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Unacceptance by my family

Question:

I actually have a couple of things I need advice on. Firstly I’m not 100% certain if I’m gay or just bisexual, I have feelings for a guy friend and a female friend but really i just feel extremely confused, Is there any advice on how I can work out how I feel? Also my parents are quite homophobic, they supported Mitt Romney’s ideas on gay rights, are anti-gay marriage and in their own words “barely tolerate” gay people. Normally when I’m worried or confused I turn to them for help but this is really one thing I can’t talk to them about, even if there’s an article about gay people in the newspaper they start getting angry. I don’t think I can talk to them about this or even be able to come out to them, I don’t want them to see me as someone different because of my sexuality and I honestly think they might kick me out if they ever found out. I’m so sick of pretending to be ok with their views and not telling them who I really am, I’m having enough trouble accepting myself without their hate too, help?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

First off, let me thank you for having the courage and honesty to get in contact with Ask Trevor. Even though questioning your sexuality is an incredibly difficult thing to do, it’s clear that you are keeping an open mind and seeking the help you need to get through it. That is very important to keep doing.

You mentioned in your letter that you are not sure about your sexuality. You said you have felt attracted to both males and females. You should know, if you don’t already, that these are completely natural, normal feelings to have. Know that there is nothing wrong with you.

At the same time, sexual identity (“Am I gay? Am I bisexual?”) is not something that you can quickly arrive at a decision about. Rather than speeding towards making a decision, I would encourage you to really take as much time as you are comfortable with or need in order to think about your sexual identity.

To help you, it might be useful to spend some time considering the following—when you have sexual feelings or fantasize about sex, dating, or relationships, which gender do you see yourself with? Men? Women? Do you see yourself in a long-term relationship with a man or a woman? And if the answer is both equally, then bisexuality could be a distinct possibility. You should check out http://www.bisexual.org. There, you’ll find a lot of helpful information about bisexuality. If you click on resources, then bisexuality-general information, then “Bisexuality 101 from PFLAG,” you can find information that may help you.

You also mentioned your concerns about coming out to your parents in your letter. You say that they do not approve of gay people and that you can’t go to them to talk about these feelings. In this situation, it might be useful to find a trusted adult in your life—whether it be a teacher, school counselor, or a friend’s parent—to discuss your feelings with.

It’s important to remember that your safety and comfort always come first. If you do decide to tell your parents, it is important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.

In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions, you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About,” which I think maybe be of help to you.

And please, always remember that we at the Trevor Project are here for you! Check out, Trevor Space, an online and SAFE social networking site where you can connect, talk, and discuss these issues with others facing similar ones (or make new friends!) at www.trevorspace.org. And don’t forget The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR and TrevorChat. I hope this helps!

Best,

The Trevor Project