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I have a whole list of problems

Question:

I live in the Bible Belt so I definitely stand out. I have short hair and wear baggy clothes and kinda talk like a guy. I just moved schools and started dating this girl and now everyone found out and the ones who aren’t completely cool with it look at me weird. Like I took my girl to her practice today and I reached in my backseat to get my drink and this little eighth grader was like “oh my god they’re making out!!”


I live with my ex step aunt and her whole family has to know about me but they try to dress me like a girl and always ask me if I have a boyfriend and when they see me talking to one my guy friends they always say “ohhh is he your boyfriend” or something like that. My mom knows and she loves that I’m gay but I don’t live with her. I want my family to accept it and just be chill with it but they HATE gay people.


To add on to that, sometimes I feel kinda male and sometimes I feel less male. Never really super female. if that makes sense. I just wanna know what to do to make myself less strange. I don’t know how to handle anything.


Oh and also I need some really funny ways to come out of the closet.


Thanks for everything.

:)

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Harley,

I can appreciate you sharing your story with us. I would imagine many other people have had similar experiences, particularly in relation to someone, even younger than you, maybe picking on you a bit. It’s an unfortunate, common occurrence, but I think the more you talk about these stories, and especially look back and learn from how you reacted in these situations, you’ll be able to grow and eventually will handle situations like this with relative ease.

As far as living in the “Bible Belt” and living with the part of the family that you live with, there are a couple of options. To start, we’ve recognized that the situation that you’re in may not be the best for you at the moment, which while not ideal, we can put a positive spin on it. I think knowing what might not work best for you helps you get an idea in your head of what you want your life to look like. Stay focused and don’t lose sight of that, because you can make it happen. It might take some time and serious patience, but you can get there. Your first option would be to accept your family for how they are, but keep your eye on the opportunities where you’ll be able to change your circumstances for the better. Maybe it’s a few years away, but maybe it’s sooner than you think. Your second option would be to explore any opportunities you have to live with your mom, or at the very least, spend more of your free time with her, talking to her, etc. She seems to be a supportive influence in your life and I’d absolutely suggest taking advantage of it. I would be hesitant to try to change the way your family thinks, sometimes people can be very set in the their ways and I would think the last thing you’d want to do is to drive a stake between you and the family you live with. While having to endure this sort of family situation doesn’t seem fair, I would maybe put together a list of people – your mom, other trusted friends or adults – that you can call anytime where you feel your family is maybe not fully respecting you, as a way to vent and talk. Remember, just like I wrote in relation to your story about the eighth grader, it’s all in how you react in these situations. Handling things in a way that involves being very upset, or lashing out, may get your family on your case even more, which we wouldn’t want!

You wrote that sometimes you feel kind of male and other times less so. This is absolutely normal, and there’s no question as to whether or not it makes sense, it definitely does make sense! Don’t worry about feeling super female or super male – we all feel differently about these things, but not many people are brave enough to talk about it. You’re definitely not strange and you don’t need to define yourself one way or the other. I would say not to compare yourself to anyone else; no one else lives the life you live or deals with the circumstances you deal with. We’re all different, which is why a feeling of mutual respect with others is the best – you just never know what someone’s situation is like.

Finally, regarding some funny ways to come out of the closet, I’m not sure my comedic skills are up to par in order to suggest a creative or funny way to come out, but I think it is so awesome that you have such a great approach and outlook!

I would suggest checking out some of the resources available through The Trevor Project – I think it could be a great way to connect with some other GLBT youth and share your story. I would start with TrevorSpace, which is The Trevor Project’s social network for GLBT youth between the ages of 13 and 24. You never know who you might connect with, if someone out there has a similar story or what you could learn from someone else’s story! I would also suggest checking out the following link, it has some commonly asked questions that you might consider as you think about your situation.

http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf

Don’t worry too much about the labels – there’s no rush to figure this all out. I also would suggest reaching out and speaking up to a trusted friend, guidance counselor or adult if you feel it’s necessary and, remember, you can always reach The Trevor Project, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week at 1 (866) 488-7386.

Good luck!

Trevor Staff