Hi. I’m Sabrina, I’m 14 and I’m from Brazil. Two years ago I found out I like girls. At first, it wasn’t easy to admit, but secretly I found a way to accept me the way I am. I always wanted to come out to my parents, but I don’t really thing it’s a good idea, especially because they’re really religious. Few weeks ago, I was talking to my dad and I can’t remember how the subject came up but we talked about homosexuality and he said if he had a gay daughter he would expel her out of his house. He also said more horrible things, like he prefers to have a child who is arrested than gay daughter. It really hurts and I don’t know what to do. I guess my mom already knows I’m gay, so that’s could be the reason she don’t want to talk about gay friends or why she changes the channel when the subject appears. At school, my friends aren’t supportive as well. I haven’t come out for them too, but I know what they think about gay people, but if I had courage, I could deal with their rejection. But my parents or my family rejection… It’s too much for me, because I love them unconditionally. And to complete my situation, there’s a boy who is into me but I can’t tell him I’m lesbian and I don’t feel ready for it. I don’t even want to date someone now, but just knowing there’s someone who likes me and I can’t tell him to move on because I’m gay feels like I’m ashamed of myself, of who I am. What should I do? Thanks for helping.
Letter submitted by:
The first thing to know is that who you are is perfectly normal, and you’ve taken the very courageous step of being open with your sexuality to the most important person in your life: you. It’s natural to want to come out, because it is a central part of who you are. But what is most important in making the decision to come out is that you feel safe and comfortable. It sounds like your parents, especially your dad, would not be supportive at all of who you are. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are independent before telling their family. Only you will know, in your heart, when you will be ready to let people know.
Not wanting to tell the boy who is into you that you are a lesbian and that he should move on isn’t you feeling ashamed about who you are. It’s knowing that you are in a very difficult situation and that, right now, being more open about your sexuality might get you thrown out of your house. That’s a very hard thing for anyone to deal with and it is perfectly normal not to want bad things to happen to you. Don’t forget, it takes a lot of strength and courage to go through what you are going through, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.
You may want to start by finding one person you can talk to about your sexuality. Is there a teacher or a counselor at school you feel comfortable talking to? Perhaps an aunt or uncle, or a neighbor or someone in your community. Do you have one friend that you could talk to? Start small, find one person to open up to. It may help you get more comfortable with being open with people, and also help you get a better feel about when the right time to tell others is. You say you guess your mom already knows. Would you feel comfortable talking to her, and do you think you could without causing problems with your dad? If so, you may want to talk with your mom, but if not, remember, your comfort and safety is most important.
Remember, the decision to come out is a very personal one, and only you will know when you feel safe and comfortable letting other people know. You can always send a letter to Ask Trevor if you need more help. Do you know about TrevorSpace? It’s a social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies. It may help to talk to other people who have gone through what you are going through.