Hi, my name is Gabriel and I don't know what to do about being gay. My brother hates gays. My mother is ok 'cause she has gay friends, and I dont know whether to tell her because she always wanted me to give her grandchildren, and at school I have relationships with guys. She doesn't even know I'm sexually active. I fear for what she might say and how our relationship will be after.
It's great that you wrote to us. I know it must have taken some courage to do so. You should be proud of knowing your sexual nature at your age. Many people aren't that confident.
Coming out to anyone, especially family, can be difficult. You say that your mother has gay friends and is ok with it is a plus. Your brother not so. He probably needs some education and to learn to be more compassionate, so you probably are wise not to come out to him just yet. On the plus side, coming out can let people in your life know about an important part of your life, it can help you to feel less alone, and meet new friends. But you need to feel safe and comfortable with the person(s) whom you will be telling. Consider these questions: 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 or your friends, you'd be unsafe physically or emotionally? To help you in your decisions, information that can be helpful can be reached at 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 where you'll find an article called "Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About" which may be of help to you. And incidentally, being gay doesn't mean you can't give your mother grandchildren. It just makes it a little more involved. So don't worry about it. You have a good chance that your mother will react well, but only YOU can make that decision. Make that decision wisely, and carefully. And as I said about your brother, he needs an attitude adjustment and to unlearn his hatefullness. Try to educate him and get him to work through his hateful attitude to a more compassionate person. After all, sooner or later he's going to have to deal with having a gay brother. One last thing that you should consider is the outside chance that IF your mother were to react badly, or worse, kick you out of the house, you should 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 nature. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
And speaking of safe, since you are sexually active, be sure you are practicing safe sex, as there are some really nasty diseases out there, and you really can't tell who may have contracted something. It's ok to enjoy your sexuality, but please do play safely. You should feel good that you can be yourself, and that you have friends at school who accept you as a gay guy. You have a lot of good things in your life, and you have a lot to be proud of. And remember that you can always contact us at AskTrevor any time you want or feel the need, and you can also find more friends on TrevorSpace.
The Trevor Project