My New Journey Coming Out as LGBT With a Disability

Anyone who knows me knows I have a passion for advocating, Disney, animals and helping others.  For so many years, giving so much of myself resulted in neglecting my health and my identity. I was trapped in the idea that I’d do what was instilled in my head from a young age: work hard, get married and have children. The days of my cross-dressing youth quickly faded as I told myself it was just a phase.

The truth is I have always been me and not one thing has changed, including the non-acceptance of myself. I grew up in a “be quiet and deal with it family;” we didn’t hug much and feelings were to be hidden. This caused me to feel a lot of shame in coming out and accepting who I was, as an individual and with my health conditions. Having that lack of support even to this day has made it very difficult to take care of myself, both with my health and my identity.

In light of National Coming Out Day, I am Coming Out. In a few days, I will be 32. This is the hardest thing I have ever done and what makes it more difficult is that I am older, have disabilities and a child, so the fear of never getting into a relationship is real. If you’re like me, feeling confused and don’t know where to begin, don’t give up. Self-acceptance is key. Unfortunately, local LGBT communities have not been welcoming to my unique situation, so for a few months I went back and forth with myself on whether I should go through with this announcement to friends and family. The isolated feeling is real, but as I venture into my new chapter in life, only time will tell.

Please let me know if you identify as LGBT and are disabled. Did you break the news later in life? Did you experience adversity? Were you married? Are you still in the closet?

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