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I’ve been 95% sure that I’m bisexual for a while now (about 2 years to be exact) and I really, really want to come out. I’m about to turn 15 in January and almost feel like I’m too young to label myself like that. I don’t want to get older and realize I’m actually not bisexual only to have everyone believing me to be.
However, I really hate “waiting it out.” Ever since I started questioning my sexuality in the 7th grade, I’ve been posting to forum after forum, reading advice column after advice column and nothing satisfies me. My older sister is a lesbian and she told me that I should just wait until I’m older to come out and that I’ll know for sure when I’m older. I’m so tired of waiting and I just want to tell people already. It’s so hard to go along with my friends and pretend like I’m straight when I know I’m not. How/when will I know for sure?
Letter submitted by:
I love that you say 95%. The reason I love this is because while many people like to perceive sexuality as a fixed orientation or as a fixed position on a graph, if you will, many do believe that sexuality and orientation are more fluid. Many also believe that “coming out” per se is not necessary and I agree. Take into account your straight friends, for example. They do not have to announce their orientation or make a grand spectacle, and neither do you. Especially if you aren’t certain. Coming out is not an easy process and requires commitment and courage.
There are a few things that I want to encourage you to explore further through personal introspection, but also through talking with a trusted adult or even school counselor. If a close best friend is available, that is an option, but a trusted adult is a more reliable source for maintaining confidentiality.
The first topic I want you to explore is your view of bisexuality. How do you perceive bisexuality and how do those around you perceive bisexuality? This is important to recognize because while bisexuality is perfectly normal and beautiful in that a bisexual individual is blind to gender and capable of loving anyone, some people see it as “wrong” or “unnatural” but that’s exactly the opposite, it’s perfectly normal to be bisexual.
I know you have been to forum after forum, but I do want to offer up http://www.biresource.net/bisexualyouth.shtml, where you’ll find some helpful information on the topic. And there’s a wonderful PDF via PFLAG, that you can check out here: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf. Give these a quick overview and see if they may offer anything new or possibly spark new questions that you could discuss with that trusted adult.
And while it seems you do not want to regret coming out due to that small portion of uncertainty that remains within you, the second thing I want you to consider is that you do not have to come out. But what you do need to do is be yourself. There is no need for you to adopt a label or embrace a new identity, but be who you were made to be. No one on this earth knows you better than you know yourself, so be true to yourself before anyone else. And while your sister may provide certain advice, at the end of the day, your decisions are your own.
It does encourage me to know that your sister was able to “come out,” which indicates you live in a safe and possibly even welcoming environment, but that is certainly easier for you to gauge and measure. It’s also important to note that whatever you decide to do, whoever you decide to love, that some of the friends and people in your life will be more accepting than others. And if this happens, you’ll have to remind yourself and the years it took you to process this information. Along with this topic, you’ll also have differing views on politics, religion, social policy, etc. and you can’t let their views get in the way of your own. The time to start living for yourself was really yesterday, but today is a great opportunity to start fresh and be your best self.
Finally, I want to encourage you to keep a few programs that we offer in mind. The first is our Trevor Lifeline, 1-866-488-7386, which is available 24/7/365 for support, encouragement or just a listening ear. If you ever find yourself depressed, in despair, please remember to call us. The other resources I want to encourage you to explore are both Trevor Chat, where you can chat live with a trained Trevor volunteer, http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat, and also TrevorSpace, which is a safe and moderated online community for LGBTQ youth, friends and allies 13-24 years old, http://www.trevorspace.org/. If you haven’t already tried this forum, it’s a wonderful place to speak with other teens just like yourself.
I hope this helps a bit. Remember that sometimes it’s best to take things day-by-day and assess the bigger picture in bite size, more digestible chunks rather than letting the grandeur of the future overwhelm you. While you may be unsure of how you feel now, at 15, you still have so much more time and so many more days to live and to love – but don’t take them for granted. As I said previously, be yourself today and be proud of yourself today. You are special just the way you are.