Dear Trevor :
I heard that you helped a lot of people , so I'm trying to help myself out !
I'm 16 year old and I'm gay ; the problem is I feel bad about bein gay and can't get over it just I can't as you know that algeria is a verry difficult so I wanted to tell my perents 1 st I talked with'em about LGBT people and I found out that mom and dad hate gays so I kept my mouth zipped.
My question is so easy but hard to find an answer I have to stand on my own feet and get over the rape that everyone knows about it and being gay, no one is supporting me just alone trying to build my new life but can't make a move beacause something is holding me back I don't know what I feel maybe scared from something and sad about it but what is it ? what's wrong with me ? wanna go back to the old me clever and act if and so lively not this personality incapable and so weak; help please
Thank you for the honesty of your letter. You are dealing with a couple of separate, yet interconnected issues. Thank you for trusting us with the revealtion of the rape. Talking about and revealing this event takes a lot of courage. While you may feel weak, you are actually proceeding with great strength. WHen we continue forward through pain and uncertainty, those are the true moments of strength and courage. Rape is a crime of violence. In rape, sex is utilized as a weapon. AS a victim of sexual assault, you did nothing wrong. You have done nothing to be ashamed. The perpetraotr is the shameful one. Their actions, not yours, aer deserving of scrutinity and punishment. Being sexually abused can be devastating and can affect you in many ways including psychologically, emotionally and physically. It can make it difficult for you to trust people, cause you to have trouble understanding that you have the right to control what happens to you and cause you to experience flashbacks (when memories of past traumas feel as if they are taking place in the current moment) to the abuse. Sexual abuse can affect your self-esteem and your intimate relationships. It can cause you to experience symptoms of depression including feeling sad and down for more than two weeks, sleeping and eating either much more or less than usual, losing interest and pleasure in activities you previously enjoyed, isolating socially, feeling worthless, seeing everything is a negative way and having recurring thoughts of death or even suicide. You may feel guilt or shame about what happened to you but remember that you did nothing wrong and that it was the person who abused you who were wrong in what they did to you. The memories of the abuse may interfere in your ability to engage in sexual relationships which may leave you feeling frightened, frustrated, or ashamed. RAINN, the Rape, Assault, Incest, National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. On their website at http://www.rainn.org/ you can learn about the effects of sexual abuse, recovering from sexual assault as well as ways to get help and support. Omar, have you looked into mental health services in your area? Finding a mental health professional, a psychologist or a therpast, will help you understand the rape was not your responsibility. Is there a nearby university? You could seek mental health services within the university. They may also be able to refer you to a source for supportive services. Most likely the experience of being raped has affected your perception about your sexuality. Omar, there is nothing wrong with you or your feelings for other guys. You live in an environment which carries heavy anti-gay ideas and beliefs. Your safety and well being are important. You do not have to disclose your sexuality to anyone if you feel your safety and well being are at risk. Being selective about such disclosures to protect yourself is a wise move. Many gay people wait until they are self-supporting to come out. In the meantime, you can concentrate on receiving a good education. If you have plans for college, perhaps you can gear your plans on attending university in a place which is more understanding of gay people. In the meantime, seek out some support. http://www.iglyo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26
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 finding sources of support. Omar, you are a courageous young man. Again, you have nothing to be ahsamed. Continue to reach out for help.