Rosario Dawson waited to come out because she never had a queer relationship, and she isn't alone
- Rosario Dawson came out as LGBTQ during an interview with Bustle on Wednesday.
- While the actress had identified as LGBTQ for a long time, she hadn't felt comfortable claiming a queer identity because she "never had a relationship in that space."
- Veronica Chin Hing, a psychotherapist and sexologist with NYC Therapy + Wellness, said Dawson is not alone in her hesitation to claim an LGBTQ identity.
- Many LGBTQ people feel they aren't "queer enough" if they haven't had a queer relationship, regardless of who they're attracted to, according to Chin Hing.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Actress Rosario Dawson came out LGBTQ on Wednesday during an interview with Bustle.
Dawson, who also founded Voto Latino, has identified as LGBTQ for a long time, advocating for queer rights and even posting a photo on Instagram with the caption "happy pride month! sending love to my fellow lgbtq+ homies. keep being strong in the face of adversity" that many took as her official coming out in 2018.
But Dawson told the publication she had never really "come out."
"People kept saying that I [came out]… I didn't do that," she told Bustle. "I mean, it's not inaccurate, but I never did come out come out. I mean, I guess I am now."
The actress said she never felt comfortable claiming an identity under the LGBTQ umbrella because she had never "had a relationship in that space."
Veronica Chin Hing, a psychotherapist and sexologist with NYC Therapy + Wellness, told Insider that the feeling of not being "queer enough" to claim an LGBTQ identity is a common experience for many of her clients.
"There can be fear of judgment around being perceived as 'straight-passing,' inauthentic, or inexperienced," Chin Hing said.
The feeling of not being 'queer enough can cause isolation and mental health issues
Regardless of the recent, not feeling "enough" to claim queerness is a problem for many people — particularly because of the narrow idea of what being queer means, according to Chin Hing.
"We have very antiquated ideas about what it means to be gay, and we've attributed those ideas to members of the queer community without offering the space for each member to share what their identity means to them," Chin Hing told Insider.
These limited definitions can make people avoid queer spaces, resulting in isolation, anxiety, and worse mental health overall. Substance use, high-risk sexual behavior, and suicidal ideation are all association with not finding a place of belonging, according to Chin Hing.
"To not find a safe space within the LGBTQ+ [communities] can be traumatizing if you're a member — questioning counts," Chin Hing said.
Chin Hing recommends people seek out LGBTQ-affirming therapists and support groups to help unpack these feelings of inadequacy.
"You are queer enough. You just need to connect with that part of yourself who feels secure in your identity," Chin Hing said.
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