I’m 19 years old… and for a while now (like 4 years) I have been questioning my sexuality… I mean I am very attracted to guys… but I am also very attracted to ladies too… I came out to one of my closest friends and she was cool with it… so I came out to my best friend.. after I told her she stopped talking to me for almost 2 weeks saying she, “needed time to figure this out” like she is the one that just came out… whatever… So my problem is… I’m in love with this girl… and I want to start a relationship with her… but I’m afraid to come out to my family.. when two women (or two men) are kissing on tv, they are like… that’s so gross and unnatural… and they will pay for that sin… and stuff like that.. so I’m really afraid that they won’t accept me or my choice…and I need some advice on ways to come out… can you help?
Oh and do you know of any groups in Delaware that I could talk with?
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It is so great that you already came out to some of your friends! I’m so glad the first friend was supportive and cool with it. I’m sorry to year that your best friend stopped talking to you, though I hope she has come around by now. Questioning your sexuality is something you’ve been thinking about for 4 years and have had time to come to terms with. But when you tell someone new, like a friend or parent, in some ways they have to go through the “coming out” process too. It was very perceptive of you to liken your friend’s process to “coming out” too, though I’m sure it was frustrating for her not to be immediately supportive.
As for coming out to your family, that is a personal decision. What’s most important is that you’re safe and comfortable. There are some great things about coming out. It can let people in your life know about an important part of your life, it can help you to feel less alone, meet new friends as well as possibly meet people to date. In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about them finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
Some people are fine just saying their sexuality while others find it better to ease into the discussion by first talking about a LGBT actor or character in a movie, book or television show and see how the people in their life react. You might find it helpful to write out and rehearse things you might say. The Human Rights Campaign has a brochure here: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out. There’s also a Guide to Coming Out to Parents here: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout
If you do come out to your parents, your family and/or friends may have many questions about your sexuality/gender identity and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. There is a PFLAG in Wilmington. Their website also has a lot of Delaware LGBT resources. http://www.pflagwilmde.org/ Click on the “G/L/B/T Youth Links.” I’m not sure what part of Delaware you’re in, but there is an LGBT center in Rehoboth Beach. Many of the universities in Delaware have their own groups, including the U of Delaware’s Haven, for which you don’t need to be a UD student to attend. I also found an LGBTQ Delaware Youth Hotline at 800-810-6776, which might be able to guide you to other local resources. And of course there is the Trevor Lifeline at 1-888-4-U-TREVOR as well as www.trevorspace.org, the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking community for LGBTQ youth age 13-24. We are always here for you!