Hi Trevor, I’ve been dealing with a lot of pressure lately and I really need someone to talk to. I’ve been questioning my sexuality for over a year and a half now. Originally I thought I was bisexual, but lately I’ve been thinking I might be lesbian. My sexuality doesn’t bother me so much, as other people’s reactions. When my parents first found out(because my friend’s mom told them), my mom wouldn’t talk to me and my dad talked to me about it 3 times in 5 months. The last time he said he thought it was wrong and it was his job to make sure I made the right “decision.” So, I told him and I didn’t like girls at all. I told myself I wouldn’t let it bother me and I would just tell them when I was older, but lately it does. All the time. I get angry and depressed at them and myself. And there’s this guy I like- or did- and we’ve been friends for awhile. He likes me a lot- like A LOT. And I feel guilty, thinking I should like him more and that I shouldn’t lead him on, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to tell him. Sometimes I just feel really sick and I start panicking at the thought of my parents finding out again. Or I want to throw something or start cutting myself again. I just wish I could get some kind of support or advice because I don’t know how to keep doing this- how to pretend that everything’s together when it’s not.
I am so glad you chose to contact us. It is a brave and positive thing to do. You sound so conflicted and I truly want to help you with that. Let’s break this down and talk about your concerns.
First, I want you to be proud of the fact that you are comfortable with your own sexuality. You are the only one that can make that determination and it sounds like you are in touch with your feelings in that regard. As for the reaction of others, that is tough in all aspects of our lives, but our sexual preferences seem to be one of the hardest. It is important for you to seek out those people in your life that can support you – relatives, friends, parents of friends, perhaps a school counselor, etc. Being able to have non-judgmental and caring people around you is key to your own happiness. They are out there – dont give up! It sounds like your parents are having a tough time with this. Sometimes this is a lack of understanding, sometimes it is just a life long belief. Perhaps chosing the right times to have small conversations will help. Never apologize for your feelings and thoughts but try to understand that this may be difficult for them to understand. Try to help them in a calm and non-defensive way.
It is good that you have a good friend, but it seems like you need to be honest with him about your feelings. This doesnt mean you have to tell him about your personal sexual orientation (unless you want to, then by all means, do) but you can certainly tell him, gently, that you dont think of him as any more than just a good friend. And as we all need as many good friends as we can get, you can let him know how important that is for you.
With how alone you have been feeling and the stress of knowing how to deal with parents and friends in regards to your sexuality I can understand your thoughts of panic, anger and desire towards self harm. These are coping mechanisms and not something for you to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. If you feel like cutting there are lots of ways to help you feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after cutting. If it is sadness try to do things that make you feel comforted and taken care of – certain songs, eating something you love or talking to someone that makes you happy. Sometimes writing in a journal or painting/drawing helps. If you feel you use it as an anger release try hitting a pillow, stomping your feet, running or other physical activities.
I want to give you some websites and suggestions and I hope you will check them out. www.trevorspace.org is a social networking site for young people ages 13 to 24. It is a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions that you are having. I would also suggest http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide co.pdf - this is a resource guide to coming out and it just might give you some good ways to initiate conversations with people. And specifically in regards to cutting/self harm I would like you to check out www.safe-alternatives.com.
Please know how much we care about you and that we will always be here to support you. You are never alone. Please contact us as often as you need to and let us help you. Take Care and know that you are amazing!!
The Trevor Project