Coming out was one of the most stressful things I had to do in my life so far. All kinds of fears kept popping into my head. I think my biggest fear have always been rejection. Thankfully I have never experienced firsthand rejection on grounds of my sexuality. Sure enough I have seen homophobic slants in the media and by so-called Facebook ‘friends’ in general, but never ever directly aimed at me personally. I have been lucky in this way. And I am grateful.
Rejection comes in various forms and from various sources. I think that one of the worst can be internalised rejection or internalised homophobia. But that is a topic for another day.
I would like to focus on the positives, though. If you are able to deal with the rejection, you will be okay.
But how does one deal with rejection?
In short, you need a thick skin. How does one get a thick skin? Through experience. Through lots of tears (literal and figurative). And with time. I’m not saying it is going to be easy… The thing is, you need to find your inner power. A. A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh, wrote: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” This is unbelievably true! Become aware of your inner power, find it, access it, and get to know it, intimately. You must know it so well that you can access it any time you need it. Then you’ll be okay.
The thing is, haters will always hate. And you will need to ignore them. You cannot control what others think and how they act. What you can control is how you react. You can choose to get upset or to let it roll off of your back. If you choose not to get upset, you will be okay.
There will be ups and there will be downs. There will be obstacles in the road. Sometimes the obstacle will be the size of a grain of sand, and other times it will seem like Mount Everest rising in front of you. Remember, every journey begins with one step. Stay in the now and focus on the next step – you will be okay.
Do not give up.
Listen carefully: Do. Not. Give. Up.
There is always hope!
Remember what Winnie the Pooh said and you, my dear friend, will be okay.