I would like to know how one knows whether they are gay or bisexual because I’m confused. Am I straight/gay/bisexual? Most of my friends or people my age have already been in a relationship at least once but I haven’t, so I am wondering that maybe there’s something wrong with me. I’m attracted to the same sex sometimes but I’m also attracted to the opposite sex. I’m afraid that if I truly am gay/bisexual that my friends and family won’t accept me, but they’ll disown me and distance themselves. They’re sort of narrow minded and religious people. Plus gays are unacceptable where I live. I’m also worried that if I’m gay, coming out will give those who used to tease me for being gay satisfaction that they were right about me. I really need to get this all out of my system but I can’t talk to anyone I know about all this because they won’t understand and create a huge fuss out of it. Then suddenly one day I heard about this project and thought I might try it out. I’ve recently read Sing You Home a book by Jodi Picoult and it really made question my sexual orientation even more.
Letter submitted by:
We are so glad that you reached out to us for support! What you are going through can be a very confusing and lonely process. It can also take time, so it is important to stay patient and be gentle with yourself. First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are a beautiful, unique individual just the way you are. 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. Since you like to read, why don’t you check out these two resources where you can find more guidance: “I think I might be Gay,” http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view%20&id=726&Itemid=336 and a resources on bisexuality, http://www.bisexual.org/resources.html.
In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about others finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
Again, here are some really helpful resources for you on coming out: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf, http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf, and http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout
And one thing you may want to consider is to connect with other young people at TrevorSpace, 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 that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity.
And of course, we are always here for you to support you as you continue to go through your process. Please continue to reach out, we want to be here for you each step of the way!