Lately everything has been really bad. Everyone keeps telling me that my lifestyle is wrong and that I'm going to hell. My grandmother even told me it would be better if I killed myself. Sometimes I feel like she's right.
Thank you for the letter. Reaching out for assistance takes courage. We are glad you could trust us with your letter. Being gay in a small community can be very challenging. Our culture propegates a great deal of misinformation about sexuality. Many people have these inaccurate ideas because of religious teachings.
To learn about the Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for gay people, you might consider reading through the numerous guides on Soulforce’s “Resources” webpage at www.soulforce.org and also reading the PFLAG guide “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/FaithinourFamilies.pdf..” If you'd like to read more about various opinions regarding faith and sexual orientation, there is also a great resource online called The Institute for Welcoming Resources at http://www.welcomingresources.org/. It is the most comprehensive and up to date website devoted to providing religious and faith based resources for the LGBTQ community.
Charlotte, in spite of what you may have heard, there is nothing wrong with you or your feelings for other women. These attractions are a normal, natural expression of your sexuality. WIth all due respect, your grandmother is W-R-O-N-G ! She would rather have you commit suicide? Really, grandmother? What do they mean "lifestyle"? Many people utilize that word to suggest that being gay is a choice. Well, I wonder if they could tell you when they "chose" to be heterosexual ? When did they choose to live the "heterosexual lifestyle" ?
Sexuality is not a choice. Recent studies suggest a correlation between brain function and sexuality. Participants were shown images of attractive men and women. Lesbians, straight and bisexual males had similar areas of their brain become active when viewing images of attractive females. Similiar results happened when straight and bisexual women and gay men were shown images of attractive men.
Charlotte, you are not wrong. You are not sinful for being attracted to women. Everyone at the Trevor Project cares about you and your well being. Know, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week. If you feel you may act on suicidal thoughts, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital emergency room. In those dark moments, your immediate safety is crucial.
Do you have a trusted adult, another relative, a teacher, a school counselor, with whom you can confide? Talking to someone will help reduce a sense of isolation you may feel. On http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/ you can search for mental health services in your area. You could also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at www.aglp.org for help in finding someone .
You have been subjected to a lot of inaccurate beliefs and judgemental statements. Talking to someone will help dismiss the inaccuracies. It may take some effort to clear yourself of all of the negative messages. You and your life are worth it. You may also want to connect with other LGBT people.
Trevorspace, at www.trevorspace.org, is 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 about your sexuality and dealng with judgemental people.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one's sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on "Get Support" then click on "For Family & Friends" where you'll find the pamphlets "Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People" and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your family members/friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one's sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they're having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won't attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
Charlotte, you are not alone. Reach out for accepting communities. They are out there. Do not hesitate to contact us again. We are here when you need us.