Ask Trevor

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!

If you are feeling suicidal, or need to talk to someone right away, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. It’s available 24/7, 365 days a year. You can also chat with a Trevor counselor at Trvr.org/Chat from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET.

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family help

Question:

Hi Trevor
I’ve been with my girlfriend for over a year now and things have not been easy. We are still in a relationship but my parents don’t know. My dad was okay with me being with my girlfriend until things started to go down hill in both of our life. My girlfriend tried to commit suicide, but thank god it didn’t work. My family thinks that she is no good in my life but I think otherwise. I love her and it’s really hard to see my life without her at this point. For so long, we have fought to be together and to this day we still are.

My mom doesn’t like that fact that I’m with any girl. My mom has messed up almost every relationship with a girl I’ve dated. One day, she said I could choose to stay with her or leave and I choose to stay. She called my girlfriend and told her that she wasn’t allowed to talk to me, but I always found some way to talk to her. I don’t know what to do to stay strong in my relationship. I know for sure I will never be able to tell my mom I’m still with my girlfriend but I need help telling my dad that I’m still with her. Also how do I not get so emotional when my family says stuff to put me down about my life style??

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Hi Ericka,

Thank you so much for writing. I know it’s not easy discussing personal issues, but it shows maturity and courage to reach out when you need it. Though this is a very difficult situation you’re in, but you clearly have a great deal of strength by persevering and maintaining a relationship with your girlfriend.

First, I want to say that it’s great that you have found someone you care deeply for and who makes you happy. And while I’m sorry your parents have been so hard on you, especially your mother, they cannot take that away that happiness you feel! That being said, my heart is with you and I sincerely wish I could take away the pain that you’re facing right now. You deserve better and words of support and love for who you are and how you feel.

With regards to how you can remain less emotional when your family talks negatively about your lifestyle and sexuality, remember that there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian. The way you feel and the love that you have for your girlfriend is entirely normal. Don’t let your happiness be dependent on their opinions about your sexuality and keep the power in your hands. Stay strong and positive because your parents cannot change the way you feel unless you let them. And even if they don’t come around to be entirely supportive, you won’t be under their thumbs forever. There will come a day when you will have you own place, a feeling of independence which provides some people a much happier and supportive life.

As far as advice with telling your father, that is a deeply personal decision that only you can make yourself, but I can offer some suggestions. Telling him that you are still in the relationship by emphasizing the positive elements she has brought to your life would set the stage for him to gain a perspective of her that you see. There is also a great organization called PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of LGBT individuals) that provides resources on their website (www.pflag.org) that not only offers further suggestions but also local groups that you and your dad can join if there is one in your area. The meetings might provide a forum for the two of you to talk with others who are experiencing the same life changes that you are experiencing and provide a good setting that might be a bit more comfortable for you to tell him of your relationship.

Thank you so much for reaching out to us; you have shown great courage and we are always here to support you.  You can contact us at TrevorChat (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat) from 1:00 PM -7:00 PM Pacific Time (4-10 Eastern) on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. You can also call the Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. And of course, you are also more than welcome to write to us again.

Love,

Trevor