Ask Trevor

We have transitioned Ask Trevor into a broader, more effective resource for LGBTQ young people and their allies.

Please check out our new FAQ page here: http://TrevorSupportCenter.org

Should I come out to my Parents?

Question:

I have questioned my sexuality for about 3 years now, and I recently came out to one of my close friends. She took it amazingly, had me laughing and everything. She’s kind of shy though, and busy, so school is the only place we can talk, and neither of us are very comfortable talking about it there. I hate lying to my family and friends, which, if you’re not out, you’re lying, and I feel very lonely and separated. I’ve considered coming out to my mom. The pros are, I know she’d be okay with it, some of her best friends, and my godfather, being LGBT. She’d be someone I could talk to, and she’d try to offer real help. The problem is, I’m scared that she’ll freak out about me being around girls. When I was 9. we got into a huge argument simply because I had walked around the corner with my male best friend where she couldn’t see us, despite the fact that I had no interest in anyone then. I’m worried that she will stop all sleep overs, parties, hanging out in my room, or whatever. My friends are like sisters to me, I love them, but not like that. Another problem is that while I think that I might a lesbian, I don’t feel like I can be positive yet. I don’t want her to think this is a phase just because I might find out otherwise someday. This is less of a concern, but I don’t want her to tell others before I’m ready. This is the main reason that I don’t want to tell most of my friends Do you have any tips for having the conversation, and dealing with those issues in particular?

Also, is there any way to submit a letter without giving your email? It’s too late for me, but I know many other teen’s parents monitor their email, and it makes it harder to stay anonymous. I can understand your reasons for requiring an email, though, just a thought.

Original letter submitted by:

Answer:

Hi Skye -

Congratulations on taking a great step toward resolving some of the questions you’ve been thinking about. Writing to us takes strength, smarts and conviction, and we’re glad you did. It sounds like you are still considering your attraction to other females and how best to discuss it with family and friends. That is very normal for someone of your age. Those new feelings can be strong – and confusing. So it’s often helpful to talk about them with an understanding friend or family member.

Sexuality is a complex and mysterious thing. It involves emotional, romantic, and physical feelings for people of one or both genders. If you are attracted to people of both genders, you are bisexual. If you are attracted to people of the same gender, you are gay or lesbian. And if you are attracted to people of the opposite gender, you are straight or heterosexual. You don’t need to know for sure which one you are right now. But it might help to think about whether you get crushes on and fantasize about being with guys and girls – or if you feel exclusively attracted to one or the other. As you think about that question, you might want to also consider sharing this with a trusted family member. It’s good that you have a friend at school with whom you can talk about these feelings. But it sounds like your mother would be an excellent and understanding listener. Hopefully, she will understand that you are no longer nine years old – and that you can be alone with girls or guys and still handle yourself with maturity. Ask yourself if you will feel better without having to hide that part of yourself from someone you love. And think about whether it will make you more or less comfortable around the house.

Here are some resources that could be very helpful to you: On http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177 you’ll find the brochure “I Think I Might Be Lesbian…Now What Do I Do?” which may help you with your questions about your sexuality. Also – you might also want to check out TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org. It’s the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity. You might also find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful.

Thanks for writing to us. Remember that you can always call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR if you have immediate questions or issues, get live help on line with TrevorChat, and visit TrevorSpace. And of course, you can write us another email. We are always here for you.

Sincerely,
Trevor