How to Accept That You Are Gay

Three Methods:Finding YourselfDealing with OthersGaining Support and Confidence

If you feel very attracted to members of the same sex or both sexes, but need to feel like you have accepted it within yourself, here is a guide to help you. You have found out your sexual orientation, and you are perfectly normal. Accepting who you are - and being proud of who you are - is the next step on the road to coming out of the closet, and eventually to having a successful gay or lesbian relationship. Some people have difficulty in accepting their sexual orientation, either because of personal or societal discomfort or pressure. Most people in the LGBT+ community know from experience that accepting your sexuality will lead to your becoming a happier, more open person.

In this guide, the term gay has been used to include all forms of homosexuality and bisexuality, whether that be people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or pansexual, or others included in the LGBT+ Queer Community.

Method 1
Finding Yourself

  1. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 1
    Know if you are gay. Sometimes people question their sexuality. There are many degrees of sexual and gender orientation and identity, and if you find you don't fit easily into one category, don't pick one! Don't allow yourself to be labeled until, or unless, you are ready and willing to be.
    • If you feel that you don't fit, or you can't understand why you aren't like other people in your life because you are different, remember that you are you, and not anyone else; and that being yourself and accepting yourself for the person that you are is something to be immensely proud of.
  2. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 2
    Remember that you didn't choose to be attracted to members of the same sex. Attempts to change your orientation are usually painful and pointless in the end. When talking with heterosexual friends or family members, it's sometimes tough to help them understand this, because they have no frame of reference for your experience. Try to encourage others to see your sexual orientation in the same way as they see your eye colour - it is something you were born with and did not choose. It is something that is simply a part of your being, and not something you can change. Or want to or should!
    • There isn't any need to change yourself - being gay is just another way of simply existing, and there is nothing wrong with it at all. Neither is there anything wrong with you for being gay.
      • Some people in the world believe that sexual orientation is a choice. If you feel that you indeed made a choice, you should feel comfortable with that choice. Everyone has their own battles and choices to make, and the norms of societies may not necessarily be normal for you.
  3. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 3
    Tell yourself that for people to accept you, first you must accept yourself. If you can't accept your sexual orientation and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, then other people find it harder to accept you fully. It's your right to love; no one has the right to tell you otherwise.
    • Tell yourself: "I am a person with feelings and intellect and a life, just like everyone else. I am unique and individual, and no one has the right to choose my life for me. The fact that I am gay is just another facet of who I am, just as being creative, or optimistic, or having brown eyes is. I may not be like many of my friends, but I choose to live my life authentically and happily. It's my life, and I choose to be happy."
  4. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 4
    Remember that being gay does not require you to conform to typical gay stereotypes. Most people who are gay are indistinguishable from those that aren't. They share the same interests, goals and dreams for their lives. Being a homosexual person does not necessarily make you any less masculine or feminine, and there is no need or pressure to conform to stereotypes that don't feel right to you - because you are who you are.
    • You do not need to fit into the gay community just as much as you don't need to fit into the straight community. These are arbitrary social constructs. Are boys inherently about football and burping? No. Society has told them that that's okay. In 100 years, "gay" will be an entirely different concept. Don't pressure yourself to fit in one way or another.

