In a now-viral post on Humans of Bombay, a spin-off from Humans of New York, a young pansexual person opened up about their journey toward coming out, as well as the sexual abuse they experienced and how it made them question their identity.
The unnamed person, who also identifies as genderqueer, said they first discovered that they were interested in women at the age of 12, but when they told their friends, "their response was discouraging."
"A gap formed between us and even though we hung out together, I had become the third wheel," they said. "At sleepovers, I was made to sleep on the floor while they slept on the bed, and often, they would whisper about me."
However, the silver lining is that they were immediately accepted by their family.
"This acceptance and open conversation with my family has been vital because I was sexually abused and raped since I was 9 until my late teens," they said.
"I often questioned if the queer part of my identity was because of the abuse, but after years of psychotherapy and intensive healing, I realized I didn’t choose to be queer — it’s inherently a part of me," they said. "As I was able to move away from the years of abuse, I knew that this was something I was born with."
Since their abuser was a straight man, they had a difficult time trusting men afterward.
"For the longest time, I feared men and experienced overwhelming anxiety, but I’m not afraid anymore because I know that the fault was never mine," they said. "I could let the abuse consume me, or I could fight it and come out openly."
In speaking out, they hope to let others know that they aren't alone.
"It’s scary and lonely, but I want my story to let whoever’s going through this to know that you don’t need to classify yourself as 'something' or hope to fall into a particular box," they said. "It’s okay to just accept and be yourself."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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