All of this questioning started about a year ago when I had an unexpected encounter with a gay boy. I never even thought about possibly liking guys, it just never crossed my mind. After all, that´s not how it´s supposed to be+ I´m supposed to get married, have kids, carry on the family name, live my life the way my parents intended to which is why I denied every little bit of attraction that I might have towards guys. But I can´t do it anymore. I don´t know what to do. I want to explore this side of myself, because I can´t live like this anymore, but then again I´m afraid of what I might find out. I just don´t know anymore. I can´t be gay, my father would kill me. I don´t even want it myself. But what if I am? Isn't it wrong to live a lie? But they say it's also wrong to be with a man. I feel so trapped. Either way, it's wrong. Either way, I'd be bad. I don't know what to do with all this. Please help me :( I can't figure this out on my own. No one understands me. I don't even understand me. I just wish it wouldn't be this God damn difficult! :(
I'm sorry my question isn't clear. I guess I just want someone to tell me what I should do because I'm stuck on this myself.
Thanks for reaching out to The Trevor Project with your questions. You are very brave for being so honest about what’s on your mind and the issues that trouble you. Your confusion and fear at being pulled in different directions by what you feel on one hand and what you think your family wants you to be on the other, are understandable.
Sexual Orientation involves a whole range of romantic feelings and emotions as well as sexual attraction towards people of the same gender (lesbian & gay), opposite gender (straight) or both genders (bisexual). Many people in fact think of human sexual orientation as a spectrum. Questioning your sexual orientation and having a wide range of feelings and emotions is a part of growing up. We all have different experiences as we explore ourselves and discover who we are and what we like. Your confusion is completely understandable. Take your time to discover who you are and don’t feel rushed by family or peer pressure to be someone who you are not. Being someone you are not is generally a source of pain and of feeling trapped, which you are experiencing right now. At the same time don’t blame or hate yourself for going through the natural process of self-discovery. Be patient and introspective and you will reach the point where you are comfortable in your own skin. What did it feel like to be a boy versus a girl? Do you feel the same way or is one more powerful and comfortable than the other? Give the process time. Give yourself the chance to try different experiences. Remember you can be true to yourself without coming out.
I do however understand your fear for how your family might react. Many LGBTQ youth explore their sexuality and their feelings when they are financially independent or away at college. If you feel exploring who you are will put your safety in peril, maybe you should wait. While I know this is frustrating I hope you keep your safety as the highest consideration before you make any decisions on what to do next. I encourage you to check out the organization called PFLAG - Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at www.pflag.org
. In navigating thorough this site you will find resources for coming out, how to deal with your family if you decide to come out as well as FAQ’s for family members who have to face the transition of a loved one coming out. If you do decide to come out and your parents are willing, there are several sections that provide support for families going through this phase. You can find a chapter closest to you if you feel that you could use the support of this organization. Reading through this site and reaching out for support may equip you with tools to help lead your family from homophobia to acceptance. Remember that you should discuss this with your family only if you feel safe and comfortable.
I also encourage you to join TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org) which is a safe online social networking site run by the Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13 to 24. As part of this supportive community, you will have the chance to reach out to other people who maybe going through similar family experiences as you and get ideas of how you can deal with your situation. It will also help you make friends and build a support system to help you through the days when you feel down.
Zach, questioning your feelings is a normal part of growing up. Be patient and true to yourself as you explore your feelings. You should also be proud of the courage you have for reaching out for help when you are in a tough situation and sharing your personal story. As you move forward keep your safety as the highest priority at all times. Please write back or call the Trevor lifeline at 866-488-7386 whenever you feel like you need to talk.
Take care of yourself and stay strong,