I am in love with my friend, who happens to be a girl. She touches me more than she touches anyone else, when we argue my friend tells me she misses me, and she always tries to feed me because she says I’m too skinny and I never eat the garbage that they pass off for cafeteria food. I don’t have any LGBTQ friends to discuss this with. I love her. I love her smile and the way her eyes sparkle when she’s happy. How can love be wrong? Sometimes I feel God gave me the wrong end of the stick, like I was set to go to hell. Am I? What if she doesn’t like me? And if she does, how do I tell my parents I’m dating her?
Thank you for writing and being willing to share your questions and concerns. Matters of the heart can be challenging, especially if you feel like you don’t have a friend to talk to and work through the emotions with. In this situation there are a few points to consider.
First, what you are feeling is normal and there is nothing wrong with the love you have in your heart. Everyone has a point in life where they develop feelings for someone close to them and find it very scary to share those feelings with the person close to them. Regardless of your sexual orientation telling someone you have feelings from them takes a lot of strength. If you feel you are ready it might be the time to talk with your friend about your feelings, but only if you feel you are ready. It’s important to be honest and share with your friend the parts of your relationship you value (IE: the care she shows you, her smile, etc). Then ask your friend how she feels about you. Your friend may have the same feelings and then you can figure out where the relationship will go from there. If your friend doesn’t share your feelings, let her know that is ok and that you still value the friendship and want to continue being her friend. It may take some time for the friendship to return to where it was but as long as you and your friend are both willing the friendship will recover even if your friend does not have the same feelings. The important part here is to be honest with yourself and your feelings and give your friend space and time to respond to your sharing of your emotions. And if your friend does not share your emotions take heart that you still have a great friend and still have the opportunity to find your match.
Second, when it comes to religion and the LGBTQ community perspectives differ greatly between denominations. In short, you are not set to go to hell. It sounds like you have a strong faith and if you are feeling your current denomination is teaching a perspective that is leaving you feeling alone, it might be beneficial to begin looking into another denomination. There are several denominations that teach love and care for all people and it might be time for some exploration of some of those denominations. Understand that faith is a very personal thing and only you can truly decide what is best for your spiritual grow, but know that you are not set to go to hell and God did not give you the wrong end of the stick.
Third, coming out to parents (or any individual) is extremely hard and should only been done when you are ready. You know your parents and have grown up with them so you probably have an idea of what the best way to approach them with this topic would be. The biggest point is to make sure that you are ready to come out, if you don’t feel you are ready then wait until you do. Take time to think of some of the questions your parents may ask and what your answers are. If you have close friends or maybe a school counselor you can talk to ask if that person will let you practice on them. The practice could help you solidify your answers and give you confidence. Also, make sure you are prepared if you don’t receive a positive response. Sometimes a parent’s initial response can be one of anger or frustration. Make sure you have some where to go if your parents’ response is leaves you in a situation where you need to give your parents space and time. With this, make sure that you are aware of your own safety. If you are currently living with your parents and you think this news will result in them asking you to leave the house you shouldn’t go further unless you are certain you have a safe place to stay. Basically, when it comes to family, come out on your own terms and in your own time, prepare for the potential results, and only come out if you are sure you can maintain your safety.
I hope this gives you some support and perspective for the many questions you are facing. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and I wish you the best of luck as you proceed. In closing, know that you are not alone and that there are many people here to help you. If you ever feel alone our unsafe please do not hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline to talk to someone who can help.