I've known that I have accepted myself being bi for about a year and I've come out to my aunt. Then she told me that being anything then hetrosexual was a mental illness that should be cured and know she won't talk to me. This has made me feel extremely bad about myself and I have rethought telling my mom. I want to tell her and not being able to have increased the number of times I have been cutting and I have seriously thought of suicide. What should I do?
I can see how upsetting this is for you, Sam, but you should know that your aunt is soooo 30 years ago! Last time I checked, homosexuality (which would include bisexuality) was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders in 1973! I’m guessing your aunt is not an expert in mental illness, because her view runs counter to what every respected mental health association in this country believes. Beyond not believing that homosexuality is something that requires “curing,” none of these associations believe it is something that can be cured—even if someone desperately wants to change his/her sexual orientation.
I can understand your feeling angry, hurt, betrayed and/or sad by her reaction, but please don’t let this ignorant woman make you feel bad about yourself—you have not done anything to feel bad about. You have simply let her know who you really are and have given her the benefit of the doubt that she would be compassionate and nonjudgmental in response. If anyone should feel bad, it should be your aunt.
Is there anyone else in your life you feel you can risk disclosing to, in order to get some help deciding if and how you might want to tell your mother? If not, please call our helpline. You can take as much time as you need to talk over your concerns and options with a caring listener, who I guarantee will not make you feel bad about yourself! You also might want to check out the website for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (www.pflag.org <http://www.pflag.org/> ). They have lots of download-able information, including facts about homosexuality, as well as advice for parents and for their gay children.