back to top
LGBT

18 Tips For LGBT Teens In High School, From People Who Have Been There

"You're not broken."

Posted on

We asked LGBT members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they had known in high school (because being an LGBT teenager can be, well, confusing). Here's the advice they gave to their younger selves:

1. Don't feel the need to own a label — now or ever:

"Don't hurry to tie yourself to any label. Take your time to experience your sexual and romantic feelings or your gender without trying to use identities to define them. When you do feel that you're ready, remember that the words you use to identify aren't *you* — your gender and sexuality are more complex than any of them."— Doron Mosenzon, Facebook
etsy.com

"Don't hurry to tie yourself to any label. Take your time to experience your sexual and romantic feelings or your gender without trying to use identities to define them. When you do feel that you're ready, remember that the words you use to identify aren't *you* — your gender and sexuality are more complex than any of them."

— Doron Mosenzon, Facebook

2. Know that you don't have to prove anything to anybody:

"I wish I had known that I didn’t need to prove my queerness by buying every Tegan and Sara song (even though they are great) and watching every episode of The L Word. I’m queer because I’m queer. No proof needed."— jenniferm4fca2cad6 "You don't have to prove anything. You can be bi without dating/ being sexual — when you know, you know."— alexl4663d0ce9
instagram.com

"I wish I had known that I didn’t need to prove my queerness by buying every Tegan and Sara song (even though they are great) and watching every episode of The L Word. I’m queer because I’m queer. No proof needed."

jenniferm4fca2cad6

"You don't have to prove anything. You can be bi without dating/ being sexual — when you know, you know."

alexl4663d0ce9

3. Take your time coming out, this isn't a race:

FOX

"You don't have to figure stuff out and know who you are tomorrow, you've got plenty of time. It's OK not to know yet."

— Elisabeth Heinen, Facebook

4. Bisexuality and asexuality are 👏 real 👏 and 👏 valid:

instagram.com

"Bisexuality is real and it is a spectrum. Asexuality is real and it is also a spectrum. Being trans is real and it is, again, a spectrum. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are also real and also a spectrum. If you don't fit the black and white of these identities, that's OK — you just might fit in the gray area."

— BrittLynn Moeske, Facebook

"You’re not broken or lying or any of the negative things people might say if you identify as asexual or anywhere on the asexual spectrum. You may feel alone sometimes, but you’re not. We’re here."

Fragile Winchester Feelings

5. Don't be afraid to reach out — help can come from the most surprising places:

"I spent weeks agonizing in silence over my identity because it went against everything I had been taught growing up and I just didn't know how to handle it at all. I eventually found refuge in a queer tinder match and even just that stunted coming out conversation with a stranger helped me beyond measure."— Kiegin Evertz, Facebook
Facebook: BuzzFeedLGBT

"I spent weeks agonizing in silence over my identity because it went against everything I had been taught growing up and I just didn't know how to handle it at all. I eventually found refuge in a queer tinder match and even just that stunted coming out conversation with a stranger helped me beyond measure."

— Kiegin Evertz, Facebook

6. "It's OK to talk to your partner if something about sex doesn't feel good.":

plumkat.tumblr.com / Via VH1

"I also wish that I knew that it was okay to talk to your partner if something about sex didn't feel good. I was young and confused, and having good sex with people that had a penis wasn't really what I was expecting. A lot of my straight friends told me that it was great and blah blah blah — but it was kinda just weird to me. It didn't hurt, it wasn't traumatic, it just wasn't enjoyable. But I felt like I had to pretend to like it and that's just how it was. Years later, I met my current partner and they showed me how to enjoy sex."

— Daniella Diaz, Facebook

7. How does that old saying go? "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"? Yea, that:

youtube.com

"There are a lot of great people out there who can support you, just don’t waste your time, energy and nerves on the wrong people."

Sugar

8. Fashion is a great way to express yourself, but your sexuality doesn't have to define or dictate your style:

youtube.com

"When I was trying to figure out my sexuality I had the silly notion that I wasn't 'allowed' to be a lesbian because I'm so feminine. Back in those days the only out queer women tended to have a more masculine style, so I felt I was just confused because I didn't have the same appearance or style sense as them. You're allowed to dress however you want and identify however you want, none of the above has to define you in any way, shape, or form!"

— Carli Paige, Facebook

9. But hey, it's 💯 fine to fall into some stereotypes:

Netflix

"I was always more feminine and most people called me gay in Kindergarten. I didn’t actually realize I was gay until 7th grade. When I began to come out to my friends, I almost felt guilty for giving in to my stereotype — I was becoming what most people accused me of anyway. But just remember that if you fit into a stereotype that it’s okay. You aren’t reinforcing a stereotype by being yourself."

