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I have a best friend that I have known since the beginning of 6th grade. We are very close and sometimes we are inseparable. We even hold hands sometimes. We’re always hugging and sitting next to each other when ever we can. But since this has been going on for a while, I think I like her. I’ve fantasized about us being a couple and it’s kind of scaring me. She’s straight by the way. Does this make me bisexual or just questioning? Is it bad that I am having these feelings at the age of 11? If I am bi, how will she most likely take it and how would my family take it (they aren’t very religious)? Thanks (please answer)
Give yourself credit for writing to the Trevor Project. It is not always easy to ask questions about feelings, but I can tell by your letter that even at 11 years old, you are a smart and confident girl. We are always here for you because we care about you. If it anytime you would like to speak to someone about what your feelings about your friend, please do not hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR.
Even though you are only 11, what you are feeling is completely natural and normal. It is great to have a friend that you are so close with and your feelings are natural and normal. People develop feelings at all different ages and this is okay. None of the feelings you are having are bad. It is understandable that your feelings may cause some confusion. What is important to know is that questioning sexual orientation and is very natural and that being LGBT is natural and normal as well. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). While many people are concerned with “fitting into a box” and labeling themselves, you do not need to label yourself now, or ever. What is most important is that you are happy and safe. Attractions and feelings can always change and developing feelings for someone is not a bad thing.
I will give you some resources that may be if some help to you:
On http://www.bisexual.org you’ll find a lot of helpful information on bisexuality. If you click on resources, then bisexuality-general information, then “Bisexuality 101 from PFLAG” you can find information that may help. Remember, there is no rush to figuring all your feelings out now. Sometimes we all need someone to talk to and talking to a trusted adult about your feelings may help you understand them better. Remember you can always call the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR.
In your letter you ask how your friend and family will react to the feelings you are having. There is no way to know how people will react to what you tell them because everyone is different. What is most important is that if you do talk to them you are comfortable and safe in doing so. Talking to friends and family is a completely personal decision. If you do talk about your feelings, your family and/or friends may have many questions about your feelings 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/friend 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. New York has many chapters!
Keep being strong. We are always here for you.