Hey. My name is Tyler. And I know that I am gay. But I hate it. I feel like my family hates me and they don’t even know I’m gay yet. My dad bashes gay people all the time and talks about how wrong it is. I feel like life is so much harder just because I am the way I am. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t gay. I’m tired of living like this. I feel like when I do tell my family that I will disappoint them and ruin their reputations. I feel like they will hate me and kick me out and I don’t know what to do…
Original letter submitted by:
I understand where you’re coming from and know what its like to tackle the huge, life-defining moments of accepting being gay and coming out without feeling like you have a solid support base. I know family is usually at the top of that support list so it must sting to your core when your dad says those hurtful things and makes the idea of being gay seem like something you hate and would rather not have to deal with.
Being gay is not always easy and that it often times seems like the hardest secret in the world to carry, especially if those around you make it seem wrong, however, that doesn’t mean you need to feel the same way as your dad does about gays. Being gay doesn’t have to be this unwanted and feared identity, because at the end of the day only you can dictate how you feel about yourself. There is power in your choice to identify with the word gay – to acknowledge who you are and what that means – so use that strength to keep moving forward and empower yourself to see past the hurt to the true you.
It is normal to feel hurt by your dad and to feel fearful of losing your family, especially when you are in an environment that doesn’t seem open to you being gay and makes coming out seem scary and unsafe. Please always remember that your safety comes first and if the thought of coming out doesn’t make you feel safe and secure, then be responsible of your situation and make sure it is the best time for you.
Being gay will get better and easier because for every person out there who will think or say hurtful things there will are dozens more people all across the spectrum of gay to straight that will be there with open arms to accept you for who and what you are.
Here are some resources you may find useful:
You might also want to check out TrevorSpace at http://www.trevorspace.org. It’s the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions or experiences that you’re having with your family, coming out and identifying with being gay. You might also find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful.
Remember that you can always call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR if you have immediate questions or issues, get live help on line with TrevorChat, and visit TrevorSpace. Ask Trevor will also be around if you want to write us another email. We are always here for you – stay strong, be you and go forward.