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Im a 16 year old girl and I dont know who I am. I have experienced feelings of affection towards my friends, wondering what would it be like to have a girlfriend, or how much would my life change ?
But as much as I wonder what it woul be like, Im too scared to find out. I dont want to be gay. I dont want to have relationships with a girl. Dont get me wrong, Im all for same-sex relationships Im just really struggling with the concept of being labelled myself. My dad is strongly against gay marriage, so that makes things a bit difficult for me. I told a close friend about my struggles and my confusion, and she supported me. But then somehow the school found out and I was getting bullied. I get called names, get disgusting looks, get pushed into lockers. I get abusive messages over the internet. People at school say little comments here and there and they dont know that those little things hurt me. Ive had relationships with guys before, and it was fun. But I was never satisfied, so I was never truly happy. This whole confusion about not knowing who I am has really affected me in a negative way. I feel so alone, like I cant turn to my friends, my teachers or even my parents. I find this to be an embarrassing subject, so I just dont talk. I dont know how to deal with all these emotions. I dont eat, I dont sleep, and I take all these feelings of anger out on myself. I have tried to kill myself many times before and have obviously failed. But now I am really starting to get desperate.
I know I am only young, but I cant living the life I am now, because Im not living.
I dont know what to do anymore, and I am so alone right now. I feel like no one can understand me, that no one gets where Im coming from.
I dont want to be labelled a ‘Lesbian’. I hate that word and all the stigma attached to it. I dont want a label, I just want to be me.
I appreciate any help given, please.
I’m really glad you had the courage to write to us at The Trevor Project. Sharing these problems is really important and I know how hard it was to do.
First thing I want to say to you Georgia, is you are not alone, you are not a label, and you are perfect and beautiful and awesome just the way you are. I know you feel really sad right now, but that is because the people around you are making you feel that way.
Accepting who we are can be very difficult. It’s a journey of stages. Right now for you it seems that accepting certain feelings you are having is proving really hard. And it’s really not surprising when you are surrounded by messages from the world around you particularly at school with fellow students telling you that we you are in some way wrong or bad or unnatural. It’s also no wonder you share some of those feelings. You have to know that these feelings of confusion, although scary, are completely natural and normal. Questioning your sexual identity is natural and normal and being a lesbian is natural and normal. You are perfect just the way you are Georgia. So no one ever has the right to bully you or make you feel bad about yourself or who you are. There are a ton of people and organizations that are here to help you deal with all these feelings and confusion. You are not alone.
From what you say in your letter that you may be pretty depressed right now. When you’re depressed, it can be very painful to feel and can make you isolate from your friends and family, cause you to be tired all the time and take away your motivation to do things, make you not enjoy the things you usually like to do, make you sleep and eat much less or much more than usual, and make you see everything in your life in a negative way. Sometimes the depression can get so bad it can make a person think of ending their life. Sometimes people think about ending their life when they’re feeling very depressed, feel hopeless that things will get better and helpless to make things better in their life. On www.us.reachout.com you’ll find facts about depression by clicking on ‘struggles with feelings.
Please know that there is treatment for depression and suicide including medication and/or therapy. It can help to talk with a mental health professional, such as a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist about what you’re feeling and going through including your thoughts of wanting to die and FILL IN SPECIFIC DIFFICULTIES THEY’RE EXPERIENCING in order to get the correct treatment to help you to feel better and to help you see choices and options you may not be aware that you have. On www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm you can learn more about depression and its treatment. On http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/ you can search for mental health services in your area. You could also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at www.aglp.org for help in finding someone in your area for you to talk and work with.
Try to find a close friend or even a teacher or other trusted adult that you can talk to about how you feel. You don’t have to bear all this alone. You have the right to feel safe at school and no one has the right to bully you or make you feel bad about yourself. There are people and organizations that are here to help you. You’ve already taken the first and hardest step.
Good luck Georgia
The Trevor Project