Humans of Qualtrics: Sam
QPride is highlighting the diverse stories of its members throughout June for Pride Month with the Humans of Qualtrics project. This is Sam's story.
I think I always knew I was gay from a young age, but I wasn’t able to put words to my feelings until middle school. Once I started to realize how I was different, I repressed that portion of myself in order to fit in. This included actively monitoring my behaviors such as hand motions, body language, voice, clothing, etc. Looking back, constantly trying to monitor my actions created a large amount of social anxiety, and as a result, I missed out on participating in many sports and other after-school activities. At the time, those extracurriculars created too many opportunities to expose myself as gay.
Due to all of that active repression, it was very difficult for me to accept that being gay is an intrinsic part of who I am. I don't think many non-queer individuals realize the hardest person to come out to is yourself. After I came out to myself and my core friends and family, coming out to others slowly became easier. However, I soon realized you can’t just come out a few times and be done with it, you are constantly coming out to people all the time. Each time you meet someone new you are forced to calculate the risk of coming out to them and how it could impact the future course of your relationship.
Going through this journey of self-acceptance has taught me the importance of empathy and that everyone's journey of self-discovery is unique. Even with the stress and anxiety created from the process of accepting my sexuality, as a cis, white, male, I have had an easier path through life than most. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the societal privileges and support from their loved ones like I have.
Partner Delivery Manager | Chicago | Gay
Thank you for joining us to hear from the Humans of Qualtrics. You can explore the entire series through the links below. Stay tuned for further stories throughout the month.
February 8, 2022