I often find myself asking “why”. I know I’m gay, but I can’t see a reason. The world I live in, if you even have a hint of being gay, you will be shunned and forbidden from the family forever. I don’t want to lose them. I have nobody literally. I wish I could say that I wasn’t gay, but I am. Why continue if I know the world will always see us as freaks? Everyone everywhere hates us and wishes we never existed. It makes my cry thinking about telling my family. They will act as if I was never born. They will get rid of me with a flick of their wrist. I’m sorry I am this way and if there was a way I could change, I would, but I can’t.
Letter submitted by:
Hi there: I’m really glad you decided to write. It sounds like you are a very thoughtful person and that you’re very aware of your surroundings. It also sounds like you’re very concerned about your future and how your family will be part of your life. I’m sorry that you are afraid of what your family will say or do if you decide to come out. That’s incredibly difficult and fear can be really powerful if we choose to allow it to have that power over our lives. But you don’t have to be afraid. And no one EVER has the right to make you feel afraid, unsafe, or hurt. You deserve to be safe and comfortable and cared for.
It sounds like you believe your family will disown you if you come out to them. Are there other people in your life who you trust to talk to? A good friend, a relative outside your immediate family or maybe one of your teachers or a school counselor? You might also try TrevorSpace, at 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. As far as deciding whether to come out to your family, the most important thing is that when and if you decide to come out, you must be sure that you are safe and comfortable. It’s your decision, and no one else’s. But you must make sure that you are in a safe place, physically and emotionally. As you decide whether and how to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of my life a secret? Does it cause me a lot of stress worrying about my family 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. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
When you’re depressed and upset, it can be very painful to feel and can make you isolate yourself from your friends and family. It can cause you to be tired all the time and take away your motivation to do things, make you not enjoy the things you usually like to do, make you sleep and eat much less or much more than usual, and make you see everything in your life in a negative way. Sometimes the depression can get so bad it can make a person think of ending their life. Sometimes people think about ending their life when they’re feeling very depressed, feel hopeless that things will actually get better and helpless to make things better in their life. But even when it seems the world is crashing down around you, there are other options, alternatives, support and outlets for help. One of those outlets that’s available to is the The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR. It’s toll-free within the United States, and there’s someone waiting to talk with you anytime. Or, you can check out www.us.reachout.com and you’ll find facts about depression by clicking on ‘struggles with feelings’.
You mentioned how upset you become when you think about how LGBT people are treated and portrayed in the world. We can’t always control what people say or do, but again, I want to remind you that no one EVER has the right to abuse you in any way. Read that again. No one. Ever. NO ONE has the right to make you feel endangered or unsafe. You have the right to be safe and cared for, always. There is a world of hope and help out there, and you know what? Sometimes hope and help will come from the places you least expect or never expect. There are thankfully many places in our country that are very welcoming, inviting and inclusive of LGBTQ individuals. While not often seen from the other side of the fence, these places of refuge and support do exist and are available.
If you ever want someone to talk to, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR. There’s always someone here ready to talk to you. There’s also TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace. We are always here for you.