Dear Trevor, lately a lot of my friends at school have been joking around and calling me a lesbian and saying I look and act like one, and what bothers me is that I am but I have denied it so many times I think coming out would be super hard now. I am thinking that coming out now would be better than later, because they will just keep making those jokes and I would just keep denying them making it harder and harder. Advice?
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I wanted to thank you for reaching out to Ask Trevor. Coming to terms with sexuality and coming out is always a difficult but liberating experience. I hope that by doing so I can help in some way.
I want to let you know that you are not alone in this as we all have to deal with this decision on when to come out. It is never a clear answer as it is always unique for each of us. I will let you know that ultimately the outcome is positive and rewarding. I myself was teased in school when I was younger about being gay. I denied it myself and thought that I would never be able to come to terms with it. Although I did it later in life, the decision to do so was very rewarding. I cannot promise that if you choose to come out now the joking will stop but I do know that the pressure of hiding it will diminish. My suggestions would be to confide in a counselor in the school or a family member that maybe already knows or you trust. This will help give you a support network when you do decide to come out. Also you need to know that this is your personal identity and you have the power to share this with who you choose. It is all in your power. Remember as long as it took you to come to terms with this you need to be able to allow others to take just as long. I still remember the day I started telling my friends and family, many were not shocked and accepted me with open arms; others took a little time but are now my largest supporters.
I want to leave you with a few resources that might help you continue on this amazing journey that you are embarking on. The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace are always available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.” Lastly, I am here for you; please reach out anytime you need a sounding board or someone to help talk you through anything.