This is a common phrase in the self-help community, but for people who have been taught their entire lives to be anything other than themselves, it is a huge ask that is easier said than done.

As people who identify as LGBTQ+, we commonly grow up with a fucked up sense of self because we’re taught from all sides that what we think and feel is wrong. Out of self preservation, we force ourselves into an alternate reality, and we live a false version of ourselves for so long that we don’t even know who we really are. Because of this, many of us get older and experience physical maturity without the benefit of emotionally maturing like hetero-normative people might.


Who is that, exactly? What are they like? What DO they like? How would they fit into the life we have created for ourselves, and how would the people in our life react to them? What if I’m in my 30s or 40s or 50s and have no idea who “yourself” is? Is it ok to experiment or is that going to cause reactions from the people in our lives who don’t understand? And if those reactions trigger past trauma, how can we ever feel safe exploring?


To me, those two words aren’t a commandment, they are an invitation. You are cordially invited to feel what you feel, even when those feelings don’t make sense. You’re invited to try on different identities if that helps you feel more comfortable in your head and your heart and your skin. You’re invited to seek pleasure and to embrace joy even when it scares you. You’re invited to look no further than your reflection in the mirror for the love and the acceptance you need until you find it elsewhere.

Who you are is not wrong. Who you are is enough. Who you are is beautiful. Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.

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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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