I’m gay (or lesbian if that’s more proper), and I’ve known since I was like 5. I’m 18 now and I’ve finally started coming out. I told my two best friends and one of my closes aunts and they’re all accepting of it. I finally started feeling better about myself and felt like I could come out to the world. I even started dressing different. But me and my aunt thinks it would be better for me to wait until I move out of my mothers house before I start telling the rest of my family since they’re not as accepting to the fact. They don’t even communicate with the other gay members in my family. But now, I’m trying to at least come out to my other friends and other people in my life (like co-workers/classmates/and even my dance team) But having to hide who I am at home has brought the fear back in me from coming out to everyone else. I know the people I hang with and work with are accepting too (there are even a couple lesbians at my job and on my dance team) but I just can’t seem to build up the courage to tell them. I have a great relationship with my mom, and I would hate to brake her heart about me being gay. Every time something related to being gay comes up on TV or in the media shes always talking about how shes disgusted and doesn’t accept it….I just feel like I won’t feel comfortable with coming out to everyone else until I know if my family, or at least my mom would accept it. And waiting until I move out is taking to long for me. I’ve been trying to stay positive about it, but I want to start dating girls and all that good stuff. So waiting has started making me depress and sometimes its so bad that I get angry…I just want to be happy, but I really don’t know what to do in this situation.
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What you have done is a very brave step. Coming out can be frightening, especially when you know that members of your family are not supportive, and you should be proud of the strength you have shown so far. The choice to come out, and who and when to come out, is a very personal decision. Only you can make that choice, and only you will know when you feel comfortable being out to someone.
Not coming out to your family until you feel comfortable doing so is a good choice. You and your aunt know your situation well and so you should feel comfortable making that decision. It’s a perfectly good reason to wait until you are in a better position to come out to your family.
Not coming out to your friends until you feel comfortable doing so is also a good choice, but here it sounds like this is causing extra stress for you because you know you’ve got some allies there who could help you deal with not coming out to your family. It can be a big and confusing thing to figure out, especially all at once. Let’s try to break it down into smaller things, and work on those instead of tackling it all at once. You say you won’t feel comfortable with coming out until you know at least your mom would accept it. Is there a particular reason, or reasons, why you feel that way? Also, even though you feel this way, you did feel comfortable enough coming out to your aunt and your two best friends. Can you think of some reasons why you felt comfortable enough to do that? These two angles might help you identify a path to feeling comfortable to coming out to other people. And remember, you don’t have to come out to everyone all at once. Try to think about or work out something, just a small chunk, each day. I know it feels hard, especially when you’ve got so much stress, but each of those little chunks gives you a little bit more breathing room each day.
Remember, you have help. You are out to your two best friends and your aunt, and it sounds like you really trust their support and judgement. They can help you get through this. You can also always write back to Ask Trevor with any questions you might have. Do you know about TrevorSpace? It’s the Trevor Project’s safe online social networking site for LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13 – 24, located at www.trevorspace.org. It can sometimes help to to speak to other people who have gone or are going through a similar situation to yours — they may give you ideas that you haven’t thought of. Finally, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at any time with questions at 866-488-7386.