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.

If you are in immediate crisis, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. You are not alone.

You can also access TrevorChat, our crisis chat service, at: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now available 7 days a week from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Pacific / 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Your letters are very important to us and all letters will be reviewed and responded to in the near future.

Please note: If you reside outside the United States and you are currently in crisis or suicidal, you will not be able to access The Trevor Lifeline or TrevorChat. If you are outside of the U.S. and need to talk to someone immediately, please see the following link to hotlines outside the United States: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html. If you are suicidal, please seek help at the nearest emergency room.

I don’t know what to do

Question:

I have always had different feelings toward girls than guys and I’m pretty sure that I’m lesbian. I have no problem with that its just I think my family and friends might. I go to a school that usually throws the word “fag” around and doesn’t care. There was one kid that was openly gay at my school but now he is in high school and I never really talked to him. I keep all my emotions bottled up inside and at school I’m always making jokes and making people laugh but I hate having to go to school and really hate having to present stuff, read out loud, or get asked any questions. The only reason I sometimes look forward to school is to see this girl I like even though I’m shy around her. At home I get mad at my mom all the time even for the littlest things and I hate myself for that. I don’t really know what to do anymore so that’s why I’m writing this.

 

Answer:

 

Hi Jenna-

Thank you very much for writing into the Trevor Project! We are sorry to hear that you live and go to school in what sounds like a non-supportive environment for LGBTQ people and that this is taking a toll on you. :( Keeping your emotions bottled up certainly isn’t healthy, so let’s talk about fixing that!

Its great that you have explored your feelings about your sexuality and are brave enough to define yourself as a lesbian. However, now that you have done this, it seems like you want to be able to be yourself and not have to hide this. While coming out might solve this, you also need to make sure that you are in a safe environment to do so.

If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe, both at home and at school.

Here are some other resources that might help you through the coming out process and deciding when is the right time to do it:

–This is a new addition to our website: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/section/YOU

–Some people are fine 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 and see how the people in their life react. You might find it helpful to write out and rehearse things you might say. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.

–Your family and/or friends may have many questions about your sexuality/gender identity 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/gender identity. 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/friends 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. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/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.

We hope that this helps you in un-bottling your emotions and deciding how to (and when is) best to come out! Also, please know that if you are ever feeling suicidal or are thinking about harming yourself, you can call us 24/7 at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR. Thanks again for writing into us!

-Trevor Staff