I’ve been identifying myself as Pan for a few years now, before that, Bi. I’ve know I was attracted to other girls since fourth grade, but soon realized that Bi wasn’t my orientation.
I haven’t told my family, and don’t plan to, because it shouldn’t be a big deal in the first place. My parents think I’m Bi though, and I don’t plan to explain the difference, because they aren’t the brightest people.
But I would like to know an easier way to explain my sexuality to my friends and people at school. Because I am proud, its just hard sometimes to explain to closed-minded people.
Take your time getting to this, and thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to write to Ask Trevor. Deciding to tell your friends about your sexual identity is a decision that can be exciting and maybe a little scary, so it is important that you find a way to do it that is safe and comfortable. Sharing your identity with friends and family can let them know how important they are to you. It can help you feel less alone and you may meet new people that are going through the same things you are.
When you are trying to figure out if and how you should tell your friends, it may be helpful to ask yourself some questions:
- Are you afraid that if you tell your family or friends that you would be unsafe physically or emotionally?
- Does worrying that they will find out cause you a lot of stress?
- Do you have a safe space where you could go to find support if you need it?
You’ve taken an important step simply by writing to Ask Trevor. The Trevor Project has extensive resources to help you in the coming out process. You may be interested in reading through the articles below before deciding if and how you will come out to your friends and family.
- Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out”: http://issuu.com/humanrightscampaign/docs/comingout_resourceguide
- Amplify Your Voice’s “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About”: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout
In addition, you may want to encourage your friends and family to explore resources on their own. PFLAG is an excellent source for information for Family & Friends of LGBTQ Youth: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=539
You may also be interested in some of the outlets offered by The Trevor Project. TrevorChat is a free, confidential, secure online messaging service that provides live help through the Trevor Project website. You may find it helpful to chat with a counselor while asking yourself some of the questions above. TrevorSpace is a social networking site for LGBTQ youth that will allow you to connect to other young people, get the support you may need, or even make a new friend.
This is an exciting time for you, Bunni. Please take the time to make sure you are comfortable–and more importantly: safe–with coming out before you do it. Coming out is a process and by asking yourself the right questions and looking for healthy, affirmative support, you are moving in the right direction.