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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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I know I am gay, but everyone else thinks it’s OCD or some form of ADHD – HELP!

Question:

I am a 13 year old transgender as I prefer. Born female. I don’t like genders however but I go as trans. I am a lesbian mainly but I am not a bi. I like females and other transgenders so I guess I am pan… Anyways, I feel like I am being bullied by my parents. I have not came out to anyone offline as I worry about religious problems. I was told I have OCD and ADHD. I feel as if I am neither, but my strange ways of preventing coming out until I move away from home make them think I have these disorders. I do have depression, so I switched to homeschooling this year to try and get away from the source. I am worrying about things right now and is there anyway I can help prevent stress and depression from being in the closet? I can not come out at the moment due to other reasons. Anything that will help? I know animals help but my parents won’t let me get any. I was also suicidal for a little bit and I tried getting help but nothing. Is a therapy animal a good idea for me? Any help would be nice :)

Answer:

Hi There,

I’m sorry to hear you are having a hard time. Please know that no matter how you decide to identify, you are a completely normal and wonderful person! Coming out is a big step, and there is all kinds of stress about coming out and staying in the closet; it isn’t easy. I am so sorry your parents are making you feel bullied and uncomfortable. Worrying and being stressed about coming out is completely normal, and doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, and it can cause some complications in mental health sometimes. Just remember; no matter what, there is nothing wrong with you and you are a beautiful person just the way you are.

Please know that you are not alone. Do you have a trusted adult you can talk to? I might recommend finding a therapist in your area that you could feel comfortable talking to. 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. Not only can this help with the depression you have been experiencing, but it could help clear up any concerns you have about OCD or ADHD. It terms of coming out, while it can let people in your life know about an important part of your life, it can help you to feel less alone, meet new friends as well as possibly meet people to date, what is most important is that you are comfortable and safe. Until you feel comfortable coming out, you might also visit the following websites; www.pflag.org and www.glsen.org. Both of these sites have great resources, not only on coming out, but also about religion, talking to your parents and a lot of other great information you might find some comfort in reading. And of course, animals are always great, as are any activities that make you feel safe, calm and content and lessen the stress you are feeling directly related to being in the closet (and any other stress/depression for that matter). My suggestion would be spend some time volunteering at a local animal shelter if your parents won’t let you get your own animal. Both you and those lucky animals will have a lot of fun, and it will make you feel good knowing you are helping the animals.

Finally, please know we are always here for you at the Trevor Project. If you are having a particularly hard day or just want to talk, you can always call our Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-488-7386), visit TrevorChat, write to AskTrevor again, or visit, Trevorspace at www.trevorspace.org. This is the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity. We are always here for you!

Best,

Trevor Staff