Well, I come from a very religious family, one where “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Well, Adam and Eve doesn’t fit well with me, mostly because I really don’t feel like an “Eve” if you know what I mean. I feel like I am the wrong gender, stuck in this body I can’t do anything with, but then the other confusing part is I like both girls and guys sexually. So, what’s wrong with me? I feel more in place as a guy, but i also LIKE guys, and I’m attracted to them, and I’ve been struggling with this for a long time. So, last year I told my mom I was bi, and she freaked out and threw things and yelled and told me i was going to hell, and that I don’t believe in God. So to get on her good side, I started going to church and I told her I was confused. Well, it hurts saying you’re straight but really you’re bi, and no one can help you get through it because you’re afraid of being judged or worse. I mean, theres a gay kid in my school, Dakota, and he is bullied horribly but just takes it, but I can’t take that well; I get physical because it’s how I was raised with my dad, and I can fight it, but it’s hard.
Then on top of that I self harm. Yes, I self harm and there’s nothing terribly wrong with that because I KNOW how to do it, so I wont get badly hurt, its just my only way to cope and sometimes when things get so bad I can’t breath and it just gets too loud I cut and I can breathe again.
So, sometimes in school, ill catch myself staring at a girls ass, and just oh god, this is embarassing, but ill be thinking “dear lord the things I could do in twenty minutes with you” or some thing like that, and just… sexual thoughts. But, I’m fifteen; that’s not too wrong is it? Anyway, I’m just so confused on what to do, do i come out? am i gender confused or momentarily confused about myself, and is it bad that I’m bi?
Letter submitted by:
The first thing we want you to know is that it is not “bad” that you’re bi. Maybe God made Adam and Eve, but anyone who believes that also has to acknowledge that God made You too. The medical and psychological communities are in total agreement that the attractions we as individuals feel toward the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes are natural parts of our identities. They aren’t things we have control over; they aren’t choices. That’s simply how we are as people. Some religious and Christian folks choose to recognize that being bisexual or gay is not a choice, so therefor it is not “bad” or “sinful”. Other religions have gone the other route, and see it is bad. It sounds like your parents were raised in one of the religions that sees it as bad. This can been very hard for a young person to experience and we don’t doubt that creates a lot of stress and hardship for you. The most important thing though is that YOU do not have to see it as bad. You are probably the best person able to recognize that your feelings for one sex or the other, or even your feelings about how masculine or feminine you ought to be, were not whimsical choices you made one day… they are a permanent part of who you are. Is it bad if that is who you were born to be? We don’t think so.
We are very concerned though that you are engaging in self harm – EVEN though you say you “know how to do it”. There is no right way or wrong way to engage in self harm. Unfortunately, although it can relieve some mental pain temporarily, it can create long lasting physical damage and scarring. And those marks can lead to more mental pain later. We deeply urge you not to do any more self harm. We would much prefer that you call us at 1-866-4U-Trevor to talk so that we can work on some broader solutions to how to alleviate the pain in your life. In fact, because you are engaging in self harm, we think you could greatly benefit from talking to a medical professional including a doctor, therapist, or school psychologist about the issues you raised in your letter to us. These are heavy issues that can be a big burden for any 15 year old to deal with, and cutting or other forms of self harm won’t fix those underlying problems. There is no shame in seeking help from trained adults when there is so much weighing down on you – and particularly when you don’t feel like you have the full support of your parents.
You might wish to read about some alternatives to self harm. There is a broad list of information available at the following website. Check out in particular the section called “Help for cutting and self-harm step 3: Finding new coping techniques”. Although you may wish to read the entire page. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm
If you were to talk with a therapist of some type, one of the things you can have a conversation about is your feelings of being the wrong gender or having the wrong body. These are feelings that many young people feel, and a professional can help you make sense of them. Ask your school guidance counselor about how you can speak to a therapist, or ask your doctor at your next visit.
It seems like your parents, or at least your mom, have had a negative reaction to the idea that you are bi. Unfortunately, this reaction is still all too common. As a young person, your safety is of paramount importance. If your Mom or anyone else in your family is going to lash out and throw things, that isn’t safe. You do not have to talk to your family about your sexual or gender identify feelings if you don’t feel like you are getting support from them. Although it is hard, it can be advisable to wait until you are older, more independent, or living on your own in order to bring up these subjects with parents, particularly if they have strong religious feelings against bisexuality that are unlikely to change easily.
It sounds like you are dealing with a lot all at once – so again, we just want to urge you to call out Lifeline to talk with one of our counselors who can give you some great advice. The number again is 1-866-4U-TREVOR.