Stevenlegits

10. You'll change a lot as you get older and how you identify can change too:

imgur

"Sexuality, gender, identity, labels — they're all fluid and they can change as you grow up! Your experiences and personal mindset shape who you are, not other people. Experiment, explore, and discover who you were meant to be. Make mistakes, break hearts, and educate those who will listen!"

— Kelsey Shores, Facebook

11. You can — and most definitely should — have queer sex safely:

instagram.com

"Yes, there is such a thing as safe lesbian sex, even if sex ed doesn't cover it. Google is your best friend!"

— Emily Evans, Facebook

12. Your friends and family might need a little time to catch up. You've been figuring this out over time — they haven't:

Redbus Film Distribution

"One thing I always try to remind others who are coming out is that, 'you've had years to come to terms and accept your sexuality, friends, family, and loved ones only have a split second.' While we all want that perfect acceptance from everyone, it doesn’t always happen that way. Always remember to be as understanding of them — as you want them to be of you.”

coreyscottphelps

13. You will crush on the wrong person, but it happens to everyone:

Netflix

"You will probably have a crush on a straight person. It will probably not happen and if it did, the sex will probably be bad. You will get over it and it'll sting like a mother. This isn't really advice because this will happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Sorry."

— Gabe Klansky, Facebook

14. Don’t date someone just because they’re the only other queer person at your school:

“You don’t have to date the only other queer person in the school, no matter how much your friends or theirs try to set you up! There is an entire community of people like us and a huge selection of potential relationship buddies once you leave school. Don’t limit yourself or feel pressured to get together with someone just because they are all that is in front of you right now.”— emily239
f-ftw.tumblr.com

“You don’t have to date the only other queer person in the school, no matter how much your friends or theirs try to set you up! There is an entire community of people like us and a huge selection of potential relationship buddies once you leave school. Don’t limit yourself or feel pressured to get together with someone just because they are all that is in front of you right now.”

emily239

15. Being nonbinary is what you make it!

skellydun.tumblr.com

"Being nonbinary does not have to mean defaulting to masculinity. Nonbinary can mean anything, as long as you feel comfortable. You don't have to bind your chest if you don't want to, but if you do that's fine! And even if you do bind, that doesn't mean you can't rock that adorable new dress on top of it."

— Alex Jewett, Facebook

16. Get out! No, seriously, joining clubs, teams, and outside activities is a great way to meet new people:

"Get out more. Meet more people like you. Join clubs. Don't be afraid to be yourself. You are beautiful and your best friend will become the love of your life. Kiss her, hold her hand, and don't let anyone make you feel bad for it."— Ash N. Park, Facebook
Instagram: @https://www.instagram.com/stayhomeclubofficial/?hl=en

"Get out more. Meet more people like you. Join clubs. Don't be afraid to be yourself. You are beautiful and your best friend will become the love of your life. Kiss her, hold her hand, and don't let anyone make you feel bad for it."

— Ash N. Park, Facebook

17. All things come to an end — even high school:

giphy.com / Via 21 Laps Entertainment

"I wish I realized that high school was just a short period of time and not the entire world, which is easier to say in hindsight. I wish I knew that, even if you spend two years going to high school youth groups every night trying to pray away the gay, you will still be you. I wish I knew how comfortable I would feel in my own skin I became when I accepted myself for being gay and unapologetically owned that part of who I am."

lisae464f92dd5

18. Most importantly? Be easy on yourself:

"I wish that someone would have told me that forgiveness heals everything. Forgiveness isn’t for the people hurting you, it’s for you. You don’t have to come out if you’re not ready. You shouldn’t feel guilty for not being out. It’s hard and sometimes life is easier in the closet. But always keep hoping for the day that it’s not easier to be in the closet. Growing up in a world that wasn’t designed to accept you can be hard. Celebrate the small wins. Sometimes the small wins can keep you afloat until the big wins come around." — Camila Hernández, Facebook
etsy.com

"I wish that someone would have told me that forgiveness heals everything. Forgiveness isn’t for the people hurting you, it’s for you. You don’t have to come out if you’re not ready. You shouldn’t feel guilty for not being out. It’s hard and sometimes life is easier in the closet. But always keep hoping for the day that it’s not easier to be in the closet. Growing up in a world that wasn’t designed to accept you can be hard. Celebrate the small wins. Sometimes the small wins can keep you afloat until the big wins come around."

— Camila Hernández, Facebook

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

The best things at three price points