Welcome to Ask Trevor

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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Coming out

Question:

Hi I’m a 16 year old girl and I’m either bisexual or lesbian, although I’m not entirely sure which. I need help on how to come out. I’m out to 5 people as bi, but other than that as far I know everyone thinks I’m straight. I really don’t fit the stereotype for a woman that likes women as the way I dress and act is quite feminine, and although I know that you can’t tell just by looking at someone what they are, I also know that other people don’t realise this so I know for a fact that I’ll have to come out to everyone I know and everyone I meet in the future as there’s no way they’ll guess without me telling them. How do you tell someone you’ve just met that you’re gay (or bi), I mean I wouldn’t just walk up to them and say “Hi, I’m Merryn and I’m a lesbian!”.

More importantly though, I need to come out to the people I know already. If I do turn out to be a lesbian then coming out to my mum will be easy as we have quite an open relationship and she definitely has no homophobic views. My stepdad isn’t really a big influence in my life so he doesn’t really need to know, but if I said it was ok my mum would tell him and I know he would be fine about it too. However if I’m bi then it’s going to be slightly trickier. I really doubt that either of them has any problem with bisexuality, but it’s just going to be a bit difficult because even though we mention homosexuality quite a lot, the idea of someone being bi has never come up in any of our conversations so I’d feel like I was introducing a whole new idea to her, if that makes sense.

Coming out to my (real) dad will be harder whatever I am, because he’s quite protective of me so the idea of me in a relationship with anyone will be a touchy subject. Also as my parents aren’t together I don’t often see my dad, and when I do my younger sister is always around, and although she’s one of the people I’m out to and is completely fine with it she would probably try and get involved in the conversation, which wouldn’t be a good idea, so it’s going to be very hard to find the right moment to come out to him.

Another person who I’m struggling with is one of my close friends. I don’t have any feelings for her in that way, but I care about her a lot and I would literally feel lost and empty without our friendship. The thing is, I feel like me being gay or bisexual would change our friendship. Discussing boys is kind of a big part of our friendship so if it turns out I am gay then this would be a drastic change. Also we refer to eachother and other girls as being “hot” on a regular basis when they look nice or whatever, and even though she isn’t homophobic I feel like coming out and carrying on doing this might weird her out. I really love her and I need her friendship in my life, but me liking girls might change the way we are together, and I love how close we are and would never want to change it!

I apologize for the length of this message, but please could you help me out on all this? Thanks, and bye.

Answer:

Hi!

I am so glad you have contacted us to share your hesitations. First, I want you to know that you are a very unique, smart and brave person and because of these virtues the process of getting out is gonna be easier. Wondering about who we are is inherent to the human being, specially when we are growing up and starting to live. It is a wonderful period of discovery and you should enjoy it and take your time to figure out. There is not rush my friend. Don´t pay attention to the labels, as I said you are unique and trying to categorize your feelings and preferences can be very reductionist. I totally understand that you want to share these new feelings with your loved ones and I am sure they are going to feel very fortunate that you trust on them. You don´t need to have a very clear idea about your sexual orientation, just talk about how you feel of the same way that you did in your letter, it is very understandable the way you describe it. Also, you don´t have to spread the news and tell everybody, take your time. Start with your closer friends and relatives. Believe me, they will be very glad that you allow them to be part of this new facet of your life. Your parents will understand you and your best friend will know how to adapt. You will find new ways of communication. I am not concerned about you, you are very intelligent and confident, you know how to listen yourself. I am totally sure that you will find the way to come out

I encourage you to participate in Trevor space, at www.trevorspace.org, the social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies. You can use TrevorSpace to connect with other young people throughout the country and share your concerns and the questions that you’re having about your sexuality.
Also you could check this website: www.bisexual.org , where you’ll find a lot of helpful information on bisexuality.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!

Trevor