Activist perfectly explains what it’s like to grow up queer in the face of ‘humiliation and prejudice’ and it’s hard not to feel seen

An activist made a moving series of tweets about what it means to grow up queer, and no, you're crying now, OK. (Stock photo via Elements Envato)

When your experience isn’t the norm, when it’s to the sides of the margins, in the emptiness, finding the right words to describe it can be daunting.

But this week, an activist took to Twitter and found a way to put into words the struggle that queer folk face when growing up in a world that routinely denies their existence and it has resonated with hundreds of thousands of users.

Alexander Leon, an Australian writer based in Sydney, shared his thoughts on how being in the closet as an LGBT+ youth impacts how we define and perceive ourselves.

‘Discovering who you really are is an enormous task it doesn’t happen overnight,’ says queer activist in moving thread. 

“Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves,” he wrote, “we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimise humiliation & prejudice.

“The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us & which parts we’ve created to protect us.”

Points were 100 per cent made here.

In a thread of poignant posts, Leon goes onto describe how difficult coming to grips with this reality is for most queer people, and that the journey to self-awareness and authenticity is both a constant and bumpy one.

“It’s massive and existential and difficult,” he continued, “but I’m convinced that being confronted with the need for profound self-discovery so explicitly (and often early in life!) is a gift in disguise.

“We come out the other end wiser & truer to ourselves. Some cis/het people never get there.

“All of this is to say – be kind to yourself. Discovering who you really are is an enormous task it doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen without some hiccups along the way.

“Be patient, be compassionate, be vulnerable and exist loudly. And most of all – be proud!”

We came on Twitter to have a good time and we honestly feel so attacked right now.

Activist’s thread has LGBT+ Twitter users moved to tears and intense introspection. 

The original tweet tallied more than 43,000 retweets and 157,000 likes in just less than a day. Rippling and resonating across social media, Leon’s words prompted many to wonder just how much they ring true to them personally: