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Living in a conservative country and confused

Question:

Hello,
I’m living in Turkey where LGBT community is vastly ignored and mocked. I’m only fourteen so I’m still not sure about my sexuality. I’m confused and don’t know if I’m bisexual/pansexual/gay. But for me, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure that my sexuality will not change who I am and my own opinion of me at all. What the problem is, is that people here does not understand who LGBT people are. They think it is a choice and the only time the word “gay” is mentioned is to insult someone. Of course, there is a minority of people who support LGBT but majority of people are like I described earlier. I really don’t think I can live here in the future. For now, it is fine because I can hide it. But I don’t want to have to hide a part of me in the future. And all I can think of is moving to another country like USA or Canada. I’m thinking that is my only choice. I really don’t know why I decided to write this at all. I have never talked about this to anyone in my life. I guess I want to know how to deal with going through high school whilst trying to hide my feelings. Also, I have thought of suicide but I know I can’t do it. And I won’t. But sometimes all I can think of is the possibility that I may not fulfil my dream of moving to a country where I may be accepted. What if I get stuck in Turkey? What if I can’t go? I’m really confused. Another thing is my family. I don’t think they will be okay with it at all. And I’m not exaggerating anything. My mom may be okay with it to some degree but the rest of my family sees this as a thing to be ashamed of. I know this may be hard to answer as there is no direct question but I guess I just need someone to tell me it’s okay and everything’s going to be fine.

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Dear friend,

First off, even though it’s not a direct question, I think it was a great idea to write to us.  First, it often good to get our feelings down on paper. Second its good to hear from others and know you are not alone in how you feel.  It may seem like many communities are close minded and unaccepting, and it is difficult to find people who understand.  But that often comes with time.  The world in general is growing and learning to understand the LGBT community and Turkey is not the only one who is still learning.  You would be surprised to see what a few years could make when it comes t progress.  So, while considering moving to another country is not a bad idea, in fact it could be quite exciting, staying right where you are is just following a different dreams.  Dreams evolve just as we do.  But if it is something you really want to know, I am sure you can make a way.  Going to college and studying abroad might be one way to ‘test the waters’

As for determining your sexuality, you hit it spot on.  There is no reason to label yourself and it will not change who you are, nor does it define you. Celebrate who you are, find what you love to do and let that be your guide in life.   What you chose to tell or not tell people will come when and if you are ready.

As for high school and dealing with feelings, know that you are not along.  Everyone is dealing with something.  All it takes is finding the right support.  If you cannot find like minded friends at school or any local support groups I recommend checking out Trevor Space, http://www.trevorspace.org/  Trevor Space is a great online community of LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 who are experiencing similar situations. Chat with others and see how other youth are handling such situations with their parents and within their communities.  As for suicidal thoughts am I glad that you said you couldn’t do that, but know that should you ever have such feelings you can always reach out to us.  We are always here for you.

Sincerely,

Trevor