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A while ago, I texted my friend telling her that I had a crush on one of my friends, a girl, last year. In the past, I’ve just verbalized my crushes on boys, so this was a really big deal for me. In reply, she didn’t really say anything and we didn’t talk about it after that. I’m not sure what I should do, because she’s one of my only friends who I feel comfortable talking to about that sort of thing, but now I feel like it’s off limits as a subject. She’s the first – and only – person I’ve yet (sort of) come out to. I want to tell my parents, but I’m not sure if they’ll even believe me. They’re both very accepting of LGBTQ people, but I think it might really shock them if I told them – I don’t think they’ve even considered the possibility of my being queer! I feel like I have nobody to talk to about this. I go to a very small school, and nobody there is openly LGBTQ. The one guy I could have talked to goes to a different school than me and isn’t out… I just saw on his Tumblr (which he doesn’t know I know about) that he’s bisexual, and it might freak him out if I just all of a sudden messaged him about sexuality. I’ve been feeling really sad and alone. Who can I talk to and how can I muster the courage to come out to more people?
Letter submitted by:
Hello. Thank you for the thoughtful, courageous letter. You shared your crush, this one on a girl, with one of your best friends. Essentially, you came out to her about your crushes, for boys and girls. Coming out is a vulnerable act. You are entrusting personal, intimate aspects of your being. It is hard to say how your freind received this text. Communicating via technology, whether a text or an email, creates a huge possibility for misinterpretation. Words on a screen do not provide the full picture. Tone of voice, body language and facial expressions provide a wider range of communication. Since you have not heard from your friend, it is hard to accurately tell how she reacted to the text.
Do you feel comfortable having a face to face talk with her? Could you ask her thoughts about that text? Again, you are placing yourself in a vulnerable position. Honesty requires vulnerability. And, you are testing the depths of your friendship. How would you feel if she did not feel comfortable speaking about your girl crushes? Could you find a place of commonality, a place where you could remain friends without sharing that particular topic? Do you trust your friendship enough to find out?
Although this may seem like a scary situation, it also marks a sense of your growth and maturity. Coming out is a process. Discovering your sexuality is a process. While it may feel overwhelming, everyone goes through the discovery process. Realizing you are not alone may help you move through it with less anxiety.
Trust me… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have reached out to the Trevor Project! You have made another step forward by coming out to us! We get it. You have crushes on boys and girls. We understand. (Just to be clear…there is asolutely nothing wrong with you, your feelings, or your attractions. They are a normal part of your sexuality.) There are a number of supportive organizations which can assist you as you discover your sexuality and come out. Trevorspace.org is a social network, a safe place for LGBTQIA youth and their allies. Check it out. I am sure you will find a number of peers who have been through similar situations. I am sure you will find some great connections and some peer advice.
Being in a major metro area, you will find a number of resources. PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a great organization which can help you with your coming out process. http://www.pflagillinois.org You could attend a PFLAG meeting to discuss ways you can come out to your parents. The Center on Halsted has a youth program. www.centeronhalsted.org
These are some great places to start. While it may feel like you are alone, you are not. Chances are, there are other young people in your surroundings that are experiences similar feelings and situations. And, like you, they are just not quite sure how to express themselves without being ridiculed or rejected. Finding supportive environments, places where people will not judge you for your feelings, will help reduce that sense of isolation and worry. Yes. It talkes an act of reaching out to these communities. But, heck, you have already done that ! And, once you have taken that second, and third, and fourth, step, you will find a group of warm, accepting people that will provide you with the suppport and community you are seeking.
Remember the Trevor Project is here if you need us.