I am really scared about my sexuality and I haven’t told anyone of these concerns before. I am a college student and I have recently been feeling a lot of anxiety and depression. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about my background. I have a great family life and very supportive parents and friends. I went to an all girls high school and that is when I started having weird feelings. There was one girl that I had always been friends with, but around my junior year I felt like she was hitting on me. I knew she was gay, but for some reason I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I wanted her to want me so bad, but there was always this other girl she liked better, and I started becoming jealous. I went through a lot of anxiety and I didn’t know why I was feeling that way. I had never considered being gay; I thought it was just a phase. Part of me still thinks it was this need to feel loved and desired. I’ve never looked at girls and thought about them sexually. I’ve always liked guys and have had crushes on only guys, until that one girl. I have never thought about being intimate with a girl until recently, but when I think about it, it just scares me, it doesn’t turn me on. A part of me knows that I am not gay, but that one girl from high school always scares me. I have never had a boyfriend. I’ve always wanted one, but I am kind of shy, so it’s hard for me to talk to them sometimes. Could it be that I’ve grown up with only girls in my life, besides my dad, and that is why I feel more emotionally comfortable and connected to girls? The thing is, I REALLY don’t want to be gay. There is this part of me that has always wanted a boyfriend and I want to feel loved and protected by a man. I want a husband and kids. But I am afraid that because I am questioning so much, I actually am gay. The reason this has been on my mind so much lately is because of something that happened recently. My best friend just got a boyfriend that she has really connected with. After visiting them at a different college, I couldn’t help but feel jealous. I felt like I wanted their relationship so badly. But then something hit me. What if I was possessive of her and jealous because she wasn’t with me as much? I have NEVER EVER thought about her in a sexual way or EVER being in a relationship with her, even though we are extremely close. I couldn’t ever see myself being in a relationship with her, we are just really close friends. I am just so confused and lost and I am afraid to tell anyone. I really want to tell my mom, but I can’t talk to her in person because I am so far away from home. I am afraid because this worrying thought about me being gay has become my obsession. Sometimes I think I am fooling myself and my mind is trying to scare me. I really don’t know what to do, and sorry this is so long by the way, I’ve just had a lot on my mind. The last thing I need is for someone to tell me, “you are probably gay”. I am just hoping it is a phase because I’ve never really had a relationship with a guy and I really want to.
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You’re making a very important first step by seeking help with your anxiety and depression and exploring the underlining reasons. It’s perfect normal to explore who you are and whom you’re attracted to.
As you mention in your letter, there are some things that make you feel like you might be gay and other things that make you feel like you might be straight. It could take some time to find the answer to your question, but there are a lot of great resources to help you through the process and make you feel more comfortable. At school, is there a counseling center that would provide you with a safe place to explore your feelings and get treatment for depression or anxiety? If there’s not a center on campus, there might be a community health center nearby that provides counseling services. Other great resources are campus Gay-Straight Student Clubs or local LGBTQ Community Centers, both of which probably have confidential meetings for people questioning their sexual orientation. If you attend these meetings, I’m sure you meet many people with similar questions. On http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177 you’ll find the brochure “I Think I Might Be Lesbian…Now What Do I Do?” which may help you with your questions about your sexuality.
As you get more involved in campus life, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to meet men and women that you might be interested in dating. Dating, and just meeting new people, is a great way to explore your feelings. Try not to worry too much or let your feelings about a particular girl or guy force you to close off other options too soon. Some people find it helpful to think of sexuality as a combination of three types of attraction: emotional, spiritual, and physical. Some types of attraction might be more obvious and others less so depending on the person or situation.
Given negative attitudes and feelings towards LGBTQ people in society, it’s understandable that you don’t want to be gay and want a boyfriend. Remember that there are successful, happy people of all sexual orientations, living all different lifestyles and an increasing number of LGBTQ people that are publicly married with families. I’m sure that regardless of your sexuality, you’ll be able to create the type of life that will make you happy. I’m glad you have a wonderful family that is waiting at home to support you with whatever you decide. In the meantime, there’s always TrevorChat or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) to listen and offer support.
The Trevor Project