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True North Living » Wellness » Pride and Empowerment » Overcoming Challenges: Hillary Croft’s Story of Love and LGBTQ2S+ Empowerment
Pride and Empowerment

Overcoming Challenges: Hillary Croft’s Story of Love and LGBTQ2S+ Empowerment

Mediaplanet interviewed Hillary on her journey to her pansexual identity, and how she now uses her platform to address LGBTQ2S+ challenges

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Can you share with us your personal journey in finding love and discovering your identity within the LGBTQ2S+community?

I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to my pansexual identity. When I first started dating my wife, Lisa, I was 25 years old. Before then, I had only ever dated men. I was even engaged to a man in the relationship prior to Lisa. For my entire life, and as long as I could remember, I believed I was straight. I grew up in a Catholic family with very religious grandparents, so I envisionedmy love life unfolding in a very traditional way. When I began to recognize my developing feelings for Lisa, I was initially very confused since this was new to me. However, I quickly realized that I was falling for who she was as a person, for her energy. At that point, I began to explore my place in the LGBTQ2S+ community further. It did not take me long to recognize that l identified most with the term pansexual. The interpretation of pansexuality as “hearts, not parts” resonated deeply with me, as I have always been in tune with other people’senergy and vibrations. This realization was very grounding for me. I am very fortunate to have received support from my closestcircle and my parents during this time of self-discovery.

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How do you use your platform to advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ2S+ community?

I believe the most important aspect is that I ask the hard questions and initiate difficult conversations. It’s easy to ignore and run from individuals spreading hate online toward the LGBTQ2S+ community, but I always turn the hateful comments into lessons and opportunities to open up conversations and let people know they are not alone when dealing with homophobia!

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As a feminine member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, what trials and tribulations have you faced on social media?

The most difficult challenge has been having people view my relationship as non-serious and assuming it exists for their sexual pleasure. It seems to be the most common trend on my page- individuals not taking my relationship/marriage as seriously as they would a heterosexual relationship. Many people make comments insinuating that they would like to “join” us, which feels very degrading and disrespectful. But we never let this discourage us from sharing our love story/journey!

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What advice would you give to those struggling to embrace their identity within the LGBTQ2S+ community and those facing similar trials and tribulations as yourself?

The most important thing to remember is that happiness is something you create, and you cannot create happiness if you are not being true to yourself. We all deserve to live a life that makes us feel fulfilled and whole. We are worthy of love —love for ourselves and love for whoever we choose to love. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions of you get in the way of becoming who you want to be. The people in your life who love and care for you will support you and stand by you. Lean on them.

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