Dear Trevor, Well I'm Victoria and I'm Bi. I still haven't told my parents about my being Bi but that's not the problem.. Well I've been really suicidal for a year now and I want help with that and my depression, but I don't know how to tell my parents. Any ideas for me? Thank you for your time. <3
From your letter, it sounds like you have a lot of concerns you are dealing with and I am really glad that you reached out to us at the Trevor Project. Making the decision to tell your family about your sexual orientation is a difficult one, but it is important that you are true to who you are and can share that with people.
It is worrisome that you have been having suicidal thoughts. While things may be overwhelming now, there are alternative and non-permanent or harmful solutions that can help you get through this. Remember first and foremost that you are not alone. You took the first step towards seeking help in writing to us--that took a great amount of courage. I encourage you that when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed or having suicidal thoughts or considerations, that you do what you did now--reach out. There are people in your life who care about you and want to support and help you in whatever way you need. Talk immediately to a trusted adult (parent, relative, teacher, school counselor, friend's parent) about your thoughts or worries. If you don't feel comfortable sharing with one of those people, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline (1-866-4-U-TREVOR) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you ever feel that you are going to act on your thoughts of suicide, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital to be safe.
Another option can be to seek mental health services in your area. It can help to speak with someone who is trained in how to best deal with what you are experiencing, give you some ideas on how to cope and choose alternatives to suicide. You can search for mental health providers in your area at (http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/). You may also reach out to Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (212-222-2800) or (www.aglp.org) to find a mental health professional who specializes in LGBTQ issues.
In reference to your difficulty deciding when and how to tell your parents about being Bisexual, that is something that you should do when it feels right for you. Some important questions to ask yourself may be, "Are you worried if you told your family that you'd be unsafe physically or emotionally?" "Does it feel like you are keeping a part of yourself from others?" "Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying aout their response?" If you worry that your parents' reaction to your coming out may be unsafe for you, it is important to protect your safety first. Come up with multiple scenarios--it may help to discuss with someone you trust and who you have come out to already--maybe a close friend or a teacher or adult you trust. They may have some other ideas of how to approach your parents. While those are the negative possibilities of coming out, it may be easier for you. Some people may be comfortable having a blunt conversation about their sexuality, while others may ease into the discussion by talking about an actor or person in a book to gauge the reaction to their coming out. I would encourage you to reference the Human Rights Campaign's "Resource Guide to Coming Out" (http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf) and "Coming Out to Your Paarents: Questions to Think About" (http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions). They may provide some insight into how you choose to come out and to plan what way is most comfortable for you.
As always, know that you can connect with other LGBTQ youth on TrevorSpace. It may be helpful to speak with others who have had similar struggles with coming out. Remember you are not alone. You are strong. You are cared about.
All the best,
The Trevor Project