Hello my name is Chase. What would you do if your mom and dad thought that you were gay but you are really bisexual? I would kinda be happy but I don’t know if I should leave well enough alone. What would you do?
Feeling misunderstood by other people, especially parents can make anyone feel extremely frustrated and I’m so glad that you wrote to Dear Trevor for help and support.
In trying to figure whether or not to correct your parents’ understanding of your sexual orientation, it would be important to consider how your parents reacted to their belief that you’re gay. Were they supportive and accepting or have things been uncomfortable with you and parents or have they even been rejecting of you? It would also be important to think about what it feels like for you having them think you’re gay and not knowing that you’re bisexual. Is there a concern that if you told them about being bisexual, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? Is there the possibility that they’d kick you out of the house and if they did, it would be important to think about where you’d live, how you’d finish school and support yourself financially? If you feel safe and comfortable, you could share this with your parents by telling them that you love them and want to share an important of your life with them. On www.outproud.org you’ll find an online brochure called “Coming Out To Your Parents” which discusses issues you may face in discussing being bisexual with your family as well as prepare you for possible questions and responses they may have. If you feel that they might need help in understanding bisexuality, you could give them some information. On www.bisexual.org you'll find a lot of helpful information on bisexuality. If you click on resources, then bisexuality-general information, then "Bisexuality 101 from PFLAG" you can find even more information that can help your parents. You might also visit the Bisexual Resource Center at www.bisexual.net and www.binetusa.org to help them learn more about bisexuality. PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is an organization that helps parents and others become more supportive and understanding of their loved one’s sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “get support” then “for families & friends” where you’ll find a pamphlet called “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people.” PFLAG also runs support groups where parents can discuss questions and feelings that have about their child’s sexual orientation and where LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people can talk about difficulties they’re having with people in their life.
As you try to decide what to do, it can be helpful to talk with someone such as a trusted friend, relative, teacher or school counselor. It can also help to talk with other LGBT young people. It is amazing how fulfilling it can be to be around people who have gone through or who are going through similar situations with their family. You could go to a school Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), call the GLBT National Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-7743 or visit www.trevorspace.org an online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24, their friends and allies. www.mogenic.com is another LGBT youth online community.
Feelings of being completely understood and accepted by your parents will hopefully come in the near future. If you’d like to talk further or would like more support, please call the Trevor Helpline 24 hours, 7 days a week at 1.866.4.U.TREVOR (1.866.488.7386). Compassionate, understanding counselors will be happy to listen and talk with you about questions and concerns you have about dealing with parents and your sexuality. Please remember that we’re always here for you.