For a few years now I have been struggling, trying to define what sexuality i am exactly. And I’ve realized that the problem is that I’m not gay or straight- I’m bi.
Everyone thinks I’m straight, because although I have kept my feelings for girls hidden my friends know about crushes I would get on guys as well. This includes my parents, and my mother is homophobic.
I watch Glee, and I distinctly remember the first time we watched the episode in which Kurt and Blaine kiss she left the room, and did not come back in until the scenes were over. In fact, any scene related to Kurt being gay or even involving a gay couple she would leave the room, under the pretense of getting a snack, and then come back in.
I also remember that she refused to read a book called City of Bones by Cassandra Clare because it includes a gay couple. She has always made her opinions very clear, calling gay couples ‘twisted’ and ‘wrong’. I am terrified to come out, not because of my friends or the rest of my family- I know they’ll accept me- but because of my mother.
I need advice.
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for demonstrating great courage by reaching out to me. Certainly the inner conflict and fear you described concerning your sexual identity and sexual orientation have not been easy to manage by yourself. I am proud of your ability to overcome the obstacles you have faced. I am confident you are capable of resolving the concerns you have discussed in your letter.
Questioning sexual orientation and/or gender identity is very natural and being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender is normal. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic, as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). It can also help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being with—girls, boys, or both. I know you said that you are bisexual but I just wanted to highlight a few of these points.
Affirmation and acceptance from your mother is very important to you. The good news is that many, many young people have been able to work with their parents who struggled when they came out, and have happy and healthy relationships today. Working through this with your mother might be a challenging process, so it is important to surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive and accepting of you.
There are good organizations that we can point you towards that can possibly help your mother in her process. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Families, Friends, and Allies” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your parents to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
Here is another link to the Human Rights Campaign’s resource on coming out that both you and your parents can use, http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf.
Remember we are always here for you. The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace are also available to you for further support. TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org is 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 that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity.