When I was about 12 years old, I came to terms with being bisexual, I was comfortable with who I was. Now, four years later at age 16, I am quite unsure about whether or not I am a lesbian. I think I am just more worried about how my family would respond if I were to tell them. My mom found out that I had been in a relationship with a girl when I was a freshman in high school and she told me it was just a phase. She cut off all contact that I had with her and if I talked to her, which I still continued to, I would get in trouble. She ended up breaking up with me because she couldn’t stand that my mom didn’t like her. Also, my grandfather is a pastor, he has a church with Assembly of god which is a Pentecostal organization. I already know his views on homosexuality. I Am so afraid of being disowned. How can I come out to them if they are going to get upset about it? Please help me!
Letter submitted by:
First I’d like to commend you for taking the time to write such a letter. You’re taking a brave step by seeking such advice, but you’re also taking a step towards a positive direction.
It seems that you’re questioning your sexuality and not sure if you are bisexual or lesbian. While only you can answer that question for yourself, you should know that no matter what, having a same-sex attraction is completely natural and normal. When asking yourself whether you are bisexual or lesbian, consider your past crushes – have you had crushes on both guys and girls, or just girls? Also keep in mind that a person can be physically, romantically, and emotionally attracted to a person. Do you find yourself physically, romantically, and emotionally attracted to both men and women, or just women? If you’d like more information on lesbianism, I’d check out this webpage: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177. If you’d like more information on bisexuality, I’d check out this: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/BisexualityResourcePacket.pdf.
Now, onto coming out. Coming out can be difficult, but it can also be easy. Remember to consider your main reasons for coming out before you do so. Do you think it would make your life less stressful? Coming out can certainly bring yourself closer to those you care about, as you share an important part of who you are with them. But, as you said, it can have adverse effects if someone is not accepting of the LGBTQ community. Remember that there is no right time or way to come out. No one knows your family better than you, but if you’re truly afraid that they may disown you if you were to come out, then perhaps you could test the waters by discussing a friend or celebrity who is gay or lesbian? This may give you a sense as to how they may react if you were to come out. You should only come out when you are ready and in the way that makes you feel most comfortable. I would suggest talking to someone whom you can trust before coming out to your family, perhaps a teacher, a close friend, or a guidance counselor. But if you are worried that your parents will not accept you if you are lesbian, then you may want to come up with a safety plan so that if you do decide to come out you will have a safe place to go for support and assistance. But remember, when it comes to coming out, only do so when you’re ready, when you’re comfortable, and when you know that you will be safe.
In regards to Christianity, again, remember that it’s completely natural and normal to be bisexual or lesbian, and that there are many bisexual and lesbian women who practice Christianity. Though there are some Christian leaders that claim you cannot be gay and a good Christian and that homosexuality goes against the Bible, there are many religious leaders and communities that teach love, acceptance and equality for all of people and are supportive and accepting of gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual. To read more about religion and the gay community, check out. www.soulforce.org and the PFLAG guide “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/FaithinourFamilies.pdf.
The Trevor Project is always here for you. You can find a supportive online community through Trevor Space, The Trevor Project’s safe online social networking site for Queer youth. Or if you’re ever in need of more advice or help, know that you can always send another letter to Ask Trevor, or even chat with someone directly through Trevor Chat (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat). Or you can reach us by calling the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386. Remember to always be true to yourself!