Hi, my name is Liana and I’m having so much trouble with everything thats going on in my life right now. I was raised to think that “S.S.A.” (same-sex attraction) was a horrible thing – a one way ticket to hell. It was a disease that could be cured if only you trusted God enough and gave your life to Him. Even though me and my brother were raised that way, he came out to me and friends early on in high school as being gay, then he came out to our parents. That was a really rough day for me and my brother.
I was struggling with S.S.A. just like my brother was, but after I saw how my parents acted I knew I couldn’t. My parents have already made it clear that my brother is not welcome; they say they still love him but did everything in their power to make him change. After that I promised myself that I wouldn’t act on my S.S.A. – I would change and just like men. I was and am still dealing with things like depression and some other things. I found that if I cut myself I wouldn’t feel that really deep void and hurt that I had in my life.
Every time I’m at church or with my family I fell awkward. I am supposed to go on mission, and then when I get back from the mission get married and have kids. I want to do this really badly; I want to have that life but I cant get over the feelings that I have deep down inside. I don’t want to fell as if every time I have a thought about another girl I’m immoral or that there is something wrong with me (and that I just don’t trust heavenly father enough to stop these feelings). I have tried and tried to have close relationship with men, but I always end up getting abused in some way. I want to have a normal life – a normal relationship – but I cant. My parents have already pushed my brother so far away that he doesn’t even talk to us anymore. I’m at that point in my life i just don’t know what to do…I don’t want to fell wrong about how i truly feel, I just want it to go away so I don’t have to feel this pain anymore…I don’t have anyone else to turn to about this.
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Thank you so very much for writing us. It takes a ton of courage to even question one’s sexuality, and the fact that you took it a step further and wrote in to us is a huge step in the right direction. It seems that you have a number of concerns when it comes to your sexuality, and as such I felt it’d be best to address them one by one to make sure everything was covered…
First and foremost, no matter the issue, there is never a time when cutting is worth it – point blank. People cut for many reasons – to feel “alive”, to create a distraction, or sometimes for stress relief, to name a few. With the things you’re worried about regarding coming out and how alone you’ve felt, it sounds like you’re experiencing something similar. No matter the reason – If you feel that you’re unable to stop harming yourself, I strongly encourage you to immediately talk with a trusted adult (parent, relative, doctor, teacher, or school counselor), and don’t forget that you can (and should) immediately call 911 if all else fails. There are websites available, including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can you help you learn about cutting as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut.
Coming out to your family sounds really tough, and I commend you for even considering it given what happened to your brother in the past. Only you can decide when the appropriate time is, and what matters the most is that you feel comfortable and safe. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before coming out to their family, to ensure their safety with the hopes of securing the best possible reaction from their parents with as little repercussions as possible. Perhaps you could find a way to speak with your brother again; let him know that you’re supportive of him and his sexuality, and that you’re going through something very similar. Seeing as how he dealt with the very same set of parents, it seems that he could help you quite a bit. (Fingers crossed.)
Despite what you’ve been taught thus far, it’s very, very important to know that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with coming out as homosexual, and in fact it’s completely normal and natural. There are many, many LGBTQ people who practice a slew of accepting religions, and being gay does NOT mean that you can’t also be religious. The two can, and do, co-exist beautifully throughout the world. Though many a religious leader might teach that being homosexual is a sin, there are also many religious leaders who teach love, acceptance, and equality for all. Though you didn’t mention your specific religion, this might help – To learn about the Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for gay people, you might consider reading through the numerous guides on Soulforce’s “Resources” webpage at www.soulforce.org. PFLAG (Parents, Families, + Friends of Lesbians and Gays) also offers a guide called “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/FaithinourFamilies.pdf
It sounds like you’re doing your best to be brave about all of this, which is wonderful, and again, I admire you more than I can say for reaching out to us here at the Trevor Project. If you feel like you need someone else to talk to, I always recommend http://www.trevorspace.org, where you’ll find tons of other people your age going through very similar things. We really are all in this together, and we certainly have your back! We believe in you, even on the days when you don’t believe in yourself.
All the best,
- The Trevor Project