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Married, still in the closet.

Question:

I am 22 and just recently married a man, we are happy together and he is great. He knows that I’m bi and as long as I don’t act on it, he’s fine with that. We often both look at girls when we’re at the beach and we try to use my orientation as a way to have fun without taking it too far.
He has some issues though from when his ex wife used to openly cheat on him against his wishes and she brought him to orgies even though he didn’t like it. He often associates alternative forms of sexuality with his ex, who hurt and abused him and he is afraid to step out of his comfort zone too much.
I try to respect him and help him feel safe and not overstep his boundaries but there is one problem.
When it comes to other guys, i don’t really struggle. I work with guys all the time and it has never been a temptation for me to cheat. But there is a girl at work I’m getting to know, and I’ve suspected for about a year now that I had feelings for her. We kept our distance, but lately we’ve been talking and hanging out a lot more.
I moved away from my home state to be with my husband so making friends is something I really have to work at.
Last week she messaged me and invited me and my husband to a movie with her.
My husband doesn’t know I’m interested in her that way, but when I asked him what he thought, he seemed to say he was attracted to her the same way I am.
I desperately want a friend, and I wouldn’t be devastated if that’s all she wanted but I can’t help but wonder what the right thing is for this situation.
He is my husband and I’m committed to him but I’ve never felt this way about a girl before. Growing up I was only interested in boys, but it was mostly due to social pressure. I never expected to be faced with this situation, much less while I’m a newly married woman. I mean we got married a few weeks ago, we are fresh out of the oven and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I know he isn’t interested in having other partners involved with us and to boot, she’s also married.
My conscience tells me the same rules apply when your gay as they do when you’re straight but I see married couples divorce because one of them is gay all the time. I don’t want to offend anybody and I’m doing my best to make sure my husband is happy but I’m lost as to what to do here.
And, I can’t really say what this girl might be thinking. It often feels like it did when I was talking to guys in highschool, awkward and clumsy and overanalyzed.
Sometimes my husband hints that with certain people he’d be ok with it, but I’m afraid to ask and other than my husband and our old room mate, I’m not out. My community would kill me hands down.

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Dear Virginia,

I think it is extremely brave to be able to admit to yourself that you are feeling some confusion about your desires for this woman who you have befriended at work. Especially living in an area, as you have expressed, that is not very welcoming to gay people.

You’re still relatively young, so it can’t be expected of you to have everything figured out at just 22 years old! It sounds like you have married a wonderful, loyal man who accepts you for who you are and truly loves you. In that aspect, you are very lucky. It also sounds very understandable that your husband may have some fears about faithfulness because of his past relationship.

It is very possible that you may simply enjoy a friendship with this woman, or you may want something more. There is no harm in spending time with her if it remains platonic, but if you sense that it may proceed to something more intimate, it may get more complicated because of your current relationship situation. It is precarious ground to try and figure that out your feelings for her while both you and she are married.

Do you feel comfortable discussing this with your husband? While it may be very scary for you to do so, perhaps he can put you at ease, or you can talk through the situation together. If this is something you do want to do, it would be important to make sure that you have a safe place to go just in case the conversation does not go as smoothly as you may plan.

This might also be something that you may want to wait out to see how you feel in a few weeks or a few months’ time. Often when we meet new people, there is a rush of excitement, whether it is for a friendship, or a more intimate relationship. Maybe what you are feeling is just excitement about a new friendship, and the butterflies will subside in a short while.

I do agree with your conscience, that the same rules should apply to gay couples as they do to heterosexual couples in regards to cheating, divorces, etc. But staying in a marriage that you are unhappy in would not be healthy for you, either. You need to evaluate what will make you happy and let your heart and mind guide you in the right direction.

Just know that only you are the one who can decide what is best for you. And no matter how hard it may seem right now, everything will work out and you will be okay. If you ever need anything, we here at the Trevor Project are always here for you. If you need to speak with someone immediately, you can always call our Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 866-488-7386. Good luck with everything!

Trevor Staff