Before I begin to open up I want to say that this will probably be the last letter I send for a while because I don’t want to waste your time with my problems. That being said, I came out to my teacher (McCurry) and I’m scared. I’m beginning to question myself on why I came out to her. I mean, it IS a miracle that she hasn’t been fired (dirty jokes, videos with naked women, etc.) though I love her as a teacher, but I’m scared about how she will react. I gave her a note saying that I had called your lifeline amd had spoken with a counselor. I also told her that I was bi.
Letter submitted by:
Let me start by saying that your letters are never ” awaste of time” and that we are glad to hear from you. We at the Trevor Project want to hear from young people like yourself to help you with the problems related to LGBT issues that may seem overwhelming at your young age. Thank you for making the effort to reach out. It is completely normal for someone to feel anxiety or worried the first few times they decide to come out. This is why many people choose to stay in the closet. The fact that you took the initiative to confide in your teacher is very brave and something you should be proud of.
It sounds from your letter that this teacher is someone you respect and look up to, someone who made you feel comfortable sharing this very personal part of yourself. We like to think that all grown-ups would respond in a very supportive, caring, and sympathetic way when a young person makes the first step to reveal such a private matter about himself or herself. The reality is that there is still a lot of ignorance out there that can translate into negative reactions towards LGBT individuals to and so your nervousness in awaiting her response or reaction is not uncommon at all. No matter what the response or even if you don’t get any response, you did absolutely nothing wrong. If you decide to come out to other people in the future, just make sure that by your telling that person that you are safe and have a means to continue going to school and have a place to live should that person’s reaction be worse than you anticipated.
There are many resources for young people like you who feel uncertain, scared or anxious about the idea of coming out. For example, the Human Rights Campaing puts out “A Resource Guide to Coming Out” (http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf) which can be informative and answer questions you may have. Additionally, and this may be something you consider sharing with your teacher and others in the future, the organization PFLAG has many resources for how straight individuals who have questions on how to be supportive and be an ally to those that are LGBT (http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=290). Lastly, and as you pointed out in your letter, you always have the Trevor Project either through Ask Trevor or the Lifeline at 866-4-U-Trevor to whom you can turn if you need to talk to someone. Never feel like you can’t reach out or don’t have an outlet. We care about you and we want to hear about your problems.
Best of luck to you and stay strong and as brave as you’ve been.