I used to have suicidal thoughts when I lived with my mom. About two weeks ago, I moved in with my dad. Did I make the right choice by moving? I’m going to a new schools where I don’t know anyone, and I’m afraid I might get bullied because of my sexuality.
Thank you for contacting Ask Trevor. It is very courageous of you to discuss these feelings: they are understandable, valid and deserve attention. To answer your first question, if moving to your dad’s house has made things easier for you, then you did make the right decision. Still, if you ever have suicidal thoughts, you should talk to a trusted adult, or contact our 24/7 Trevor Hotline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.
Regarding bullying, no one has the right to make you feel inferior. You have the right to be in a safe environment at school. If bullying is an issue at your new school, talk to an adult (like a principal, teacher, administrator, guidance counselor, parent, security guard on campus). Harassment should be brought to their attention right away, because it is their job to make sure your school setting is safe. Also consider reaching out to your friends and peers through involvement in extracurricular activities like clubs. With a few friendly faces by your side, bullies typically avoid confrontation: there is safety in numbers.
Many organizations work with schools like yours to address bullying and homophobia. Look into the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN– www.glsen.org) to explore the programs offered to make your school a safer place. Events like the “Day of Silence” and “No Name Calling Week” bring the student population together to stand up against bullying and homophobia. GLSEN also has a blog that follows up on other schools that are actively working towards eliminating harassment. Look into the Gay Straight Alliance at school and consider joining it. This student organization will offer acceptance and a safe haven with your peers. Don’t have a GSA at your school? No problem: GLSEN’s website has info on the process of starting a GSA. You can also call GLSEN with any questions at 212‐727‐0135. A school counselor can also help you with any issues or with starting a GSA of your own!
Again, thank you for reaching out to Ask Trevor. We are always here for you, so please do not hesitate with any further questions or concerns. If you have suicidal thoughts, please contact our Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR. Someone would be happy to listen and help you out. Also, consider using our TrevorChat and TrevorSpace sites to meet other teens like you. You are not alone!