Coping With the Stress of Hiding Your Sexuality

Even in 2023, certain people in the world are still uncomfortable with nonheteronormative sexualities. Frankly, your sexuality is only one person’s business: your own. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you must hide your sexuality, I want to help you where I can. Hiding your true sexual identity can take a toll on you. The stress caused by living a lie will begin to wear you down and cause intense stress. But what should you do in this situation? Keep reading to learn how you can cope.

Even in 2023, certain people in the world are still uncomfortable with nonheteronormative sexualities. Frankly, your sexuality is only one person’s business: your own. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you must hide your sexuality, I want to help you where I can.

Hiding your true sexual identity can take a toll on you. The stress caused by living a lie will begin to wear you down and cause intense stress. But what should you do in this situation? Keep reading to learn how you can cope.

Confide in one person if you can

Regardless of whether it is a good secret or a bad secret, the burden of not sharing a secret will start to weigh on you. If you feel comfortable sharing your sexuality with even one other person, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Not only will this allow you to share some of the burdens you have been carrying but it also will grant you one safe space or person in your life. This way, you can be your true and authentic self with at least one other person and not just in your head.

Find an online community

Whether or not you confide in a person in your life, there is certainly an online community out there for you to be a part of. Try searching for chat rooms or other social media sites to connect with like-minded individuals.

This can help you to learn more about the queer community–or whichever community you most identify with. While having online friendships may not feel the same as an in-person one, being your authentic self, regardless of the context, is what will make you feel whole.

Try to get out of your situation and into a new one

Sometimes, the best thing you can do to get out of a toxic situation is to simply leave. If the stress of hiding your true sexuality has become so much that it is significantly impacting your quality of life, you are allowed to just leave. Consider moving to a new city or simply out of the house you currently live in.

If you are a minor, however, do not worry. Running away is not a smart and safe choice. There are still other steps you can take to relieve your stress.

Work on things you love

Pouring yourself into creative passions is a wonderful form of expression. Whether you are a painter, a writer, or any other type of creative, I encourage you to pursue this. In fact, it does not even have to be a creative outlet! If you love to run or sing or anything else that makes you feel like your true self, turn to this in your struggles.

Always put yourself first

Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by a certain friend’s social media presence or you simply feel too stressed out from hiding your identity, remember, your needs always come first. Do what you have to do to keep your mental health strong and healthy. This may lead to setting uncomfortable boundaries with people in your life, especially if they do not accept your sexuality. Hopefully, this will not be the case, but putting your peace first should always be your priority.

If you find the stress wearing on you over time, perhaps seeking therapy is the right choice for you. I assure you that regardless of how you identify or define your sexuality, you will be welcomed into my office with open arms. Feel free to take a look through my website and give me a call if you think that we would be a good fit. I look forward to speaking with you.

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Medically Reviewed by Jack Hazan

Jack Hazan, MA, LMHC, CSAT, is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned his Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from The University of New York. With a passion for helping individuals navigate life’s challenges, Jack has honed his expertise in various areas of mental health. He specializes in providing compassionate and effective treatment for challenges with relationships, intimacy, and avoidant behaviors associated with adult childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, codependency, addiction (including excessive behaviors related to sex, porn, and apps), LGBTQIA+ identity exploration, as well as impulsive behaviors (including ADHD).

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