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Ask Trevor is an online question and answer resource for young people who have questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity.

On September 1st, Ask Trevor will be transitioning to become a broader more effective resource for LGBTQ young people and their allies. This means we will no longer be accepting incoming letters starting on Tuesday, September 2nd. However, if you send us a letter before September 2nd, you will receive a response. Please note that your wait time may be longer than usual. In the meantime, please continue to browse through our extensive library of previously answered letters, and stay tuned for what’s coming next!

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Bisexual, whatyacallit

Question:

Hi

I have recently come to the conclusion that I am queer (bisexual if you want an exact label). I told my mum, who I am very close with, just a few weeks ago. She told me that I’m “jumping on the bandwagon”. She also thinks I can’t be bi. That I’m either straight, or gay. I’ve read a lot about how many people think that being bi is just a fad. But for me it’s not, this is how I truly feel right now. I’m only 17 so I know this could change in the future, that I might not always feel this way. Is is true that in the long run you can only be gay or straight? Is it true that for most people being bi is only a temporary thing until they discover if they’re one way or the other? Just after a little bit of advice :)

Thanks very much

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Let me commend you for your strength and fortitude not only in reaching out to us but also in being honest with yourself about the future direction and openness of your sexual identity. I assure you Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, and Bisexuality are ALL legitimate and very real expressions of sexual orientation regardless of what you may hear about it, good or bad.

People sometimes have a tendency to down, criticize, or challenge things that they see as different. Hence the “bi-phobia” expressed by your mother and others saying bisexuality is a fad or temporary. The silly notion that you MUST choose one way or the other likely comes from the fact that bisexual men and women eventually have long term relationships with either the same sex or opposite sex partners.

The important things for you to remember are 1) to be honest with yourself and your feelings and 2) to be sure that when you are ready to define your sexual identity and come out, that you do so safely and with the right support around you. You’re right – You are young and have a whole life ahead of you to figure things out. Think about who you are attracted to – do you tend to fantasize about either men or women? – and think about which gender you might see yourself in a long term relationship with. If it happens to be both sexes equally, your orientation could be bisexual. Regardless, if you choose to come out as gay or bisexual, remember your safety and make sure you have a support network and a plan should you come up against bullying or taunting by classmates or peers.

I hope that this helps a bit. You have a lifetime ahead of you to enjoy and love! As I stated before, you may want to consider reaching out to a trusted friend or adult to discuss these issues. Try counselors or a trusted teacher at school, your best friend or even a classmate whom you have heard talk positively about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender subjects or issues. Go to http://bisexual.org/ on the Internet for resources and more information. And don’t forget TrevorSpace, our social networking site, and TrevorChat, to meet and chat with others who might be in the same situation. If you feel the need to reach out immediately to discuss these feelings or if you end up in crisis, please call the TrevorLifeLine at 866-488-7386.

Stay strong! And we’re always here for you!

Trevor Staff