Monday 8 July 2019

Being Proud of who you are

Emily speaks about cherishing your identity.  

- Emily Maybanks

“Sexuality and sexual preference is always handled in a private matter. Everyone knows about it, but no one truly speaks about it. And when it is spoken about there is hate, judgement and fear… Sexuality, I believe it is something that helps mould you into something greater. It is an expression, an experience and a journey.”

With recent homophobic attacks shown in the news, I believe it is more important than ever to be proud of who you are, and be proud of being part of the LGBT+ community – no matter which or how many of the LGBT+ terms you identify with. I, myself, identify as both asexual and bisexual. It wasn’t until I was at university and first started to meet people who also identified as LGBT+ that I finally had the courage to first be open about my own sexuality and learn that it is okay and that it is good to be proud of who you are! 

It’s not always simple to be proud of your sexuality or to even be open and honest about it. Sometimes, I still feel worried and anxious about what people might say. I have particularly found this since graduating from university and starting different jobs. It’s difficult enough to be open about having difficulties with depression and anxiety without being scared about what colleagues at work might say or think, but to also wonder if you should be open about being part of LGBT+ community without feeling judged.

Through my experiences of being LGBT+ and coming out as bisexual and asexual at university and now in the workplace, I have learnt a lot about what being LGBT+ means to me and also what it means to me to be proud of my sexuality. I think that sexuality is a personal thing but feeling comfortable enough to be open to people, whether it’s friends, family, colleagues or an LGBT+ society, is certainly something to be proud of, in my opinion. I have also learnt that if people aren’t okay with my sexuality and who I am, then that’s their loss. Having this mind-set makes it a lot easier for me to be accepting of myself. 

“Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone. I won’t apologise for who I am.”

For more information or support see: LGBTQ+ Student Minds

My name is Emily (Em). Last year, I graduated from Swansea University with my BA degree in Modern Languages, Translation & Interpreting; I was also passionate about and dedicated to Swansea Student Media and the University students’ newspaper – Waterfront. I blog for Student Minds because I have experienced mental health issues as a student and now as a graduate, as well as other health issues, and I support friends who also have mental health difficulties. I am a passionate writer and writing has been important in my mental health experiences – both in helping me to explore and to cope with my mental health, as well as sharing my story in order to help others.

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