Okay, so here’s my letter. I’m just so lost, and I don’t even know what or who I am. When I look at myself in the mirror, I look at myself thinking who am I inside? I wish I was myself on the outside to. I hate that I don’t know the answer to my question. I hate it. I wish I could talk to someone about it. But, for a reason I’m so scared to lose my best friend, my mom. She is the only one who was always there for me no matter what. I’m scared to be myself around my own family. When it comes to Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else, I feel so myself when I talk to others that I’m a lesbian, and I wish I could write that on my wall on Facebook, but I have too much family on there, and my mom is my friend on there and I have followers on my Instagram who are family. I just wish there could understand that I try so hard to be myself and to be a lesbian but I know it’s wrong, I try so hard to my ways, but nothing will work. I mean nothing, I tried, nothing is working, I still find my back to some girl I talk to. But, I’m just so lost. This past summer, my mom found out that I was dating a girl on Facebook and my aunt hacked my Facebook. My mom freaked out, she yelled at me on the phone for ten whole minutes. At that moment, I didn’t know what to do. But, I wonder what will happen if I do come out again. I wish I could see what my mom will think of me when I’m lesbian. I wonder if she’ll be okay with it, or will she hate me? Will she kick me out of the house? What is going to happen? What am I going to do? I need an answer or help. Please! I need help! This is killing me on the inside.
Letter submitted by:
Dear Friend: I’m really glad you decided to write. It sounds like you are feeling stressed and panicked. It’s clear that you’re afraid of what your mom and family will say or think if you decided to come out to them. But it also sounds like you are comfortable with the people in your life who make you feel very good about yourself. And you are also thoughtful and smart enough to ask for help when you need it. You don’t sound lost. You sound like a loving, thoughtful, strong person who’s trying to make sense of things.You wrote that you feel like it doesn’t work to be yourself and to be lesbian. You should know that questioning sexual orientation is very natural and that being LGBT is natural and normal. Coming out is your own decision to make, and what’s most important is that you are safe and comfortable. There are plenty of good things about coming out. It can let people in your life know about an important part of your life, it can help you to feel less alone, meet new friends and possibly meet people to date. In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about your family finding out? Are you worried that if you told them, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you decided to tell your mom and she did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
If you decide to come out, your mom and other relatives may have many questions about your sexuality and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your family members to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
When people decide to come out, some people are fine just saying their sexuality while others find it better to ease into the discussion by first talking about a LGBT actor or character in a movie, book or television show and see how the people in their life react. You might find it helpful to write out and rehearse things you might say. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.
Since you’re so active on Facebook and Instagram, another great resource for you might be TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org). It’s 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 and challenges that you’re having about expressing your sexuality, what it means, and what it means to you. And by the way, you’re right to be concerned about your online profiles and their security. No matter what, you have every right to control your own online profiles. No one, including family, has the right to log into your accounts without clear permission from you.
Finally, if you’re feeling confused, upset or afraid, please don’t hesitate to call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) if you want to talk things through. It can only help. And I hope you will give TrevorSpace a try. Please know that we are always here for you.