Dear Trevor, My name is Tyler and I’m 15 years old, 16 in February, and I live in Lutz FL. A lot of crap is going on all over the place… I’m homeschooled so i only get out, with friends and stuff, on 1 day of the week, at a Christian homeschool “coop” day… I try to come out to 1 of my closest friends, but she’s anti-gay and immediately shot it down like it was nothing and wont acknowledge it. My parents are divorcing right now… And it doesn’t help that I feel like coming out SO badly… But my mom, whom I am closest with, is Christian (so am I) and I can’t come out to her because she is constantly making remarks about how being gay / Bi / lesbian is “pure evil” and “completely against the bible”. My dad has been really distant over my past 15 years.. I’m not going to point fingers, cause that’s not what I do. But he tells me to “take off my bowtie” or “take off the scarf” (little things that really bug me for some reason) because they’re “not what normal guys wear” / “It’s not even appropriate to wear it today” when he’s secretly texting my mom about “how it’s too feminine and I shouldn’t be allowed to wear it. I just want some strength in my own life… I feel so weak and helpless… I see people like on TV who are openly gay (as the character and real life) and I wonder “Why can’t I be like him?” My mom purposely makes sure I never watch anything with a gay or Bi person in it. So I purposely (secretly) keep up with shows like GLEE cause I look up to people on that show.. And I feel like I can relate to some of the actors lives. I just feel so lonely through all of it though… I don’t have anyone around who truly understands me.. I feel broken and hurt and I don’t think I can take it anymore.. It’s exhausting and I feel completely hopeless… How do I get through this? How can I come out to my mom without her freaking out on me? I don’t want to feel like I’m going to Explode (emotionally) anymore..
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Ok I re-read through my letter.. I feel bad because I sound like a little teenage brat who’s unhappy because he didnt get his way… I really hope that’s not how I come across because it’s not who I am. I know there are people who have it FAR worse than I do and I should be grateful… And I am! I just don’t know where my life is going to end up and I feel scared and need to know what to do… Thank you so much for even being there for us and thank you for your time.
It takes a lot of courage to write to us and I commend you for it. I don’t think you sound like a brat at all. You’ve been going through a lot, and it’s natural to feel scared about the future and not sure where things are going.
I’m sorry to hear about your coming out experience with your friend. Rather than focusing on how your friend reacted, think about how you feel now that you got that off your chest. I’m guessing you feel better about yourself now that you had a chance to be open and honest with someone about your sexuality – something you deserve a pat on the back for. If she’s a true friend, she’ll eventually come around and realize that she reacted poorly. You are entitled to express your feelings and personality.
Being homeschooled by two parents with attitudes as you described definitely sounds challenging to say the least. Just try to remember that their views are based on their own historical backgrounds and beliefs - not because of you as a person. Given the environment I would suggest that you take the most advantage of your 1 ‘coop’ day by meeting other people, friends, etc. Now that you are 16 I’d also suggest looking for a part time job or work towards your drivers permit – both of which should give you a little more independence from the house.
With regards to religion, specifically being Christian, there are many, many Christians, churches, and ministers that are supportive of LGBT rights. You can definitely be both a good Christian and gay at the same time.
In fact, there’s a church in your area, St. Pauls Lutheran in Clearwater (http://www.stpaulsclearwater.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=66) that is very open to the LGBT population. If you have the courage (and I think you do) to reach out to them I’m sure they would be happy to discuss their beliefs, etc. and give you some additional support. Also, I found a LGBT youth group in your area @ http://www.metrotampabay.org/lgbt-youth/group/. And lastly, you can always reach our hotline directly at The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR. There are a lot of people that care about you out there and I wish you the best.