Hi–I’m 16. I am kind of confused. I have been seeing a counselor for July for anxiety disorders. I have social anxiety and OCD. I thought I was bi since I was 13. Then around age 14 1/2, I thought I was lesbian. Now I’m think I might be transgender. I have been a tomboy all my live. I think my mom knows I like girls but not that I think I truly am a boy on the inside where no one can see. My counselor know none of this. Should I say something? I have been thinking about wanting top surgery to feel more like myself. I don’t want my mom to be told anything until I’m sure about my orientation. Do you have any advice? Thank you for taking to time to read this, and thank you for helping people like me!
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Congratulations on reaching out for support with your anxiety and exploring your identity. It can be very difficult to address either one of these issues, and it especially takes courage to deal with both at your age.
It sounds like you’re on the right track–while the process can be confusing and difficult, dealing with your anxiety and exploring your identity both take time. The confidentiality of your sessions with your counselor varies according to each state’s law, so it’s best for you to ask your counselor if what you say will remain confidential before you say something. Your counselor can be an excellent resource for you by helping you find resources and explore your feelings about your sexual orientation and gender identity. Your counselor also can provide support for any anxiety that arises as you explore your identity.
If your counselor cannot promise confidentiality or does not seem fully supportive, there are plenty of other resources available to you such as other mental health professionals, local LGBTQ youth groups, TrevorSpace (The Trevor Project’s social networking site for LGBTQ youth) and The Trevor Lifeline (a 24/7 free, confidential hotline at 1-866-488-7386. Also, check out “I think I might be transgender…now what do I do” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/731-i-think-i-might-be-transgender-now-what-do-i-do).
Remember, we are always here for you at The Trevor Project.