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Ask Trevor is an online, non-time sensitive question and answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. Browse the published letters or submit your own letter.

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am i bi/gay?

Question:

I have been thinking about my sexuality a lot lately which isn’t something that i have really questioned in the past. my parents are very liberal so i know that they would be OK with me being gay but i’m really not sure if i am. i have recently developed a crush on a friend who i know is bisexual. i would really like to act on it but i don’t know if that means i’m gay. i haven’t had a crush on a girl before so i’m not sure what this means. i’m worried that if i act on it and then realize i don’t like girls it will be the most awkward thing ever. also i don’t think she thinks of me in the same way because she always talks about this other girl that she has a crush on. i have only told one friend about these feelings but she recently moved away and i haven’t talked to her about it in a while. i’m really starting to feel anxious about these feelings. i’m so confused and i really just want to know if this means i’m bisexual or gay.
-EMMA

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Trevor Staff

Dear Emma,

Thanks for writing to us about questioning whether you are gay or bisexual. Most teenagers question who they are and to whom they’re attracted—so you’re in the right place when it comes to what you’re going through. Having a crush on a friend happens to most everyone, and it’s okay to have these feelings towards your friends—regardless of whether you identify as bisexual, gay, or even straight. Even people who identify as mostly straight question, from time to time, their relationships with their friends. This might mean that you’re sexually attracted to your friends—or it might just mean that you’re close friends.

The decision to tell your friends or your family members is highly personal and depends a great deal on your individual circumstances. In some cases, telling your friend that you’re romantically attracted to them may come as no surprise. She or he may already know! Other times, telling your friend might cause a great deal of problems for you and the friend. Ask yourself if this is a chance that you’re willing to take. If your friend already likely knows that you’re crushing on him or her, it may be a non-issue. Perhaps he or she is crushing on you, too.

The same goes for telling your family. Regardless of whether your family is progressive or not, telling them might be a huge surprise and might cause a great deal up upset in your life. In other cases, coming out to your family may mean you are simply confirming what they already know. Your loved ones might be glad that you’re comfortable to share this with them. They also might rather that you would have not told them. Each family is different.

Before you decide to tell your friends or family, think about what you might stand to lose. Some young people wait to come out because their parents are religious or likely to withdraw financial support from them. These young people might be starting college next year, and worry that they will not be able to afford college on their own. It sounds like your family is progressive and this might not be an issue. Others decide to wait because they don’t want to cause any unnecessary upset or upheaval in their families if they’re still questioning. Questioning is cool, but sometimes it’s best to leave the discussions of questioning to people that you trust who are not likely to overreact.

If you decide that now is not the right time to tell your family or to your friend, find others that you can trust. They can be an outlet for you as you explore your feelings. You might look for a Gay Student Alliance at your school; if they do not exist, you might find a trusted adult through the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) or Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). You can always call the Ask Trevor hotline at 1-866-488-7386 if you need someone to talk with more immediately.

Know that questioning who you are and having crushes on friends is something that all teenagers go through. You’re totally normal. We wish you the best as you make your decision.

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