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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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comin out of the closet

Question:

i found out i was bisexual about 5 years ago but about 7 years ago i started having feelings for girls that i didn’t understand.after about a year of it i looked it up online, i found out that i also liked guys so i also looked that up as well. that’s when i found out that the answer that i was looking for was that i was bisexual. i couldn’t believe it but after a year i finally figured that it was right because it happened more often that i got feelings for girls but also boys. i consulted the bible and it said we marry the opposite sex. Ive been christian since i was 2 years old,and i always believed and held what it says close to my heart but i cant fight it anymore. my parents don’t believe in gay relationships so Ive struggled to tell them. i am scared what they will say and i don’t know how to say it. WHAT DO I DO?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Hi Jamie!

Firstly I would like to thank you for reaching out to the Trevor Project. It takes courage to ask for help in a difficult situation. I want to start by assuring you that you are not alone, even though it may feel that way. You have taken a huge step in identifying your sexuality, not always an easy task, and it can often be confusing when faced with negative religious-based attacks on the LGBTQ community. The Bible may seem to denounce same-sex relationships, and it is certainly used often enough as a justification for discrimination by many politicians, but there are many churches that are accepting of all humans regardless of their sexual orientation. There is also much debate surrounding those Bible passages that target homosexuality. For a quick reference to this, visit http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm, a liberal website that focuses on showing a different side to the Bible. I also encourage you to read this short book, which you can see in a pdf at http://www.soulforce.org/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf by the Rev. Dr. Mel White. It gives an informed analysis of the Bible and what it does and does not say about homosexuality. It is possible to be gay, or bisexual, and still be religious. The resource at http://www.welcomingresources.org is devoted to this concept, providing religious and faith based resources for the LGBTQ community. Perhaps by examining these sources you can gain an expanded view on religion as it pertains to sexuality than that which is readily espoused by conservative groups. Being gay, bisexual, straight, or anything in between should have no bearing on your spiritual beliefs. Religious is deeply personal and only you can determine your relationship with God, no one else has any right to tell you that you are wrong based on their interpretation of the Bible. After all, love is never a bad thing.

That being said, it is not always the reality one must live with and it seems as if you are afraid your parents will not be accepting. The concerns you have with coming out to your parents is a struggle shared by many people. There is no right or wrong way to come out to anyone but there are some things you should be aware of while making this decision. Namely, that your personal safety will be assured. If you were to come out, would you be physically and mentally safe? If your parents react poorly do you have a back up plan such as making arrangements with friends or other family members who you could stay with if needed? It is not uncommon for some people choose to wait until they are in college or living away from home before they come out, yet there are others who are determined to come out regardless of the consequences. The decision to come out is an intimately personal one, so take your time and make sure you’re prepared and ready. No one can ever truly predict how someone will react in a situation but if you decided that you want to come out to your parents there are many resources available that can help them and you better understand the LGBTQ world. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf and an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions may be very helpful in your situation. Perhaps writing your thoughts down, like in a letter to your parents, will help you process what you want to day to them. Also, if you do receive a negative reaction from your parents you can consult http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Homophobic-Parents for some advice. I sincerely hope that, if you do decide to speak with them, that it goes well and they will be nothing but supportive and encouraging of you. A parents only job is to love their child unconditionally, no matter what. Your job is to be yourself. As this is not, unfortunately, always how the real world works I can only encourage you to be prepared for any reaction.

There is an organization that may be beneficial for your parents called PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). It’s an organization made up mostly of parents which supports LGBTQ people. They also work to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. There is an abundance of information location at their website at http://www.pflag.org that may also be useful for you and your parents.

I encourage you to also check out this brochure from advocates for youth, “I may be bisexual, now what?” http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=724&Itemid=177. It may help you understand your sexuality better and answer some questions you may have. It would probably also be helpful for you to reach out to peers in similar situations, which you can find at TrevorSpace, a secure social network for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24. I told you that you are not alone but this site can help prove that to you!

You can also contact us at TrevorChat (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat) and, as always, if you ever feel like you need to speak with someone please do not hesitate in calling the Trevor help line at 1-866-488-7386. We are always here for you if you need us.

Best wishes!

Trevor

Trevor Staff