I don't know what to do. Should I tell people about my sexuality? Should I be embarrassed? I'm so scared. Why am I so different? Is being bisexual weird? :(
It’s great that you reached out to Dear Trevor for help and support. You show very good judgment in asking for help to deal with the questions you have. It sounds like you feel pretty certain and secure about being bisexual but also scared and possibly embarrassed about your bisexuality.
Many teens as well as adults struggle with questions like these and try to figure out how to deal with them. Remember that being bisexual is natural and normal as are all sexual orientations. Some people are gay or lesbian, some people are straight, and some people are bisexual, meaning that are attracted to both guys and girls. Today scientists and many other people believe that a person’s sexual orientation is something they are born with, it’s not a choice, and it’s not something that just happens to them. We have good scientific evidence that approximately 15% of people are not straight. When you ask if you should be embarrassed and if being bisexual is weird, it sounds like you've heard negative things about being bisexual. There is nothing wrong with you being bisexual. The problem is society’s reaction to anyone who is not straight, its expectation that everybody be straight, and that only straight is normal. Many people who are bisexual lead happy, healthy lives, graduate from school, get good jobs; have supportive friends and loving, romantic partners.
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 you with your questions about your sexual orientation. You might also visit www.binetusa.org to learn more about bisexuality. Another online resource that may be of help is Youth Resource www.youthresource.com where you can read stories from other young women about their experiences as well as find lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) groups in your area. It can also help to talk with bisexual young people to get support and learn what they've done or are doing to comfortable with their sexuality. You might a school Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), a local LGBTQ youth social or support group, by calling the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender National Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-7743, or by visiting www.trevorspace.org, an online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24, their friends and allies.
Telling people about your sexuality is a natural thing to want in order for them to let them know more about you. It’s very natural to be concerned about how telling others about you being bisexual because you don’t know how they’ll react-Will they be accepting? Will the change the way they treat you? Will they reject you? In deciding whether or not to tell others, it might be helpful to think about a few questions. How does it feel keeping your sexual orientation a secret? Are you concerned about feeling unsafe, such as being called names or being beaten up, if you told them? Have they said anything in the past that might give you a clue about how they would react to hearing that someone they know is bisexual? On www.outproud.org you'll find an online brochure called "Coming Out to Your Parents" which covers issues you may face if you decide to come out to your parents. It can also prepare you for questions and responses they might have. It is really important to think carefully about all these issues before you make a decision about discussing you being bisexual with your friends or family. In deciding who to tell, it might be best to start with someone who you consider very close to you such as a real trustworthy friend. Its really important to be very selective as to who you tell, because word gets around quickly in schools-some kids can’t keep things private. You may decide that that it feels safe to tell them now, or that it’s best to wait until later before discussing issues of being bisexual with them. With whatever you decide, it’s really important to feel safe and comfortable. There’s really no rush. You have plenty of time to tell people. Sadly, not every family is accepting of their child’s sexual orientation. What have they said about these issues in the past? Do they know anyone who is LGBTQ, and how do they treat this person? In thinking about telling your parents, do you think they would kick you out of the house for being bisexual and if they did, it would be important to think about where you'd live, how would you support yourself and finish school? Again, safety is the all-important question. It’s really important to think carefully about these things before discussing issues like this with family. If decide that now is not the right time to tell them, that's absolutely fine. What's most important is that you're comfortable and safe. It can really help to go to some of the online resources mentioned above as well as The National Youth Advocacy Coalition at www.nyacyouth.org where you can find information about local resources and Youth Guardian Services at www.youthguard.org, which provides online support for LGBT people.
These are always difficult and complicated issues and sometimes it’s really helpful if you can discuss your thoughts and questions with someone that you trust such as a relative, teacher, or counselor in order for them to help you get to understand and accept yourself better and figure out what to do.
If there is no one that you feel safe talking with, you may call the Trevor helpline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386). Our experienced counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can provide support and guidance for you. They know how hard it is to deal with issues concerning sexual orientation and telling others. As well, they can provide you with resources in your local area that can be of help. Please do not feel you need to get through this alone, we are always here for you at Trevor.