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Being My Authentic Self During Pride Month

Updated: Jun 4

Being my authentic self, as someone with anxiety, has always been challenging. I constantly overthink how I will be perceived and worry about what others may think of me. In many ways, my anxiety has hindered me from truly embracing my authentic self. I have hidden parts of my identity, my personality, and things that make me “me” out of fear of how people may react. Recently, a young person in my life came out to me. What I wasn’t expecting from this conversation, was how much they would inspire me. 

 

I could tell they were nervous and scared about not being accepted for who they truly are. As their friend and someone who deeply cares about them, I reflected on the importance of having a supportive community. As a young person, I wanted them to know that adults in their lives are and support their journey. I want to show this young person that they are not alone and that someone around them understands. Being a young person trying to navigate a new identity can be hard. Feeling like you are the only person to have this identity in your community is hard. Choosing to come out to someone is hard. Being your authentic self can be hard. 


 As I reflected on their bravery, I realized I also wasn’t being my authentic self. Here I am telling them how amazing they are and how great it is to embrace their identity, yet I couldn’t do it myself. Their courage and fearlessness in coming out inspired me to also embrace my true self. Without even knowing it, they helped me become more comfortable with who I am and supported me on my journey of coming out to the folks around me. My anxiety doesn’t always make it easy to put away those negative thoughts. I still think about how I may be perceived by people. I still have moments where I overthink what I‘m wearing, sharing parts of my identity, and what people may think about me. 


As we celebrate Pride Month, I think about myself, my friend, and the many of us who are still learning to embrace our authentic selves. I invite folks to take this month, filled with love, acceptance, and joy, and extend some grace to ourselves and others. This month, and every month, let’s embrace our authentic selves.  

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