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I first realized that I was different and that I liked girls when I was really young. I’ve been keeping it a secret for over half my life. I tried to commit suicide last year and would have succeeded if my sister had not come home when she did. My counselors told me I didn’t have to tell anyone until I was completely ready. It’s come to a point where I just CANNOT hold it in any longer. I wrote a letter to mother trying to explain everything. I know that wasn’t the best way to do it and I’m not sure how she will react and to be honest, I’m scared to death. I’m really just in need of some one who understand what I’m going through.
Letter submitted by:
Your situation sounds very challenging and painful. You are clear about who you are and you want to be yourself completely, but you don’t have the support that you want from your mother. That can be very stressful and painful and in situations like these, it is not unusual for people to want to hurt themselves, because the physical pain can temporarily take away the unbearable pain of rejection. The problem with self-harm is that it is a temporary alteration of feelings and does not solve the problem, but can only add more problems to the already painful situation. We would encourage you to reach out to another adult, perhaps a teacher or a neighbor or a counselor, or someone you trust to help you through this difficult time. What you are going through is very difficult, and we commend you for the enormous amount of courage that you are showing!
Affirmation and acceptance from your mother is very important to you, and it sounds like your mother might be having a very difficult time with the reality that she has a daughter that likes girls. The good news is that many, many young people have been able to work with their parents who struggled when they came out, and have happy and healthy relationships today. Working through this with your mother might be a challenging process, so it is important to surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive and accepting of you.
There are good organizations that we can point you towards that can possibly help your mother in her process. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Families, Friends, and Allies” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your parents to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
Here is another link to the Human Rights Campaign’s resource on coming out that both you and your parents can use, http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf.
We also have some wonderful resources for you to express yourself. Our Trevor Space is a great site, that is like facebook, where youths can find people just like yourself who have very similar questions and issues. If you like to IM then you may also like our Trevor Chat.
If you ever feel so stressed out and discouraged then you can also call us immediately at the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week We are here to help you through this. We are here to continue to support you throughout this process, so please keep in touch as much as you need, we are always here for you!
We love you,