Sexual identity certainly isn't the easiest thing in the world to come to grips with when you are growing up due to the larger societal and institutional influences at work, but increased visibility of sexual minorities does make it easier. It puts within a person's reach a rich network of people, stories and experiences and resources that can be helpful as that person wrestles with the idea of his or her identity. This makes it no less harder to come out to friends and family, but this same network for the person coming out can be a resource for the people who angry and confused about the announcement.
In many ways, the label “alternative” is biased. How can this identity be alternative if it has existed for millennia, let alone the hundreds of millions of people who live today with this identity openly or closeted? How can it be unnatural?
Gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and rest of the alphabet soup of labels are everywhere, and they've always been everywhere, it's just more visible now. But it is still hidden by these larger societal influences, and this is where the difficulty comes in and where therapy can be a resource. Therapy can also include the family of the person coming out.
It can be helpful talking to someone who also believes that you should be who you are and is there to help you do just that in spite of the difficulty of it all. Consider that it will be more difficult being someone who you are not.
This topic of the week was written by Brian Swope, MFT