Hi. I heard about this website and I guess I just need somewhere where I can ask questions without actually coming out to people I know. I am 16 and really confused. I have never really had crushes on boys and I just see them as good friends. I have dated boys before, but I never really felt the “spark” and usually got tired of them fast. We would break up very quickly. This year, as a junior in high school, I started to realize that I looked at girls more often than would be considered normal. I tried to push these thoughts aside, but then I started to feel attracted to my best friend who is straight. I have been freaking out. I don’t know if this is just a phase or if I actually like girls. The more I try to push these thoughts away the more I think about them. I don’t feel like I can tell anyone about this. My friends make jokes about gay people and I am worried that they will treat me differently. This secret is weighing me down though and I feel really depressed and think that I should talk to someone. My mom and I used to have a great relationship, but lately I have been pushing her away because I am afraid she will find out. Should I try talking to her about this even though I am unsure about my sexuality? If not should I try talking to someone else or should I wait till I am no longer so confused? How long does it usually take for someone to know for sure anyway? I just really want to stop being so confused. Thank you in advance for your help.
Thank you so very much for your letter. I know that it takes a lot of courage to write in to AskTrevor and I applaud you for your strength to do so. The thing with sexuality is that there is no right or wrong answer. It is a part of who you are and how you feel is unique to you.
Feeling as you do is normal, especially in high school, a time in your life where you are figuring out who you really are. Just like figuring out what foods you like or your favorite bands, what you feel and who you may be attracted to comes with experience and can change over time. The important thing is that you not let anyone decide for you whether you are straight, gay, or bisexual. This is a decision that you make. Likewise, you have complete control over who you choose to share this with. Unfortunately, there is no timeline or formula for when you will figure this out or for when you will stop being confused, but the great thing is that you don’t have to have this all figured out to talk to someone. I know that you may feel that you are pushing your mom away, however, if you still trust her, maybe she is someone you can share your thoughts with? Otherwise, is there a teacher or counselor at school that you feel you can trust? Sometimes having a non-judgmental ear to hear your story, who will let you talk things out, will help tremondously.
If you don’t think that you are ready to talk to anyone yet, there are great resources online. I suggest checking out PFLAG’s http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf or this great article from Advocates for Youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177. Thanks again for your courage to write in. And don’t forget that you can always reach out to AskTrevor or call us at the Trevor Lifeline (866-4-U-TREVOR)!