Dear Trevor, As of right now, I know for a fact that I am either a lesbian or bisexual. I defiantly like girls, there is no doubt in my mind. And I'm fairly comfortable with that. Right now, the main problem is that I've been feeling really suicidal. I have a general idea of what I might do, bit I don't have details worked out quite yet. I don't know how supportive my parents will be.... They won't kick me out, but my mom might kind of freak out. I feel like my friends might be more supportive of the entire situation, and they would probably be willing to help me talk to my parents about the suicide thing. I'm worried about actually telling them, because I don't know for sure what my sexuality is, I just know that I am not straight. My friends and I don't really do serious conversations, I just figured that maybe the next time I'm at a sleepover or just hanging out and everyone starts talking about boys I could literally go into the closet, walk out and say, 'Guys, we need to get something straight: I am not.' Or I could mention it in passing... I just don't know exactly how to tell them, but I think they should know. I feel like they would care about the while suicide and cutting myself issue way more than my parents would.
Hey M, Two things struck me about your letter. One, you seem very aware and confident. I understand you are questioning your sexuality. But, you have got some things crystal clear. You KNOW you are not Straight. That is a strong statement of self-awareness. You also have a sense of humor. You have thought about a humorous way of "coming out' ( of the closet, literally) to your friends. M, you are much too bright to be thinking of ending your life or cutting. You are also incredibly wise. You do not have to come out to anyone until you are sure and ready. 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. Having questions about your sexualtiy is a normal process of your self discovery. You are walking that path with incredible grace and elegnace. Of course, it is difficult to predict how people will react to the news. That is causing a lot of stress. When overwehlemd by stress, people engage in self-harming behaviors, from cutting and drug abuse to self starvation. . For some, cutting relieves stress or tension or they find that the physical pain of cutting is a distraction from the emotional pain. Some people are angry at someone in their life and take the anger out on themselves by cutting. Others feel that the cutting gives them a feeling of control when things in the life or their emotions feel out of control. It's important for you to know that cutting may help you to feel better briefly but the longer it goes on, the more dangerous it can become as it can cause permanent scars, infections and serious, and sometimes life threatening medical problems especially if you cut a major blood vessel. It can also cause you to feel shame, guilt, depressed and out of control. If you feel like cutting, there are lots of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting helps you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. Sometimes, writing in a journal or drawing/painting helps a person to feel better. For some people, doing something physical like running outdoors or yoga can help relieve stress. If the cutting helps you to feel less numb, do something that creates a sharp physical feeling like putting your hand briefly in ice water or stamp your feet on the ground). There are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut It can be very difficult to stop cutting and it would be important to tell a trusted adult about the cutting in order for them to find a therapist for you to work with to find safer and healthier ways to deal with the hard things you’re going through. If you’re not comfortable talking with your parents, you could ask a school counselor for help finding a therapist or call 1-800-DON’T-CUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing as well as your urge to cut which can help to delay or stop the urge to cut. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you. M, we are here. WHenever you need someone to listen, pick up the phone. You are not alone. IF you ever feel you may act on suicdal impulses, get to an emergency room or call 911. Your immdeiate safety is crucial in thsoe dark moments. M, look into some supportive communities. http://www.centeronhalsted.org/ 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 and coming out . The world needs bright, insightful people like you. THis may be a rough time. But, you will get through it. Do not hesitate to seek assistance and support.