I’ve been questioning my sexuality since I was 12 years old. Last year, it got to the point where I felt I had to tell someone. I told my best friend, who seemed really accepting about the whole situation. I also told her that I had a crush on another close friend of mine. Not long after that we got into a big fight and decided not to be friends anymore. I was worried that she would tell my secret, but i thought she would keep quiet about it since we were once so close. This year however, I heard that my old friend was telling everyone that I was bi and how I liked my close friend. i was devastated, and when other friends questioned me about the rumors I told them they were not true. Now I feel guilty about lying to everyone and feel a little bit insecure since some people know my big secret. But strangely, I feel like I want to come out soon because even though I feel insecure about the rumors, I feel confident in myself and my sexuality. But even though i live in a liberal area, there are still people who would treat me different if i was out of the closet. I’m not sure how to handle this situation,help!
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for having the courage to write in to the Trevor Project and facing this issue which can be intimidating. First, I want to let you know that your are fine, and that what you are feeling is natural. You are not hurting anyone by being who you are, and anyone who makes you feel otherwise probably does not have the self confidence to refrain from comparing themselves with others. You have a great self awareness at a very young age, which is something that most people do not have until they are much older and have the strength to really examine who they are. The only thing in your letter that is not okay is the way that you have been treated by someone who claimed to be your friend. I understand that at your age kids can be very mean without much thought to what the consequences can be. However, that is no excuse for your friend’s behavior. Even if she is not completely comfortable with LGBT issues, she should be mature enough to know that you shouldn’t treat your loved ones in such a hurtful way. You don’t need anyone in your life who you can’t trust, and who you can’t be yourself around.
Fro your letter, you sound like you are in a good frame of mind in deciding whether you want to come out and who you might want to come out to. As you think more about this I encourage you to consider some of these questions to help further guide your thought process: How does it feel to keep this from your loved ones? How do you feel your life might change if you did come out? Do you think that your family might try to harm you physically, emotionally, or financially if you did come out? Do you think that your parents might force you out of your house? Do you have an idea of who you would be your ally if you came out? If you are concerned about your family’s reaction, you should have a safe place that you can go for shelter. There is NO pressure to come out before you are ready or before you are financially independent from your parents.
As you think more about this, here are some resources that you can access for help to come out. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf might be helpful. On http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be helpful as well. At pflag.org if you click “get support” then “for family and friends” you can find pamphlets that address parents questions and concerns. You can also use the website to find local chapters in your area if you think that your family might be willing to attend in person meetings so they can talk with families that are in similar situations.
You can always access The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace. We are always here for you if you have any other issues or problems.