Caroline Petrucci | Contributor
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images
Feeling comfortable in your skin is a process that can take years of post-puberty healing, a little to a lot of one-on-one time with a therapist, and maybe a snazzy outfit. Feeling comfortable within one’s sexuality, however, is a whole other process.
Finding peace within your sexuality is something that a lot of heterosexuals struggle with. But, finding that peace as a member of the LGBTQ+ community comes with a plethora of additional challenges. While many people within the community say there is no recipe for coming to terms with one’s sexual identity, identifying one’s sexuality is vastly different from feeling comfortable within said sexuality.
For third-year social work student Marcus DiGiovanni, there was never a moment he didn’t feel comfortable within his sexuality.
“I always felt confident in my sexuality. I always knew I liked guys,” says DiGiovanni.
However, that innate confidence and self-assurance were put to the test as he grew older.
“Growing up in a pretty Catholic environment and going to Catholic school, you knew that being gay is looked down upon in the religion,” DiGiovanni says. “For me and a lot of other gay people, we always know there’s something different about us from a really young age, but when you’re a kid there’s no pressure to act a certain way when it comes to who you like.”
Apart from an imposed guilt that he was brought up with, DiGiovanni was also worried about what his peers would think of him.
“It wasn’t until I was 16 that I was mature enough to not really care about that conditioning (of my religion) and feel comfortable in what I already knew about myself.”
This is something 19-year-old bisexual Caitlin Huard can attest to as she explains the moment she felt comfortable with her sexuality and when she stopped caring about other’s opinions. Huard was able to come to terms with her sexuality when she realized there was nothing to gain from hiding it.
I knew that coming out would change a lot of people’s perception of me but at the end of the day, I knew that anyone who looked at me differently because of this didn’t deserve to be in my life,” says Huard.
The principle of living authentically without fear of external guilt, shame, or judgment is a principle that can be applied universally. For DiGiovanni and Huard, living without those constraints means being comfortable in their sexualities.
“My advice to someone that doesn’t feel comfortable in their sexuality is that it is okay. There’s no rush for you to be okay with it,” DiGiovanni says.