Last year I found out I was bi, and I was okay with that because I had a wonderful relationship with my girlfriend. We were dating and we dated for about 2 years, and my mom finally found out, and she told me I wasn’t allowed to hang out with her [my girlfriend] anymore, which KILLED me inside.
My mom doesn’t understand my sexual orientation, and will never understand it. She thinks I’m sick in the head, and never ever wants to understand me. I wish she could, but she can’t.
My mom won’t let me be with her and be happy. I don’t understand – if I’m happy, why should it matter who I’m with? Later in that year, my mom started letting me hang out with her again, AFTER I told her I wanted nothing to do with my girlfriend anymore. I was straight, nothing more.
So she lets me hang out with her now, but we secretly are messing around. I hate going behind my mother’s back, but I want to be with her. I love her and I don’t think my mom should stop me from being with who I love, but I can’t hide it from her any longer.
Letter submitted by:
It sounds like you are dealing with a very stressful and emotional situation, and I’m sorry to hear that. I’m so glad that you wrote to Ask Trevor for help and support with everything you’re feeling and going through. As you have experienced, one thing that is often difficult to understand is that people who love us will sometimes tell us not to do the things we love, or be with the people we love, because they want to protect us from things they don’t understand.
I think your mother loves you and wants the best for you. It may be difficult for you to believe those things when, because you’re bisexual, she believes that you’re sick in the head and when she told you that you couldn’t hang out with your girlfriend. It sounds like your mother’s discomfort with you dating another girl is because she doesn’t understand it or has a misunderstanding of what it means to be bisexual. Though you said that she doesn’t understand, will never understand and never wants to understand you, it might help to know that some people who have negative feelings about bisexual people can, with information, support and help move to a more accepting place.
There are many resources available that could help you and your mother understand each other. One of the best is Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). This is a great organization, made up of mostly parents, that promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. If you go to PFLAG’s Web site (http://www.pflag.org), and click on the “Gay, Lesbian & Bi” tab at the top, it will provide you with links to information about being LGBT and supporting LGBT family members.
PFLAG has many publications available on its Web site, including “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People,” which would be a great reference for dealing with your current situation and if you felt comfortable, could share with your mom to help her become more supportive of you. In many cities, PFLAG also has local chapters where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life.
On their Web site, you can search for a chapter near your hometown where you can go to a meeting with your mother and learn about other resources in your community. If no chapter is near you or if your mom won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help her become more understanding of you. There are no guarantees, but they may help.
Here’s a link to the contact information for the Akron, Ohio chapter: http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?&pid=224&srcid=229&chid=263.
You said that you hate going behind your mom’s back and that you can’t hide your relationship from her any longer. In thinking about whether or not you want to tell her about your relationship, it could help to think about some things. What does it feel like keeping this a secret? Does it cause you stress worrying that she might find out? Are thinking that if you told your mom, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you did tell your mom, you could let her know how difficult it was for you when you couldn’t see your girlfriend. She could again refuse to allow you to hang out with your girlfriend. It might help to think about which is more difficult for you, hiding the relationship or having your mom refuse to allow you to see your girlfriend. Remember that it’s ultimately your choice about whether or not you tell your mom and that what’s most important is that you’re comfortable and safe.
Whenever you need someone to talk to, you can always contact the Trevor Project here through Ask Trevor. We also have Trevorchat, which is a forum in which you can chat with trained volunteers about anything that’s troubling you. On http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat, you can find when Trevorchat is up and running. And the Trevor Lifeline, which you can reach by calling 1-866-488-7386, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the United States. There will always be someone there to help you.
The Trevor Project also has an online social network at http://www.trevorspace.org. It’s an online community where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and straight youth ages 13 to 24 can talk with each other, provide support, and find resources in their communities.
I hope this information has been helpful, and I hope it works out for the best. Please know that we care about your well-being and are here to help and support you whenever you need it.