I have known for quite some time that I liked girls, but never really came to terms with it until recently. I’ve only known my best friend for two years, but she is my everything. I tell her the things I would never imagine telling anyone else. We’ve kissed in a joking way, but she is definitely straight. I haven’t told her or anyone else about my feelings, and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to since I come from a very religious family that’s strongly against gays. Every time I’m with her, I want to tell her how much I love her, and it’s getting unbearable. She’s casually said “if you were a lesbian, I would still love you. Not that way….okay, yes, that way.” But I know that she’s straight, and telling her would make our friendship weird. I don’t know how sleepovers would work after that. And she’s the only thing I have in this world that makes me happy, so losing her would be worse than the current situation. I guess my question is just what should I do?
Letter submitted by:
Being attracted to straight friends is one of the more rough and complicated things that tends to happen to the LGBT youth. And it can be rough to figure out whether or not you should jeopardize this relationship. You may be surprised and see that she would be okay with it, but just as much, it could make things awkward. Coming out is something that only you can determine: if and when you feel right, you can choose when or how to come out. My own advice is that if you come out to her, don’t immediately jump into telling her about your love for her. It would be a lot for people to handle a coming out, let alone that. Give her time to understand and cope with your coming out – if you decide to do that – and don’t forget to express that being LGBT is just one facet of who you are. You are still the same person, after all.
Another piece of advice I can offer is to join the TrevorSpace. It’s a safe community of LGBT youth right here on the Trevor Project, and it’s a great social networking tool for people that may be in the same situation you are. You can chat, meet new people, and gain that extra confidence in knowing that you are not alone at all. If there is someone at school or another friend that you trust, a neighbor that you know, even if you can find an LGBT-friendly community center or house of worship – if they can be someone you can trust and talk to about how you feel, you can also express your feelings to them too. In fact, if you can find LGBT organizations you can participate in your community, you could probably make friends - and even have relationships – with other LGBT people that feel the same way about you that you feel about them.
You can also check out the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Center. They have great resources on coming out, as does GLSEN, It Gets Better, and of course, the Trevor Project. The LGBT community will always be on your side.