I have always dressed boyish(I’m a girl) and everyone has always asked me if I was a lesbian. While I have always denied it, that has changed. I am not hurt by bad comments and I now accept myself since I have had dreams about my best (girl) friend. I have told my friends that I’m more than likely lesbian but I live in a very old fashion, go to church type of family; the door seems open. My mom said at one point if I was it would be OK, but then when she saw two girls together in public and she’s always like eww. Its on my mind A LOT if I am and how will I tell my parents?
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I commend you for your strength and bravery. It is not always easy asking difficult questions, but I can tell my your letter that you are brave and strong with a good sense of self awareness. Remember that you are not alone and we care about you. If at anytime you would like to speak to someone about the questions you are having, please do not hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline at 1866-488-7386.
The questions about your sexuality are completely natural and normal and many people, at many different ages ask themselves the same kind of questions. Being LGBTQ is natural and normal as well. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). It can also help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being with girls, boys or both. There is no cookie-cutter answer or rush to figure anything out. On http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177 you’ll find the brochure “I Think I Might Be Lesbian…Now What Do I Do?” which may help you with your questions about your sexuality.” Family and religion can be an important part of someone’s life and it is understandable that you want to be accepted by your family. What is most important is that you are safe and comfortable. Attraction can come in all forms and this is completely normal and natural. As you approach your sexuality with time and openness, this can be a confusing, yet exciting time.
Deciding on whether or not to come out is a completely personal decision What is most important is that you are safe and comfortable. In trying to figure out whether or not to come out, it can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about them finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
People come out in different ways. You might find it helpful to write out and rehearse things you might say. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.
Your family and/or friends may have many questions about your sexuality/gender identity and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your family members/friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. There are chapters in your state!
There are many, many lesbian people who practice religion and continue to attend church. Please know that you can definitely be religious and gay at the same time. There are religious leaders who will support you.
At times, talking to someone that you trust can be very helpful, including teachers and trusted adults. Please do not hesitate to call the Trevor Project if you do not feel comfortable talking to anyone you know. We are here to listen because we care. 1866-488-7386. Feel free to sign up for TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org. It’s 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.