so this has been bouncing around my head for a while and I’m still not sure if this is the best way to phrase it, but…
making opportunities for everyone to explore their gender and orientation means nothing if it’s not safe for people to be wrong about their gender and orientation. otherwise, “exploring your identity” becomes limited to “confirming what you were already pretty sure of,” which isn’t going to do anything for anyone who isn’t already at that stage.
like, time and again i’ve seen people questioning whether they’re allowed to use certain pronouns or labels if they’re still questioning those identities or if they need to wait until they’re more sure of the label. or people being worried that changes in how they identify and the language they use to describe themselves will validate stereotypes.
and this is the result of a culture where choosing an identity label that ends up being wrong is far worse than never exploring your identity in the first place. it’s the same reason people freak out about trans kids, because what if they decide they aren’t trans after all in the future? it’s also why i’ve run into multiple callouts on this site that include things like “10 years ago they called themself a ‘lesbian with an exception’ for a couple of months,” because trying to reconcile old identities with new experiences is seen as a threat.
and in the end, the people this attitude ends up punishing are folks who are targeted by cissexism and/or heterosexism, but are lacking some of the language or the experiences or even the community that would allow them to express how those systems impact them.
Take all the time you need to figure it out. Try different clothes, pronouns, names. Our society doesnt make this easy. Theres nothing wrong with being wrong while you figure it out
and just because you settle on something different later doesnt mean you were ‘wrong’ before