Hello! Thank you so much for taking your time to read this; I really appreciate all you do for the community!!
Anyway, lately I’ve been questioning my sexuality. I started high school this year, and it’s been really great. I didn’t have many friends until now, (I’m quite introverted and I prefer it) but I’ve recently made a great group of friends. About a week ago, the one I’m closest to (my middle school friend’s sister)confessed to me. I was so suprised, no one’s ever liked me before. Until now, I’ve always thought of myself as asexual or heterosexual. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, so I told her I like her back. It felt wrong, I’ve never been in love before. We started dating and I realized I do love her. (At least, I think that’s what love feels like.) When I’m with her, I feel so happy and wonderful, but I’m scared someone will find out. My parents are extremely homophobic and know a lot of people in our small town, and I don’t even know what’d they do. We’ve been holding hands and occasionally kissing in public, and I know it’s ridiculous, but I feel like someone will see and tell them. Whenever I’m not with her, I feel incredibly guilty. I feel like what I’m doing is wrong. I can’t even look my parents in the eye without feeling like crying. I really can’t keep secrets. So, my questions for you: Am I gay/bi? Am I really in love with her? Will my parents find out?
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for writing to Trevor, it sounds like you in a very confusing situation and I hope I can help!
This is a lot to have to think about but you are putting too much pressure on yourself. You are only 15 and you have plenty of time to figure everything out. You don’t need to label yourself now, or ever, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to be anything than who you are. You may not know exactly who that is just yet and that’s perfectly ok- the process of growing up is growing in to yourself. It also sounds like you are trying very hard to please everyone else. By telling your friend you liked her when you were unsure and trying to censor your feelings for sake of the reaction your family may have you are compromising your own happiness. You are the only person who has to live your life- make it one worth living!
I can’t answer your questions, only you are able to know your feelings. However, you should be honest with your friend. Being confused about a relationship, gay or straight, is perfectly normal. She can help you figure out your feelings along the way, but there is no rush. Relationships are as much of a process of understanding who you are with another person and growing up is the process of understanding who you are as a person period. PFLAG has many resources that would be helpful in answering some questions you may have, including this: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=290, which is some frequently asked questions about and for GLBT. Ultimately only you know what you feel but talking to your friends who love and support you can often be the best way to work through your feelings. Also, it may not be love, it may only be like, and that’s normal. Love doesn’t come instantly but gradual develops over time. Maybe you’ll never feel a romantic love for her and thats ok, but this too is a process and only you will know how it ends.
Your feelings are never wrong, you are not alone, and you have every right to love any gender. No matter what your family says or does, please remember this. Your safety matters above all, so I implore you to avoid any situation that may comprise this for you or your girlfriend. You can try testing the waters by talking about topics in the news or on television to gauge your parents reaction. Ultimately it may be the best decision to wait until you are legally able to be independent from them to tell them of your sexuality. First, though, you should be absolutely sure of what that is so you can speak to them confidently. Like I’ve said, it’s a process.
Here are some resources I think could be helpful to you. This article is about how to deal with homophobic parents and includes a lot of good advice:http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Homophobic-Parents. You should also check out the Human Right’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out. It would also be beneficial for you to join TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org), which is a community of LGBTQ youth, many of whom can empathize with your situation.
In the end you know what is best for you. Your safety and your happiness matter above all.
Feel free to write again anytime, or contact Trevor if you need help through any of these resources, http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now, including the Lifeline, TrevorChat and TrevorText. We are here for you!