Method 2
Dealing with Others

  1. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 5
    Do not feel - or let yourself be - pressured into believing that you should "change your ways". If anyone tries to force an opinion on you that you do not agree with, such that your desires themselves are unnatural, sinful or symptoms of a mental disorder, look elsewhere for support. There is no evidence that "helping homosexuals to become heterosexual" is possible. If someone tells you it is, walk the other way.
    • Treatments to "change" sexual orientation that were common in the 1960s and 1970s were very damaging to those patients who underwent them and affected no change in their sexual orientation.[1][2]
    • In fact, conversion therapy is slowly getting banned across the US. Homosexuality is not viewed as an illness and in short order won't be treated as such.[3]
  2. 2
    Remember that you are not alone. There are many, many gay people in all sorts of communities, and there are many people there for you when you need support. There may be agencies, groups, advisers, family members and friends that you can turn to, even if it is just someone to inform of your feelings. Talking to someone during this difficult time will be incredibly helpful and ground you in realizing millions of others are going through the same thing.
    • Find a group or a hangout where you feel comfortable, and where there will be other gay people to talk with. Make some new friends, and by doing so, you will establish a new network of supportive and encouraging people around yourself. Your energy will help them too!
  3. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 7
    Consider telling your family. Hopefully you live in an environment where your family loves you just as you are. If you have a person you are particularly close with, pull them aside and talk to them. Let them know what you're going through. They'll help you form an attack plan on informing everyone and transitioning as smoothly as possible.
    • If your family would not accept you, it's best to find a mentor that can help you. Do you know anyone who's struggled with this exact same thing? They'll be able to point you in the right direction and be a sounding board for this time. Talking about it, being able to lean on someone, will be a great resource for your overall happiness and sense of strength.
  4. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 8
    Be selective. The entire world does not need to know about your sexual orientation, nor do they care (luckily!). It is not necessary to broadcast who you are, and no one should make you, if you find that telling everyone makes you uncomfortable. Know that, while you want and deserve to live an authentic life, it may not be a good idea to expose yourself to narrow-minded people who may offend you.
    • Don't come out to a particular person if it doesn't feel right to you. This is a good rule to follow in general - there could be many reasons why, but if it doesn't "feel right" then it is probably not the right time to come out to that person. The time to tell them may be later, or never. What is most important is that you come out to yourself. Once you are at ease with your own sexual orientation and have a healthy self-image, the when and how of coming out often fall into place naturally
  5. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 9
    Forgive those who aren't ready to accept you. Unfortunately, humans can be cruel and closed-minded. Inevitably, there will be people who don't approve of "your lifestyle" and will let you know about it. Instead of wasting your energy on these people, forgive them.
    • Getting angry will only fuel their fire. In order to beat them at their own, you need to stay level-headed, logical, and reasonable. Showing that their actions get to you will only make them happier. If you can't muster forgiveness, muster indifference. They're not even on your radar. You'll feel so much better in the long run!
  6. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 10
    Think about your religious beliefs. There will be people that tell you your sexuality prohibits you from specific religious beliefs or from being loved by God. You are free to believe whatever you want to believe, even if members of the same group don't agree. Faith is a personal relationship with god - it has nothing to do with anyone else.
    • If you were raised in an environment that frowns on homosexuality, you are not worth any less. The laws in the Bible were mainly for health purposes - shunning homosexuality is right next to not getting tattoos, not eating pork, and not wearing mixed linens, but you can bet your bottom dollar all your neighbors do those things. Know that how you were raised is just cultural-specific. You are still you and you is good. If you'd like to morph your religious beliefs you're more than welcome to, but you don't have to. Take your time.

Method 3
Gaining Support and Confidence

  1. 1
    Surround yourself with those who care. Your friends and family love "you," not straight you or gay you, they love you. Your happiness is important to them; it's not selfish to feel as if you're bombarding them with your problems. Talk about it. Use them to lean on. That's what they're there for!
    • That being said, don't feel obligated to come out to people for this purpose. If you're not ready, you're not ready. There's no harm in that. Your friends and family don't have to know to still be there for you.
  2. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 12
    Show people who you are. Coming out of the closet is the boldest step in accepting your sexual orientation, but now that you are able to live "out," it does not mean that you have to change who you are or what you like. Don't go trying to change yourself or wishing that you were like the other people in your life to cater to the comfort levels of others. There are over 6.7 billion people in the world, and you can't please everyone; those who care about you will still love you for who you are.
    • If someone can't accept the one small fact of who you are that is your sexuality, and can't still respect you for the person that you are, then they aren't worth your time or letting it bother you, because it's not your fault that the person can't accept it.
  3. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 13
    Develop and express your individuality. If your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, whatever it may be, then be proud of it -- you are the one and only you. It takes all kinds -- or this world would be such a boring, monotonous place!
    • Understand that a person who is gay is no different from any other person. Like everyone else, gay people have dreams and goals, and want companionship and love just like anyone else you know. Strive every day to be the best person you can be, and remind yourself of the positive qualities and attributes that make you uniquely who you are.
  4. Image titled Accept That You Are Gay Step 14
    Teach acceptance and love through your own actions. You are in a unique position to leave an impression on others. Others, often younger than you, will need guidance. If you can show them there are points of light on the horizon, you can make their progress that much easier.
    • If you are unaccepting of certain races, religions, or other characteristics, why should others be accepting of you? Your own actions need to echo how you want to be treated. Hopefully, others will take a cue from your behaviors. When it comes to love, take every opportunity to pay it forward, whether it's loving yourself or loving someone else.


