Hi, I’m a senior in high school, and I’m planning on going to prom. There is one girl that I would love to ask to the prom, but I haven’t come out yet. I also want to wear a tux to the prom, but I’m afraid my classmates and family won’t accept me if I go with a girl or wear a tux. There are two boys that I could go to prom with, but I don’t want to continue with this lie. I like girls, and I’m ready to let everyone know this.
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Thank you for contacting us. It takes a lot of courage to identify yourself as lesbian, gay or bi-sexual, so it is wonderful to hear that you have such a sense of self-confidence and self-awareness. Many of us have been in similar situations and were concerned as to the appropriate way to come out to our family and friends.
There is always a sense of uncertainty when we attempt to take other people’s feelings into consideration. Many times we over-analyze what their reactions will be. More often than not, if you have a strong and supportive family and friend base, the largest obstacle you have to overcome is your own fear of coming out. Generally our family and friends want us to be the happiest and most productive people that we can be. Only you know the relationships you have and the most important thing to consider when coming out is your own safety and comfort level. This is an important part of your life, perhaps the most significant part. Coming out opens up a new level of communication and honesty, which in addition to strengthening your existing relationships may also lead to new friends and romantic interests. One great resource we recommend is the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out,” which you can find at http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out.
Are you worried that if you told your family or friends that you would be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you have any reason to believe that coming out may endanger your personal safety, please take precautions. There are many other resources available to you, free of cost. Our TrevorChat and TrevorSpace are great places to interact with other people who have had or are having similar experiences as you. If you need to speak with a counselor immediately concerning your feelings or safety, please contact our Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR. We sincerely wish you the very best and are here for you if and when you need to speak to us.