I’m not one to ask for help for my personal problems. I always keep a smile on my face for those around me as much as I can. Smiling and being energetic is always the personality I show to my family and everyone I encounter. Most people wouldn’t believe all of the problems I have buried beneath the surface. So here is my story to you in hope of any encouragement or anything that can help.
Inside, I have been depressed for a very long time. It’s gotten especially worse from Middle to High school. I may have had a few people to hang out with but I never had anyone close enough to share my feelings with and I have massive difficulty talking to my parents about anything. I feel like I have missed out on many opportunities to do something with my life but I rejected those opportunities to avoid any extra stress that may occur. School work on it’s own is very stressful and I’m starting to notice especially now in my junior year that my effort is declining. Everything is a challenge and depression has sucked out all of my interests dry.
Socially, I can talk to people, but I lack vastly in the amount of trust I have in others. It may be due to the fact that my parents keep telling me not to trust others but it kills me how I don’t have any friends. I’m a very lonely person and it confuses my parents of why I don’t have any friends but I always tell them that it doesn’t bother me. The main problem I have with making good friends is the fact that I don’t know who I can trust with my feelings. I’m afraid of being hurt because I already feel hurt enough inside so I tend to stray away from anyone who asks if they can stay in contact with me. This is why I feel extremely lonely and no one comes over because I never open myself to others like I should.
In school, people think I’m strange due to how I may act on occasion. I don’t like it when people make fun of me for how I act and the way they mock me and it really brings me down. Other people don’t seem to care and how everyone else acts doesn’t signal any interest from me to befriend them. I can’t seem to relate to anyone and make me feel even worse.
Besides depression, my worst issue is knowing that I’m gay and that I generally deviate from almost anyone I meet. I found out that I was gay during 9th grade. I’ve never had any relationships with anyone of either sex or any intimate encounters. What somewhat confuses me about my sexuality is that I have a strong emotional and mental attraction towards males, yet I have a stronger physical attraction to females. I know I’m gay because I very much hope and wish to have a long term relationship with a male. What deviates me is that I have desires to cross-dress although I never have. I’m Agnostic which I fear of disclosing to many due to the fact that the majority of everyone around me is religious and may cause many disagreements. All of these differences I either hide or deny because of the fear of judgment from others.
I came out of the closet to my parents and sister when I was 15. My dad was disappointed and my mom and sister just don’t seem to take me seriously. Now they seem like they have forgotten as they never mention it anymore and my dad keeps saying that he wants me to get a girlfriend. There is so much pressure from within that I feel like I’ll combust if I can’t find anyone to talk to about this. All of this is just a small fragment of how I feel about the problems I have. I would go in so much more depth if I only had a close person to talk with. I just tell you this story because I want to know if there is anything that can help. I’m so tired and drained from faking the pain. Wish there was a way to end all of this.
In Need of Help
Letter submitted by:
Thank you so much for writing to Ask Trevor. You sound like you are going through a rough time, and it takes a lot of bravery to recognize that and reach out for help. It’s great that you are able to keep a smile on your face, but there’s nothing wrong with letting the smile fall sometimes and seeking help.
Sexual orientation is very personal. Even within identities, no two people are the same. You mentioned that you identify as a gay male, but feel sexual attraction to females. Sexual orientation is a spectrum, and there is nothing wrong with being a gay male who feels sexually attracted to females. It is up to you what label, if any, you use to describe your sexual orientation, and there is no right or wrong way to be gay. Just be you. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with cross-dressing, and the desire to cross-dress is not necessarily related to your sexual orientation. People, both gay and straight, cross-dress for a variety of reasons. For more advice about identity issues, you can check out PFLAG’s brochure for LGBT youth at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Be_Yourself.pdf.
I’m sorry that you are feeling depressed. If you ever need someone to talk to, you can reach out to us at the Trevor Project by calling the Trevor Lifeline. The number for the lifeline is 1-866-4-U-Trevor, and someone will answer your call 24/7. Depression can be very painful and can make you feel isolated, which you indicated you were feeling. At http://us.reachout.com/ you can find facts about depression by clicking on “Depression” under the tab labeled “The Facts.” Sometimes depression can get so bad that a person will consider ending his life. If your depression begins to reach this level, please contact the Trevor Lifeline or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can find more information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Also, there is treatment for depression including medication and/or therapy. If you can talk to a mental health professional such as a social worker or psychologist, they may be able to help you. Even if you don’t have the money to pay for help, some mental health professionals take patients pro bono, or your school district may have a school psychologist or social worker on staff that you can speak with. You can find a mental health professional near you by looking on http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/MHTreatmentLocator/faces/quickSearch.jspx. You can also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at http://www.aglp.org/ for help finding someone in your area to talk to.
That’s rough that you are having trouble connecting with your peers at school. You said that your peers mock you. You have the right to feel safe and respected at school, and your peers do not have the right to bully you. I know you have a difficult time trusting people, but if there is any adult at your school, or at home that you feel comfortable with you should let that person know what is going on. It is your teachers’ and principal’s job to make you feel safe at school, so if you are comfortable doing so, you could bring the issue to their attention. In addition, there are a number of organizations that work with schools to address homophobia and bullying. For programming ideas, you can go to http://www.glsen.org/.
You mentioned feeling lonely and like you don’t have anyone that you trust to speak with. Even if you aren’t feeling depressed or suicidal, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline to talk about whatever is on your mind with someone who cares. Again, the number for the lifeline is 1-866-4-U-Trevor, and someone will answer your call 24/7. If you are more comfortable with chatting online, you can chat with the Trevor Project through Trevor Chat, an instant messaging service. To sign on to Trevor Chat and learn more, you can go to: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat. Even if you are in a place where it is hard to find people you like and trust, you may be able to find a support network online. You can check out TrevorSpace at http://www.trevorspace.org/. TrevorSpace is a social networking site for LGBTQ youth and allies. TrevorSpace could be a good place for you to find peers who are going through things that are similar to what you are dealing with. If you are interested in finding people you can relate to in your community, there may be LGBT groups in your area. Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a national organization made up of LGBT people and their allies. If you go to http://community.pflag.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=803, you can locate the chapter that is closest to you. Finally, you mentioned that you are a junior in high school. At http://www.gsanetwork.org/resources you can find advice on starting a gay straight alliance at your school. Many colleges have LGBT centers and student groups. If there are any local colleges, they may have events you can attend or resources you can take advantage of.
Don’t forget you can always contact the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR anytime you need someone to speak to.
The Trevor Project