My name is Dianna and I’m from a small town. I was in 4th grade when I started to realize I was different. We had track and field in my school and there was another school that had 4th grade kids also. I saw this one girl that stood out to me from all the rest. She had short hair about to her chin and it was black and she wore shorts, and a baggy shirt. At one point I thought, “Wow he is so cute.”
Little did I know that he was really a she. When we got to middle school our schools combined and later they put k-1 at the one she used to go to.
Now it’s 9 years later and I have yet to have my chance with her. I came out in 8th grade but not to my parents. At my school they thought it was a joke and no one took me seriously. I told that girl how I felt and it broke my heart because we used to be so close and now it’s like she doesn’t even know I exist. It’s my senior year and I still have yet to feel the same for anyone else. I feel like when I tell people who I really am they just don’t know how to react.
I haven’t told my parents because they’re extreme catholics and say gay people aren’t born like that. It’s hard to find someone, especially when you come out to people and you tell them “I love you” and all they can say is, “Oh, well I just see you as a friend.”
I was an emotional cutter for sometime but I’ve stopped because I think, “what’s the point?” it only makes me look even more crazy. I don’t know what to do. I know she’ll never go out with me but at least now I can know for sure and not question what if. I still don’t know if I like her and I honestly don’t know if I’m bi. Is it just because I want her because I can never have her?
Letter submitted by:
Hi Dianna – as much as it does not help you to know this, I must say that I know how you feel and I feel for you, because I went through a similar situation with an old best friend in high school and I know that it’s not easy. When the object of your affection doesn’t return or acknowledge those same feelings, it can be so hurtful, so I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this situation. However, I’m glad at the same time because I know it will make you stronger and prepare you for future relationships, whether they be with a girl or guy. Rejection hurts, always, but I do hope you see that there will be more opportunities for relationships throughout your life.
To your point about coming out at school, do people take you seriously now? Perhaps they thought you were too young when you first came out? It’s hard to say, but they were likely constrained by a incorrect view of bisexuality or unsure of how to react so thus decided to try and discredit you – and no one can do that, because you know yourself better than anyone else. Some people in 8th grade don’t know much about themselves, so they may have just been inflicting their personal insecurities on you. And you’re right, people often don’t know how to react. When this happens, make sure you give them time to process the new information and to ask questions of you, if they are kind and respectful. As a LGBTQ person, we often struggle and fight for years internally prior to telling anyone, so without knowing what you have gone through, hearing that you are bisexual, or anything other than straight, will likely take some people by surprise. Seeing as you’re still working through your sexual identity yourself, you may want to check out the following resource, http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/BisexualityResourcePacket.pdf. And you may also want to find a trusted adult – teacher, counselor or even close friend who you can talk to and with whom you can discuss any questions you may have.
In regard to your parents, it sounds like they will likely need time to process this news as well. If you do wish to share this with them – and I must say that doing so is a big choice and one that deserves ample thought and preparation. After all, some people do not live in the safest of environments. It’s also important to note that you don’t necessarily have to “come out.” Regardless, you are still free to be who you are and to love whoever you please. Don’t let society or any friend group or any messages from media cram you into a prefabricated box. You’re an individual, you’re special and you’re unique, so make sure you allow yourself to be all of those things. One resource you can potentially offer your parents is PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) which is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation. Check out their website www.pflag.org and you can even find the chapter closest to you.
Despite what you’ve been taught regarding Catholicism, it’s very important to know that there is nothing wrong with being bisexual and in fact, it is completely normal and natural. There are many, many bisexual people who practice Catholicism and continue to attend religious services. Please know that you can definitely be both religious and gay at the same time. And it might also help you to know that thought some people, including certain religious leaders, may believe and teach that bisexuality is against the Bible and that you can’t be a good Catholic and be bisexual, there are many religious leaders and members of religious communities who teach love, acceptance and equality for all people and who are supportive and accepting of LGBTQ persons. It may be hard to see in the immediate sense, but you will be able to find a support community. To learn about the Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for LGBTQ people, you might consider reading through the numerous resources at www.soulforce.org.
I’m so glad to know you are no longer cutting, but I also know that it’s very easy to fall back into. If you ever feeling like cutting again, there are lots of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting help you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. Sometimes, writing in a journal or drawing/painting helps a person to feel better. For some people, doing something physical like running outdoors or yoga can help relieve stress. If the cutting helps you feel less numb, do something that creates a sharp physical feeling like putting your hand briefly in ice water. There are websites available, including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting and what to do if you ever again feel this urge.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out two additional resources that we offer – TrevorChat and TrevorSpace. TrevorChat is a safe, real-time chat experience where you can ask questions to a trained Trevor volunteer, http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat, so find a time that works for you and check it out. TrevorSpace is our safe social network for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24, their friends and allies. And considering there are no doubt other teens out there who are experiencing similar situation as you, this could be a wonderful place for you to safely ask questions and inquire of others in similar shoes. Above all, I want to encourage you to be true to yourself and to follow your heart.