I'm really having a difficult time being in the closet, but I'm afraid to tell anyone about being attracted to other girls. If I tell my friends, I fear they'll reject me and I'll be known in school as “the gay one,” and that my parents will find out and reject me. The only friend who knows reacted fine but I think if I confided in her or ask her advice anymore she might freak out. What should I do so I can feel better about myself?
Lost In Transition, 13,
You are definitely not alone in having a difficult time with your newly-discovered lesbian feelings. In a world that is so often negative about homosexuality, it is hard to maintain ones self-esteem, much less know how to let people know of your sexuality, especially people close to you. It is understandable to fear that you will be rejected by friends and family.
But often when gay people come out they are happily surprised by some people’s reaction. Since one of your friends has reacted positively, how about sharing this letter with her? It may help let her know that you appreciate her support, but are afraid to burden her with your situation. Maybe she has ideas about who else may be safe to tell.
Coming out can be a difficult process—even for those much older than you are—and it can take years to fully integrate your sexual orientation into the rest of your personal identity. You have already taken the first step in telling your friend and in writing to Dear Trevor. I also recommend that you call The Trevor Helpline at 866.4.U.TREVOR (866.488.7386). A counselor familiar with the struggles of teenagers like yourself can give can give you support and help you come up with some new options. They may also be able to provide you with information about gay resources in your community.