Hi I have a few questions i would like to ask. My name is Thomas, I live in North Carolina. I have been living with on and off depression since i was 8. I enjoy Boyscouts, Cross Country, and Track. I’m not really here to ask about my depression though because, although i feel it regularly, i have it mostly under control.
My first question is how do I know I’m gay?
Because i have reasons that make me think Im not, and other reasons that make me think I am. I started looking at guys because i wanted to see what i would look like if i kept working out, but now i think it’s more than that.
The reasons I think I could be gay:
When I see good looking men and women, i usually look at the man more.
Recently when i was dating a girl, i completely lost interest in our relationship and it broke off.
Now i have a close friend who likes me, and shes amazing, but im not at all interested.
I generally fit the gay sterotype: I dont like contact sports, I’m friends with more girls than guys.
The reasons I think I could be Straight:
Untill I got to 10th grade i wanted to date girls, even after i started my first reason for why i might be gay.
I’ve never been around a guy and thought “wow i’d like to date him”.
I dont act gay; i still hang around guys, i like to run and stay athletic, i dont have a lisp(I know these are all sterotypes, i’m just using them as examples)
I have always wanted to get married to a girl, have kids, and just grow old.
I can’t really see myself doing the same with a guy.
I wanted to ask here first because I have been having a hard time with this, and i haven’t really found anyone in my life who i could talk to about this.
And that is the other thing I wanted to ask your opinion on. Out of these people, who do you think i should go to with this information?
Dad: I haven’t wanted to go to him yet because he has always been disapointed in me. He has never been happy with i have accomplished, and has been one of the top reasons for my depression. He also would tell my mom.
Mom: I haven’t gone to her because both my brother and sister kinda screwed things up for themselves (by public standards) and i always feel like i need to prove they didn’t bring us up wrong. Shes also kinda fragile, she cant take criticism or insults, or whenever things dont go as planned. She would tell my dad.
Brother: (his “mistake: was getting his gf pregnant (in HS) then without much choice joining the navy, marrying her, and having another kid) He is also fragile though do to his two diploments overseas. He would tell Phonda.
Sister: She acts like a princess, throws fits a lot, and is manipulative. She is also the only republican in our family, and is against a lot of things (but not anti-gay in particular). She had a problem before with people telling her secrets that she couldn’t handle.
Sister-In-Law: She is manipulative too, and is the only really religious one in our family. She creates lots of drama and would at least tell my brother if not everyone.
Nephews: They are too young and not really an option.
Allison: She has a crush on me and hasn’t really noticed my detterents. I really don’t want to let her down though.
Brian: He, I believe, is gay and I don’t want to talk to him about it because he is probably also having issues with it. I dont really consider him an option.
Kyle: His sexuality is more questionable but he seems pretty into a girl right now. Haven’t talked in a while but recently hung out.
Brady: Best friend that is overseas right now with an exchange program. Haven’t talked to in a while.
This is really important to me and i will value whatever answer you give me. Thank you in advance for your time.
Letter submitted by:
I am really glad that you wrote. I think it’s really awesome that you have learned to manage your depression, and also, super cool that you’re into track, CC and Boy Scouts – all very cool. And I also think its great that you want to get married one day, and have kids. And, I am happy we can be here for you. It sounds like you are dealing with some really tough situations. It is so hard to figure out who you are, what you like, and how to explain that to the people in your life. Even though this can be confusing and difficult, it sounds like you are doing a really good job of handling it so far.
It can be really hard to figure out what, and who you like. Sometimes it’s not about whether it’s a guy or a girl, but who the person is. For a lot of people, if you like the person, it sometimes doesn’t matter whether they are male or female. If you aren’t sure what you like -there’s no rush! You don’t have to figure it out right away, and you don’t need to pressure yourself. Give yourself some time to figure things out. Stereotypes are not a good way to figure out if you are gay, because MOST gay guys don’t fit into those stereotypes (for example, there are large gay football and gay rugby leagues in many cities, and, check out this list of 30 gay athletes from pretty much every sport: www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-buzinski/30-gay-lesbian-and-bi-athletes-who-have-come-out-in-the-past-year_b_1956453.html and this is a website dedicated just to gay athletes: outsports.com). On the other hand, just because you haven’t considered dating a guy, isn’t really indicative either. The way that you will know is when you meet a person who you are physically attracted to. And, you can get married, have kids, grow old with either a man or a woman (there are tons of guys who are gay who are married and have kids! – there’s even a magazine just for gay parents: gayparentmag.com). There’s no such thing as “acting gay” because gay people act all different ways, just like straight people and bisexual people do. When you meet someone who you want to be with, physically, sexually, emotionally, then you’ll know.
Whatever gender and whoever you decide that you are attracted to, there is nothing wrong or weird about it. It’s totally normal to like guys or girls or both. And, you’re smart enough to know that the people who criticize you for that are the ones who are wrong.
Don’t worry too much about telling people until you have it figured out yourself. But I agree with you that it might help if you had someone who you trusted, who you could talk about all of this with. It sounds like your family are not the people you should tell first — although, maybe down the road, after you’ve talked it through with someone else, you could think about how to discuss this with your family. But first, it would be great to talk to someone you trust. Maybe an older cousin or aunt or uncle, or maybe a teacher or guidance counselor at school, maybe the older brother or sister of one of your friends. Of the people you listed, maybe you could get in touch with Brady (Skype is free if you want to talk to him while he’s overseas). Or else, maybe Kyle. You know those people better than I do, so really you are the best person to make that decision. Really, just talking to anyone you trust and feel you can confide in. The answers will all come from you, but it can really help just to have someone to talk to about all of this. Give yourself time to figure it all out. Talking about this can be hard, but with each person, it will get easier.
Also – you should call us!!! I want to let you know that we are here to talk, anytime you want – 24 hours a day, every day. We would love to talk with you and help you through this. We could even practice what you are going to say if/when you decide to tell one of your friends. The number is 866-4-U-Trevor (866-488-7386). If talking isn’t your thing, we also have an instant messenger chat, which you can talk in real-time with us. That’s available through our website (TheTrevorProject.org). And, we also have something called TrevorSpace.org which is kind of like a Facebook but just for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people, up to age 24. And it’s moderated, so it’s a safe place to chat with people your age who are going through similar situations and may have good advice on how to deal with them.
I hope that you this helps you. Like I said, I think you are doing a great job of handling all of this. I really hope you give us a call sometime.