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I was raised in an extremely strict Roman Catholic household, and my
siblings and I were taught from an early age that being gay was wrong.
Even as I got older and saw more members of the LGBT community around
me, I was able to still claim that it was a sin.
About a year ago, my best friend came out to me and told me that she
had feelings for me. I was terrified. She meant everything to me, but
she had gone against everything I had been told.
So I did what I knew best: told her off for it. I informed her that she
was a sinner and that she had better reform her lifestyle. After that,
I basically ran away and severed all my ties to her.
The problem is that ever since that day, I haven’t been able to get her
out of my head. I want to be with her, to hear her voice, to kiss her.
So recently, I went to a gay/straight alliance meeting. Though I sat in
the back and never spoke a word, much of the conversation resonated
with me, and lately, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m almost
certainly lesbian, or perhaps bisexual.
Now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m probably not
heterosexual, though. I don’t know how to handle it. My family recently
moved, so I have no group of friends to fall back on, and should I try
to talk to my parents about my sexuality, I know that I would alienate
them, not to mention the fact that I don’t want to have the “gay” label
slapped on my forehead right away at my new school.
I want to be true to myself, but I don’t want to be completely alone.
What can I do?
Letter submitted by:
It is true that the Catholic hierarchy has taken a disturbingly hard line on homosexuality. But take heart in that fact that American Catholics as a whole support gay rights—check out the Washington Post article on the subject linked to here. There’s even a group specifically focused on supporting gay Catholics. It’s called Dignity, and you can visit their homepage here.
It’s always a bit of a balancing act to stay true to yourself and also make room for other people in your life. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perfect that balance right away. You’ve got a lot of choices ahead of you—take them in steps. You don’t need to do everything at once. You’re on the right track—think of how much progress you’ve already made. You’ve shown an impressive amount of self-awareness and initiative. You don’t need to come out to every last person you meet, right as you start at a new school. Maybe try that gay/straight alliance meeting again; you might find you you’ll meet people worth knowing. And maybe at some point you can apologize to your friend, and tell her that your actions came out of fear and confusion. As for your parents—you’re right to be wary of alienating them while you’re still dependent on them. Start by continuing to figure yourself out, and let your relationships with other people change by accordingly.
Also, you might be interested in a brochure called “I Think I Might Be Lesbian… Now What Do I Do?”, found here. Remember you can always call 1-866-488-7386 and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing.
Good luck, and feel free to write back.