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Confusion And Guilt

Question:

Hello my name is Rachel.
I have been identifying as lesbian for about a year. Im confident of that, I know I’m attracted to women. Here’s my issue: I go to a religious school where a boy just asked me out. He the nicest person ever a perfect gentlemen and I love being around him. I obviously said yes and now we are dating. It’s been a week and 3 people have already told him I’m gay. He has asked me about it over facebook, and I have denied it. Well of course I am, and I am not physically attracted to him, but I do like him for his personality, and even though it doesn’t sound right saying that I have a “boyfriend”, I like him. Soo…here’s my question: should I tell him the truth and ask to atleast be friends, or say that I’m bi and stay with him? Even tho I would never do anything…sexual with him.

 

Answer:

 

Hi Rachel,

Thanks so much for writing to us, it takes courage to reach out to someone for help. It sounds like you are in a predicament that is causing some stress and anxiety in your life right now. I can only imagine what it must be like for you to know how you feel inside but not be able to say it out loud to someone who has romantic feelings for you. You might be feeling a little worried or scared that you might hurt your friend’s feelings too.

You asked whether or not you should tell this young man the truth or not. It sounds like you are confident about identifying as a lesbian woman, which is awesome. Your sexual identity/orientation is much more than just what you are physically attracted to; it’s also what you are mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually attracted to in a person, whatever their gender may be. It sounds like you’re not attracted to this guy on any of those levels, and that’s perfectly okay. It may be difficult for you to tell this guy about your sexual orientation, but know that there is no strict time table to do so; you are in control as to when and how you tell him, as long as you feel both safe and comfortable doing it. Being honest, true, and open about who you are can be a beautiful and liberating thing, something that this guy may appreciate. And it sounds like you really enjoy his great personality and chivalry, you can highlight those traits too.
Here are two resources that might help with your question. The first is an article from PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) about understanding your sexual orientation: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf

The second is from the Human Rights Campaign; it’s an article to help with the coming out process: http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf

I hope these resources help. Remember, how you feel is how you feel, and telling someone something special about yourself is on your time, not theirs. If you ever have more questions, please feel free to write to us again.

You are loved,
The Trevor Team