I believe in God. i go to church and most of my closest friends are at my church. i love them and they love me but i fear that they wont accept me. i have this funny feeling whenever i am around any pretty girl and i just freeze up. the same with a cute guy. im afraid to say im bi but thats how i feel. my dad has made it pretty clear that being homosexual is not accepted in our house. my sister is more understanding but of course im most worried about my dad.... i have a few cousins in the LGBT community so its not like our family hasnt dealt with this before..... what should i do? to be honest im not even sure if i really am bi. or a lesbian. or just being hormonal and lonely. this thought wakes me up at night and keeps me from thinking straight (no pun intended) should i go have sex with a girl to prove a point? should i just sit here and hope that my feelings go away? im sooooo confused :/ its to the point where i feel i just dont matter anymore that im just a waste of space taking up all the air for the people who already know who they are...
Lilah Kohl, 15,
You are definitely NOT a waste of space. Everyone goes through a period of discovery regarding their sexuality. And, everyone proceeds at their own pace. IT IS PERFECTLY OK to be questioning your sexuality. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). It can also help to think about who you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being with girls, boys or both. 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 information that may help. On 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?" which may help you with your questions about your sexuality. Being raised in a religious environemtn can be very challenging as you explore your sexuality. Most religons have very limited ideas about human sexuality. Most religions condemn homosexuality. But, know you can be gay or bisexual and still have a religous life. YOu may have to locate an accepting community. Believe me, they are out there. 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.
At this point in time, you are still discovering your sexuality. So, until you are clear, there is no reason to come out, reveal your sexuality. 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 or your friends, 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. 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. THis information is here for future reference. Lilah, our feelings of attractions and crushes inform us. AS you understand your sexuality, you may also wnat to think about how sexuality fits nto your life. Sharing sex with other people is a part of the discovery process. So, if you want to experiment with what having sex with a girl feels like, you do not have to prove a point. YOu can jsut see for yourself. Our first sexual expereinces can be very vulnerable. Remember, you are entrusting your body, heart and spirit with whomever you become intimate. Some people engage in sexual behavior with a sense of casualness. AS you learn, you can choose how you want to engage your sexuality. There is no rush. You can begin with simple exchanges of affection. WHAt does it feel like to hold hands, to hug, to kiss? THese are the stepping stones. Then, as you feel more confidant and attracted to someone, you can explore further. Trust your instincts. DO not rush yourself. Lilah, do not worry about being confused. That is part of the process. Again, you can start off slowly. You can start to notice small things. Say...I like the way that girl's hair falls on her shoulders. I ike the shape of that boy's arms. Begin to notice qualities that you find attractive. Again, stepping stones. Having some peer support could help. 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. It sounds like your sister is a good source of support. If you have a trusted adult, a teacher, a school counselor, a close relative (maybe your cousins?), talking tothme will provide support and give you the opportunity to clarify your thoughts. Lilah, you are doing just fine. You are entering the world of love, sex and romance. YOur expereinces are completely normal. Do not degrade yourself because you have questions. If you do not ask questions, you may never get the answers.