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I’m always depressed now

Question:

I came out to my father who is a pastor of one of the biggest churches here in the Dallas area. When everyone looks at you because you are gay, what do you do?  My friends treat me like I’m a show off.  I’m always depressed now.

Joshua

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Dear Joshua,

That was tremendously brave of you to come out to your father and your community.  Not everyone has the courage to come out, particularly if they come from a religious family. You didn’t mention how your family reacted to the news, but you said everyone is looking at you because you are gay. Despite what you may have been taught, it’s very important to know that there is nothing wrong with being gay. There are many, many LGBTQ people who still practice their religion and go to church regularly. While some people may believe that homosexuality is a sin, there are many religious leaders and members of religious communities who teach love, acceptance and equality for all people and are supportive and accepting of LGBT people. There’s a good article called Faith in Our Families on the PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) website.  Their site, www.pflag.org also has a lot of good information about coming out. It’s 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.

I’m sorry to hear that you are always feeling depressed now. When you’re depressed, it can be very painful to feel and can make you isolate from your friends and family, cause you to be tired all the time and take away your motivation to do things, make you not enjoy the things you usually like to do, make you sleep and eat much less or much more than usual, and make you see everything in your life in a negative way.  On http://us.reachout.com/facts/depression you’ll find facts about depression. Please know that there is treatment for depression including medication and/or therapy. It can help to talk with a mental health professional, such as a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist about what you’re feeling. Teen Depression Guide is also a good resource where you can learn more.

Since you’re in Dallas, you may want to check out Youth First Texas which is an LGBT center for young people, with support and social activities. You should also check out www.trevorspace.org the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking community for LGBTQ youth aged 13-24. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are going through similar issues with their family and friends.  If you need someone to talk to, the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR. We are always here for you!

~Trevor