Welcome to Ask Trevor

Welcome to Ask Trevor
Ask Trevor is an online, non-time sensitive question and answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. Browse the published letters or submit your own letter.

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Hope you are having a great summer!

I don`t know what I am.

Question:

I have always identified myself as straight, I’ve always LOVED & felt a great attraction for guys, but when I was in 7th grade & I developed a crush on one of my
best friends, who is a girl. At the moment I felt really scared, and I guess I still am, but then one of my gay best friends told me that it was ok, & that he always kind of saw it coming. But then, she left the school and I felt really bad, because I missed her so much. Although, months later I met this other girl, who is bisexual & we became friends, and when she finally asked me out, I said yes! I thought that being her girlfriend was the best way to find out if I was bi or not, & for the time that I was with her, I actually felt good, but then the kids at school found out, & began talking about us, & one of my “best friends” told me that it was wrong to feel that way with a person of the same sex, & so I ended up breaking my relationship with my first girlfriend EVER. Then later, I remember that I told everyone that I wasn’t bisexual. Although, the thing is that even after all this time that has passed by, I have been in 0 relationships, & even though I like guys, I keep looking at girls in a sexual/romantic way, & I’m still a bit confused on my feelings. I don’t know what to do, or what to think anymore, & I want to be a  100% sure, before I mention anything to my family, because I live with my dad, who although he doesn’t have anything against gays, I don’t know what his reaction would be like, & my grandmother who is very religious, & has always been very homophobic.

What do I do? Please help! :/

Letter submitted by: Destiny

Answer:

Dear Destiny,

Thank you for writing Trevor Project and sharing your story with us.  It takes a lot of courage to disclose something personal about yourself, so thank you.  Know that you are not alone in feeling confused about your sexuality. You will eventually reach a place of understanding after exploring your thoughts and feelings some more.  There is a great Q&A article that was published by The New York Times, “When Teenagers Question Their Sexuality (2009),” in which Psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of theTrevor Project responds to readers’ questions regarding their sexual orientation and coming out. You may find this article to be helpful in your path to self-discovery.  In the article Dr. Fishberger states: 

“In trying to understand sexual orientation, it can help a person to think about who he or she has crushes on and fantasizes about being with. A person doesn’t necessarily need to have a “full” sexual experience in order to understand his or her sexual orientation. The time to explore such issues varies from individual to individual.”

 Visit this link to read more of this article:

 http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/when-teenagers-question-their-sexuality/

 In trying to figure out whether or not to come out to your family/friends, it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions: Are you worried that if you told your family/friends, you would be unsafe physically or emotionally? Are you concerned that your parents might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell your parents and they kick you out, it is very important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and be taken care of financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living on their own and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation.

There are resources to assist people in coming out. Some people are fine with just saying their sexuality, while others find it better to ease into the discussion by first talking about a LGBT actor or character in a movie, book or television show to see how the people in their life react. PFLAG– Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is a great organization that is made up of mostly 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 or gender identity.  On PFLAG’s website at: http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2  click on “Get Support” then click “For Family & Friends,” there 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 or friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of your sexuality. 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.  If no chapter is near you or if your family members or friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you. There are no guarantees but this may help. Maybe, when you feel comfortable, you could share these resources with your family/friends.

You mentioned that your grandmother is very religious and may not be supportive of you coming out because of her religious beliefs, but please know that there are many LGBTQ people who practice and attend religious services. You can definitely be religious and bisexual at the same time. It might also help you to know that though some people, including certain religious leaders, may believe and teach that homosexuality is against the Bible and that you can’t be religious and be gay/bisexual, there are many religious leaders and members of religious communities who teach love, acceptance and equality for all of people and are supportive and accepting of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people. To learn about the Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for gay people, you might consider reading through the numerous guides on Soulforce’s “Resources” webpage at www.soulforce.org. There is also a great resource online called The Institute for Welcoming Resources at http://www.welcomingresources.org/. It is the most comprehensive and up-to-date website devoted to providing religious and faith based resources for the LGBTQ community.

You may also find it to be very helpful to speak to your peers or a trusted adult (such as a school counselor) who is accepting and supportive.  If there is no one you feel comfortable talking with, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, 24 hours 7 days a week.  Or to chat with other young people like yourself, please visit The Trevor Project’s social networking site, TrevorSpace at: www.TrevorSpace.org.  Please feel free to write back anytime with any more questions you may have. Good luck and take care, Destiny! 

Trevor Staff