I have a crush on my best friend who is bisexual.
I have no idea if she knows or if I should tell her.
My parents would kill me if they found out I had a crush on a girl….
You are wise to reach out to us for advice. You have not one but two thorny issues to deal with, and no easy decisions to make on either one. Your trepidation is understandable. First off, matters of the heart are always difficult decisions to make, so the more impartial advice you can get the better off you’ll be. But not even the wisest person can predict what love will do.
While the choice is yours to make, as only you know the situation best, I’d recommend that in any affair of the heart that you be honest, and keep the lines of communication open. As with any human, there’s no predicting exactly how someone will react to something, particularly an expression of romantic interest. So all I can advise you with is if you go ahead with telling her, to choose the right moment and place to let her know how you are feeling, and hope she feels the same. But be honest and as tactful as possible. IF she does respond positively, then maybe you have a shot at a romance. If not, maybe her reaction will be that she’s only interested in you as a friend, in which case you should respect her feelings and try to maintain your friendship with her, but nothing deeper. It’s called unrequited love, and it’s quite common, though admittedly not easy to handle. I think it’s why they call them “crushes” as it can sometimes crush your heart. Unfortunately love makes you vulnerable to being hurt, but on the other hand, it’s worth the risk. But if she turns you down, just remember that you will (hopefully) still have her as a good friend, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. All you can do is to be satisfied with a very good friendship with her. But hopefully (and I don’t think this will happen) her reaction won’t be total rejection, and lead to complete alienation, though I mention it just to cover all possibilities, remote as they may be. You at least should be aware of all possibilities. Bottom line is that, as with any crush, you just have to go with what you feel is right for you, and be as tactful, honest, and considerate of her as possible. And I certainly do wish you the best of luck with her!
Which brings up the other thorny problem, your parents. You have indicated that they would react very badly, and that is a problem. Realize that it probably will be that much worse if they discover you in an intimate relationship with another girl, so it’s best to be prepared for such a difficult and trying incident, should it happen. Worst case senario would be if they kicked you out or physically assulted you, in which case you’d best have a safety plan to provide for a place to live and have some financial support. You may want to consider first trying to “pave the way” by working on softening their attitudes on sexuality. Pick the right time and circumstance to open up the conversation, and point out that such negative attitudes are hateful and hurtful, and that you don’t feel that attitude is right. NOTE, I’m not going to advise you to come out to them, as that would be your decision to make, if and when, and one with which you must feel comfortable and safe before doing so. But you can pick up some helpful advice contained in the coming out process that may help in your discussions with your family. Try reading through the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf. 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 may be of help to you. Other resources that may be helpful are the books “Now That You Know – A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children” which addresses many issues and questions that arise for parents of gay and lesbian children and “Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together.” These will offer advice on how to address the topics with your family and, IF they DO find out, may help soften their negative attitudes. There are no guarantees, though. Just be careful and remember that it’s your decision to make. Don’t do anything that will endanger your safety and security.
Ultimately, you have to be you. You have to be comfortable with who you are, and you deserve to be loved by a person of your choosing. Just be cautious in your choices and don’t endanger yourself. And best of luck with your crush! Hope things work out with you two, and with your family.
The Trevor Project