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I wrote a letter a few months ago and your response was very helpful, and made me feel so much better. You mentioned that coming out doesn’t need to be an obligation and it also shouldn’t be rushed. I think I was pushing myself too hard to label my feelings even though I’m not ready to classify myself just yet. I’m really still trying to figure my feelings out. But I’m not connected to anyone in the LGBT community, I don’t know anyone personally who is gay, and I don’t really have anyone I feel comfortable talking to about this… so I feel like I’m at a stalemate. I feel like I’ve been stuck for a while now because I don’t know who to talk to or where to go from here. I want to get connected to the LGBT community, but I’m very introverted and I don’t really know how to get started… I don’t know, I’ve been thinking about finding a counselor or someone who specializes in LGBT concerns and I’m wondering if that would be a good idea or not. I think I really need help figuring this out but I really don’t know who to go to.
We are so glad you wrote back to give us to give us an update on how far you have come! It sounds like you are truly learning to accept your feelings for as true and valid as they are. It sounds like you are practicing empathy towards yourself to remain patient as you search for your true and authentic self, whether that be through labels and/or your community. This journey takes different amounts of time for different people, and many people continue to search, grow and adjust their identities and communities their whole lives! Please know, we at the Trevor Project, are always here for you during this time, whether it be on Chat, Text or the Lifeline. You could also try connecting with LGBTQ+ peers and allies on TrevorSpace.org!
Reaching out for help, whether it be to a counselor or to someone else, is a very brave and exciting step towards getting the support you need. Many people find that having a safe space to talk about their feelings is very healing and can bring clarity to deeply set issues. You might be able to find a counselor who specializes in the LGBTQ+ population at Psychology Today or on GLBTnearme.org. You might also be able to find a counselor through your college’s student services on campus.
Know that we are always here for you, Jessica. We are so excited for you to learn and grow in this next chapter of your life!! As Tony Schwartz once said, “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”
With love and support,