Lately i have not felt myself. For the passed few years i have been in the closet scared to tell people i’m gay. I tried looking for help online and heard i was suppose to tell someone i trust. I chose my best friend she said she kind of knew and i felt better that i finally told someone. I still haven’t told my family because i don’t think they will understand me. a year ago i moved and i go to college now, so i barley see or talk to my friend. I feel alone cause she was my support i visit her as much as i can. and i found out lately that shes bi and everything i go through she does to so i don’t feel that alone. Also she hasn’t told her parents either. Still i don’t talk to her as much as i would like but i told her i feel like i am putting on a act for my family, because i feel that they wont get how i am feeling. I call it my “Joker face” because i feel like i always have to smile even when i don’t want to. A few nights ago my sis and my mom were going on about me not knowing how to drive and saying, “when you have a girlfriend you have to know how”. It kills me hearing that “when you have a girlfriend.” it feels like they are getting a knife and stabbing my heart and twisting it every time they say it. I just couldn’t take it i hear that to often now. so i locked myself in my room that night and cried hoping one day they will get me. My mom thinks being gay is weird, i always correct when she says things like, “look its him and his girlfriend” i tell her, “its his partner.” and she wants me to be the manly man all rugged but i am not and never will be. So i feel like i am alone that i have to keep this from my family. Is it ok to keep this from my family? Could i get sick from holding this in to much? My friend says she gets shoulder pain when she thinks about a girl and i get it to sometimes but i think its nothing. i also would like to know is it ok for me to feel horrible when i hear “when you get a girlfriend”? Lastly is it ok to feel depressed because i can’t be myself?
Sorry for the long letter i needed to get this off my chest. I always thought this website was only for suicidal teens. but i seen a YouTube video that you do more and all the stuff you do. So i looked on the sight and thought i could finally ask a question and get things off my chest. Thank you very much.
First of all, we want to congratulate you on entering college! That is an amazing feat, and we can not be more proud of you on accomplishing such a huge goal. Being on your own is difficult when you first enter college and move away from the people you care about. Its even harder when you must put on your joker face and pretend you are someone you are not those times when you are around your family. We know how scary it is to keep this part of your life secret from others, especially your family! You run the risk of being rejected for who you are, and that is incredibly scary and frightening. You already carry pain inside your heart, and you might be afraid to add on to that pain by revealing your secret. Your decision to come out IS YOURS AND ONLY YOURS. What we care about the most is your safety and whether you feel comfortable telling people who you are.
There are so many positives to coming out though! Your decision can let the people in your life know about an extremely important part of your life. It can help you feel less alone, and help you to meet new friends as well, and also you can possibly meet that special someone to date. Here at the Trevor Project, we have a social networking site called TrevorSpace where you can join and meet people who are in the same position as you. You already took a huge first step by confiding in someone you trust. There are other questions to ask yourself if you do choose to come out, such as: If you told your family or friends, would you be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned they might kick you out of the house? We really want you to be and feel safe, which is why we want you to ask those questions if you do consider coming out to your family and friends.
Most of the time, people are afraid of the things they don’t understand. There are great resources for your friends and family to help them with questions they might have about people who are gay. PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is an amazing organization made up of parents who support LGBTQ people and work to help other parents become more supportive and accepting of their sexuality. Their website is www.pflag.org. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can talk about concerns or questions they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation.
Also, the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf is extremely helpful for you. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which also may be helpful.
We can only imagine how bad the pain is when you hear things such as “when you get a girlfriend”. The pain worsens when it is someone who you love and care about saying those things. There is a wise saying: “Unbearable pain becomes bearable when it is validated”. We know that your pain hurts you. Unlike physical pain, when you have emotional pain, you can’t point to your arm or leg and say, “it hurts here”. When your hurting inside, you don’t know where it hurts, you just know that it does. And unlike taking a simple aspirin to dull the pain, there is no magic pill to take away that hurt. Please know when you hurt because of things people say to you, we are with you in your pain and we know how bad it hurts. Please call us anytime, day or night if you need to speak to us about anything: 866-4-U-TREVOR.
By repeatedly keeping in hurtful emotions, it truly does take a toll on your body. When you’re angry or hurt, crying is a way to release those negative emotions. You may even find that after crying, you feel a little bit better. By keeping negative emotions in all of the time, you may find your mood to be depressed. When you are depressed, it can be very painful to feel and it can make you isolate yourself from family and friends. Depression can take away your motivation to do things that bring you joy and can make you tired all the time. But most importantly, depression makes you see everything in your life in a negative way and make you hopeless for a better future. Depression is very treatable however! By talking to your college health center, they have counselors that can help you get on the right track for treatment. Most college campuses have drop in or even free sessions with counselors and psychologists. Remember, you have every right to feel sad because you cannot be yourself! Writing to us and being so honest and vulnerable takes a huge amount of courage, and we know you have more courage inside of you to keep walking forward in your journey to happiness. We hope you can use some of the resources in this letter to help you overcome this. Courage comes in all different shapes and sizes: “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow”.
It is times like this when you need a strong support system you can rely on when you start to feel alone, and we hope we can be that for you whenever you need us. Remember, you can all us anytime at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR if you ever need to speak with any of us. We will always be in your corner helping you fight! You can always count on us.
The Trevor Project