im 17 and im wondering if i should tell my school friends that im bisexual.
Letter submitted by:
First off let me thank you for writing in with this question. Coming to terms with your sexual orientation, carrying that secret and coming out to friends or family can be difficult and you have been very brave by reaching out for help and guidance! You are very special because there is no one in the world who is just like you. Your sexual orientation is a part of your uniqueness and is never something of which you should feel ashamed or embarrassed. Coming out to your friends can be liberating, exciting and bring a sense of relief but it needs to happen when you feel you are absolutely ready to make that step. Don’t let anyone make that decision for you.
Ask yourself a few questions. How do your friends react to other bisexual or gay people around them? How do you think they would respond if you came out to them? Sometimes people can respond in many drastic ways so you want to make sure you are prepared for their responses. Does keeping your sexuality a secret cause you a lot of stress or make you feel depressed? Do you think that telling your friends would help relieve your stress level or cause more stress and unhappiness? True friends should love and accept you regardless, but some may need some time to adjust and come around. Most importantly you need to feel safe and comfortable, so make sure when you’re ready to come out you are in a safe environment and are around people who have your best interests at heart.
Here are some resources that may help you with your decision and the coming out process. Check out the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf. Also take a look at http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout where you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About.” PFLAG is a great organization for parents and friends of lgbt individuals and can also help give you, your friends and family support, answer their questions and help them adjust and come to terms with your sexual orientation. Visit their website at http://www.pflag.org. Also check out TrevorSpace, a bully-free, safe environment for lgbt youth where you can meet friends who are supportive and accepting! Take care of yourself and remember that coming out can be a wonderful thing but in your own time. Make sure you feel safe and comfortable. If you ever don’t feel safe or feel depressed and need to talk to someone, don’t be afraid to reach out again using Trevor Chat or the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR.
All the best,
The Trevor Project