Acceptance of ones sexual identity, in 5 key ideas
Let's look at several ideas and reflections to understand what accepting one's sexual identity is all about.
Sexual identity is a fundamental part of our self-concept, the set of all the things we believe about ourselves as individuals.
Unfortunately, there are two factors that cause us to suffer too much from our relationship with our sexual identity. On the one hand, the fact that sexuality is a taboo subject, something we try not to talk about; and on the other hand, the long tradition of discrimination against uncommon or "atypical" sexualities that exists in most cultures.
All of this means that social pressure can lead to self-esteem problems, insecurities or even guilt problems regarding one's sexual identity, and this is something we psychologists see a lot when we work with clients or patients.
In this article we will look at several key ideas about the acceptance of sexual identityThe sexual identity, which is made up of one's own ideas about one's sexual orientation and the gender roles expressed in it.
The process of acceptance of the sexual identity: 5 key ideas
If you think you may be experiencing problems accepting your sexual identity, consider the following:
1. Sexual orientation is not chosen
This is fundamental: sexual orientation, in the vast majority of cases, is not chosen. It is developed on the basis of many variables that affect us beyond our control.. For this reason alone, feeling guilty for having a certain sexual identity makes no sense, and should be understood as the consequence of a problem in the interaction with the environment in which we live (usually, the responsibility lies with hate groups that are against sexual diversity).
Thus, the solution is to assume that the main problem is not in oneself, but in a society that discriminates, and that what can be done by oneself is to be aware of this and to foresee the messages emitted by the media, discriminatory groups, etc..... In this way, the discomfort is cushioned.
2. Reproduction does not govern life
One of the arguments most used by those who spread homophobic ideas consists in pointing out that the only non-pathological sexuality is heterosexuality, because it fits the designs of nature and allows reproduction through the union between man and woman.
Thus, homosexual people would have a problem to solve for not being able to have Biological children with the people they are attracted to, and something similar would happen with bisexual people and with asexual people and those who have very specific sexual tastes, for wasting opportunities and time on options that in theory do not allow the lineage to continue.
However, these ideas are not only very harmful socially and psychologically: they are also wrong.. The reason is that human happiness does not depend on the possibility of having biological children, on the one hand, and that there are no designs of nature, on the other. In fact, making everything we do only make sense in light of whether it allows us to have offspring produces unhappiness and frustration, and history shows that the evolution of species does not care at all whether a large part of the population has more or fewer offspring: species with a tendency to have many offspring can become extinct in a short time, and others with fewer offspring survive, depending on the context.
3. Sex does not have to have taboos
There are no tastes that are in themselves a cause for shame, as long as they do not harm anyone, Sometimes, social conventions and an overly rigid morality Sometimes, social conventions and too rigid morality can lead to avoidable frustrations. It is essential to be able to express oneself freely about the aspects that make up one's sexual identity, even if it means overcoming shame.
4. Lack of tolerance is not the victim's problem.
Unfortunately, not all people live in contexts where it is possible to express any sexual identity. In fact, in a large number of countries doing so can jeopardize one's physical integrity and the exercise of basic rights, whether through laws or unwritten rules.
It is important to keep this in mind, but not to let the fact that others criminalize us because of our sexual identity make us think that we have done something wrong. The main problem is not with oneself, but with society and the cultural dynamics (or the law) that it is still dragging along. From there, if we have trouble feeling coherent with this idea, we can work on those specific symptoms, but not stop being who we are.
5. It is possible to accept and love oneself
Finally, the most important thing regarding the acceptance of sexual orientation. Everyone can come to love and accept themselves for who they are, regardless of their tastes or preferences in the sexual or romantic sphere.
It is true that sometimes it is necessary to count on the assistance of psychologists who offer professional help. professional help, but this does not imply that the patient is worth less or weaker. It is simply a reflection of the fact that sometimes a deep personal transformation is needed in order to accept oneself, something that is very difficult to do alone and without any reference on what to do.
If psychologists are helpful in these situations, it is because we have spent time and effort training ourselves and dealing with these kinds of problems with other patients before, we have that advantage. Pero este proceso solo dura unos meses, y en cualquier caso, el protagonista del proceso de autoaceptación nunca deja de ser quien busca ayuda; ni durante ni después de la intervención psicológica.
- Bailey, J.M.; Vasey, P.; Diamond, L.; Breedlove, S.M.; Vilain, E.; Epprecht, M. (2016). Sexual Orientation, Controversy, and Science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 17 (2): pp. 45 - 101.
- Rosario, M.; Schrimshaw, E.; Hunter, J.; Braun, L. (2006). Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time. Journal of Sex Research. 43 (1): pp. 46 - 58.
- Brooks, Kelly D.; Quina, K. (2009). Women's sexual identity patterns: Differences among lesbians, bisexuals, and unlabeled women. Journal of Homosexuality. 56 (8): pp. 1030 - 1045.