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I am afraid of coming out to my friends and family.

Question:

Dear Trevor,
I am having a hard time understanding my gender. I am, biologically at least, a female, but ever since I can remember I thought nothing of it. Around the time I began to look ‘female’ and needed to wear bras, my friends, who were all male, began treating me differently and I didn’t understand. I didn’t know there was a difference between male and female until about a year later when we got educated in a sex ed of sorts. That was 6 years ago.
I have been struggling in school thinking about this. Trying to figure out who I am is very stressful, and I think about it nearly all day. My family is very accepting of all sexual orientations and transgendered people, but I am still terrified of what they will think.
I am also frightened by what my friends will think of me. My best friend is perfectly fine with all orientations, but not transgender (I apologize for all incorrect terms, I am still learning them and hope that I will be able to soon).
My other good friend thinks that bisexuals our age do it for attention, which may be true in some cases, (‘heyy my name is ___ im a bisexual but i would never have sex with a girl!! eew!!’ this also bothers me, so I agree in some cases.) but not all. I do not exactly feel that I am a bisexual though; I feel more like a pansexual which all of my friends think is ridiculous.
I love my friends, but I fear I will lose them if I ever decide to come out as either a transgender or another orientation.
In short, I feel neutral with my gender, leaning towards male if anything, and pansexual. I am afraid of coming out to my friends and family. I would appreciate any input anyone could give me on it.

With love,
A

Submitted by

Answer:

Dear A -

Thank you for writing.  As one explores their gender identity and sexual orientation, it can sometimes be difficult and confusing.  What you are feeling is completely natural and normal and many others have similar feelings.  Whether you are male or female, gay, straight or bisexual, you are important as a person and will eventually settle into what is normal for you.  Deciding whether to come out to your friends and family is difficult as well.  Being “terrified” of reactions is reasonable, especially when you have questions still for yourself.  You have seen reactions from your friends to ”bisexual”  that make you question what their reaction might be to you.  There is no rush to come out to your friends and family, with the most important thing being you feeling comfortable and safe.   

You will figure all of this out for yourself in your own time, but please don’t be afraid to talk with a teacher, counselor or family member you trust to support you as you continue to think about it.  Perhaps that can help you to concentrate more on school if you feel less alone with what is on your mind.  A resource you might find helpful as you try to understand your secual orientation and gender identity is PFLAG’s (Parents, Families & Friends Of Lesbians & Gays) ‘Be Yourself: Questions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth’ at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf.  We also recommend resources that may help with your questions about coming out including, the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.  It seems like you’ve been trying to learn more and truly, I think knowledge can be one of the most helpful things for you in your journey.

You are not in this alone.  Please reach out to Trevor anytime through The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace. We are always here for you.

Sincerely,

The Trevor Project