  • It is important to note that the American Psychological Association has declared that groups claiming to cure homosexuality are dangerous and unhealthy. It is very mentally and physically unhealthy to suppress your feelings and your true self. It is up to you to decide what's best for your life.
  • Don't worry about what others think; what is important is that you are true to yourself and considerate of others - that doesn't mean you need to cater to the sensibilities of others. If a friend or a member of your family is having trouble coming to terms with your orientation, you may have to give them time and be patient, or in the long term face the end of that friendship.
  • If you are in a relationship, refrain from using the word "room-mate" or words to that effect to describe your partner. And don't let your loved ones get away with that, either - if you allow them to pretend by introducing your partner as your "friend" or "room-mate," then you're allowing them to put a mask on you and your partner, both. Don't get nasty about it, just correct them gently, for example:

    • "Well, yes we do live together. Auntie Joan, David is my partner" or "Auntie Joan, I noticed that Jo was introducing you to my girlfriend, Andrea. We dated for a couple of months before moving in together, and we've been together about a year now. I'm so glad you finally get to meet her... Andi, come here, sweetie, and meet my Aunt Joan".
    • Once your family get the idea that you aren't about to sit back and let them believe that you and David are "just room-mates", or that you and Andi are "just really good friends", they will stop attempting to put a mask on your relationship and be more open, too.
  • Transgender people can also be gay. There are plenty of transgender men who are gay, meaning they are into other guys, and same goes for transgender women; they are women who are into other girls. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. It shows that being gay does not make one "less of a wo/man"
  • Don't suppress your feelings, it only makes it worse. Just let it go and be who you really are.


  • If you are still being supported by parents whom you are quite sure would disown you for being gay, it may be prudent to wait to tell them until you are independent. It may be vital for your survival to hold off on coming out until, for example, you have graduated high school or college, or you have moved into a place of your own.
  • If it is very likely that your coming out will have a bad outcome, then don't. As long as you know who you are, that's plenty for the short term. In the end, your sexual orientation is your business. Eventually, people may figure it out, and you will need to decide whether to stay in that situation or move on to a place that is more accepting.
  • Use good judgement. Sadly, not everyone in the world is a modern, accepting person. Don't broadcast this information to your entire community if you live in a small town or an area where LGBT persons are less likely to be accepted and where you are likely to be harmed physically or emotionally.
  • You may regret the acceptance of your orientation in the future, especially if you're in a part of the world where the homosexual, bisexual and transgender communities are prosecuted by a specific culture. You may have a choice in changing your lifestyle; that is, perhaps you feel you need to live under the guise of being heterosexual for your own safety, and perhaps even your own personal happiness. It is not always easy to remain accepting of your orientation depending on where you live, and the views of the people who are most important to you. There are non-profit organizations that exists to both support you in your acceptance, and also in case you would want to try to lead a heterosexual lifestyle, although you can never change your orientation.

Sources and Citations

  1. Royal College of Psychiatrists - Special Interest Group Report - Report limited to the origins of sexuality and the psychological and social well being of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Article Info

Categories: LGBT