Last year was pretty rough. My parents fighting got alot worse. My self-harming got really bad. Things were just really rough. This year I'm trying to make things alot better. Even if my parents still fight alot I stopped cutting so thats better. But I've gotten to the point where I'm starting to be ok with who I am. But I'm still not ok with what I am. I came out to a few close friends as lesbian and almost none of them take it seriously. Several of them still tell me to go out and get a boyfriend. One of them even ask how I'm sure. How am I supposed to explain that? I don't understand what to do anymore. I'm past the point of shoving my problems in a corner and trying to forget about them. But I'm not sure if just staying in the closet is the best thing right now. My parents are pretty bad homophobes, and I live in a area where gays are well... not common. (I live in the country) Thanks.
I’m very proud of you that you are taking control of your own problems and trying to address them. It is great that you have the courage to seek out help in order to find answers. This takes a lot of strength and this is an admirable character trait. I am also very glad to hear that you have stopped cutting. Trying to make sense of one’s own sexuality can be very confusing. Many people your age are unsure so it is completely normal. Your friends are probably experiencing something similar and can’t even identify with themselves let alone someone else’s sexuality. Let’s try to come up with some ideas which can better help you take this on. I know we can come up with something to help.
In regards to explaining your sexuality to your friends, to be quite honest you shouldn’t have to explain anything. I think it is great that you had the courage to come out to them but perhaps it is something to new for them to understand just yet. If you want to try to answer their questions anyway then perhaps you should concentrate on whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize being with boys, girls or both? See if you notice any patterns. Is their one specific individual who keeps popping up? Is this individual always a girl? Then this may be a way of explaining to your friends if you are comfortable doing so. Here is a great website which may help with your questions.
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?"
But again I do not think it is necessary going out of your way explaining yourself to your friends. The fact of the matter is you are completely normal no matter what. I would try to seek out someone who is very accepting and understanding. What I would recommend is trying to speak with someone a little older and mature that you trust who can assist you with managing some of the feelings and confusion that you are currently experiencing. Do you have a family member, teacher, doctor or school counselor that you can speak with? Here is a Kansas website with many different hotlines which may help if you do not know of anyone you feel comfortable speaking with. http://www.suicidehotlines.com/kansas.html. I know your questions aren’t oriented around suicide but I am supplying you with this website because these organizations will try to help you no matter what the situation is. So if you have no where else to turn please look at some of the organizations on this link. You will notice TrevorProject is one of them.
In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about them finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family 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/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
When coming out some people are fine just saying their sexuality while others find it better to ease into the discussion by first talking about a LGBT actor or character in a movie, book or television show and see how the people in their life react. You might find it helpful to write out and rehearse things you might say. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you'll find an article called "Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About" which may be of help to you.
You can also call the Trevor Lifeline to speak with someone over the phone. Ph.866-488-7386.
The Trevor Project is here for you and we care about your wellbeing.
We hope this helps and we encourage you to keep asking questions so we can continue to come up with ideas to assist you with overcoming these challenges.
Looking forward to hearing back,