionally connected to someone, their experience of sexual attraction varies greatly from that of the sexual community who are often attracted to people on a physical and emotional level (based on their looks and based on feelings they may have for the person). Demisexuals don’t have a sexual attraction to someone based on looks, at least not until they are emotionally connected to the person.

demi vs gray

Demisexual can be considered to be a part of the gray-ace community as well. Almost like it is just a little more specific than gray-asexual. Gray-asexual can be considered a small umbrella term. 


The Ace Spectrum 1

Asexuality in itself is an identity that people often times don’t understand, or have a lot of misconceptions about. But something more that people don’t know or believe about the asexual community, is that there are identities that fall under the ace spectrum.

But let’s start with talking about asexuality and the difference between being sexual and being asexual+.


So now that some of the basic differences are out-of-the-way, let me explain what they mean.

The biggest difference is that asexuals are not sexually attracted to people, or they experience sexual attraction to people in a very different way than sexual people do. However, there are identities that fall under the asexual umbrella because they experience sexual attraction but maybe less than most (a handful of times in their lives) or they only experience a sexual attraction when an emotional connection has been formed. I will go into this more in Part 2.

People often wonder how someone doesn’t experience sexual attraction at all. If the person asking is straight, I usually answer with something along these lines:

“You are straight, right? Well are you sexually attracted to people of the same sex or gender as you? No. You do not look at them, any of them, and get aroused in even the smallest of ways, right? You are simply not attracted to them. And you can not truly explain your lack of attraction to the same gender. You just know you aren’t. Well, being asexual+ is the same thing. Except we aren’t attracted to anyone. We can not really explain our lack of attraction no better than you can explain why you are not attracted to people of the same gender.”


People of the ace spectrum are real, and valid. They don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation and they probably can’t give you one, just like you can’t explain your lack of attraction to a gender. Other than the fact it is just how we were born, it is who we are.