Sexuality is a touchy subject these days, and people love the conflict of it. So how can you embrace who you are while still being mature about it?

We’ve come far beyond the days where heterosexuality was the only accepted game in town. Orientations and tastes range far and wide, and new terms are being created for these new flavors every day. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, grey-sexuals…. If you don’t know all the terms, then don’t feel bad; sexuality is as complicated as its terminology. This leads to many people not understanding or not taking your sexuality seriously, breeding conflict.
You have a right to be you. Here are ways you can step outside the popular trend of flame wars, and embrace your orientation and identity with dignity, inspiring maturity in others.

1. Don’t Make Sexuality the Center of Your Personality
You have every right to be open about your sexuality and not hide it. But let’s face it. If you make it the center of your personality, you’re going to be very boring at parties and viewed as someone trying to prove himself. You shouldn’t take pride in being known as “that [insert sexuality] person,” but be known as “you”. When you make your introductions, don’t open with your orientation and a list of your past partners (or lack thereof), but focus on being charming, funny, educated, quirky, and showing off your real personality, not what you do in private. Maturity is about being a person, not a label. That’s what people want to hang out with.

2. Be Respectful to People Who Don’t Understand
There are garbage people in life who are going to take any chance they can to belittle, disrespect, and ridicule you. That’s going to happen, and those people should be avoided like the plague. But don’t let that impression taint everyone in your eyes. Just because someone doesn’t understand your sexuality doesn’t mean they immediately prejudice. If someone asks questions and shows a real interest in understanding your sexuality, don’t jump on your soap box and make it a social statement. Be respectful, answer their questions if you feel like sharing, or say that you don’t feel comfortable talking about such private information if you don’t. Save the witch hunts for those that have already proven themselves to be biased and disrespectful, and give the innocent people who are actually willing to learn and understand a chance.

3. Claim Ownership and Take Pride
A mature adult isn’t led by other people’s opinion. You can make your own choices, follow your own path, and have confidence. Sometimes you’ll mess up, but you believe in yourself and have a strong foundation of beliefs. This maturity, if rooted deep enough in your identity, will expand to all areas of your life, including your sexuality. Be proud of what you are, claim a title or lack of title, and understand that sexuality is a personal thing. No one can tell you what yours is, no one can take it away, and frankly – it’s none of their business. This confidence will radiate to others you meet and inspire them to put on their big-kid pants and act like an adult. You are you. Be proud of being you, and others will toe the line.

4. Hang in the Right Crowds
Hanging with the right crowd means you’re around others that understand you. Nothing is better than complaining about common problems over a late night drink. Find a friend, or several, that are also mature about sexuality – not just theirs, but in general. If you find someone of your orientation, that’s even better. This will give you the chance to confide to someone who understands, but also takes the pressure off; you don’t need to tailor your words or avoid topics. Don’t worry. They get it.

5. Realize It’s Your Sexuality and Not a Label
What works for us one decade may not work for the next, and by slapping a title on something, we’re locking ourselves into an unnecessary contract. Just as you shouldn’t make your sexuality your personality, give yourself freedom from labels and realize that your orientation is yours alone. You’re not obligated to fit one label forever. If you’re an asexual in college, a bisexual in your 30s, and a pansexual in your 40s, don’t make a big deal of it. As a mature lesbian, a mature heterosexual, a mature grey-sexual, etc. you’re allowed to change your mind and evolve. It’d be immature to believe that one label has to define you forever.

Being mature as an adult is the same as being mature as your selected orientation. Don’t get wrapped up in the latest popular opinion, have confidence and ownership over your decisions, and remember – there are trash people out there, but most of them are good people like you, who aren’t on a witch hunt. Be you, and they’ll accept you.

Author's Bio: 

Alex, online dating specialist. Have degree in Psychology, fields of interpersonal relationships, love, finding a partner are relative to me. I love to study people and communicate with them.