Problem page archive entries:
Name [James] Age  Gender [M]
OK.... Well where do i even begin, its hard to even write about it but i've known for a while that i am attracted to guys and its tough because i dont have the best support system in the world, i try and deny it almost every day and tell myself to just be normal, its not that hard! but it is hard i cant fight it any longer and i just wanna be able to live with it now and not have it constantly in the back of my mind. I hate for everyone around me to suddenly change there opinion because who I have been my entire life, i hide it pretty well and my mom (the only one that would support me, but most likely not all that much) has asked me and i just told her no "dont worry about it im not" and that's hard cause i don't wanna have to go back and tell her i am. Its terrible how we humans can not just be who we r without being judged........ Please could you guide me in the right direction with this
Yes, you can't live life by trying to brainwash yourself daily, and you have reached a point where you just want to be honest. It's very hard - not to mention depressing and lonely - to play a part in someone else's play instead of just living. As I often say on the problem page: a second spent living the way you think other people want you to live, while ignoring your own needs, is a second wasted.
Most gay people don't leap out of the closet the moment they realise what they are. It's common that some time of adjustment takes place before those first steps to coming out take place. This could be months or years and is affected by many factors, such as the perceived hostility of others toward homosexuality and the self esteem and courage of the gay person. Anyone with an ounce of understanding will know how hard coming out must be, and will grasp the numerous concerns and worries that underlie the decision to come clean. You are not a villain who's been deviously lying and manipulating people for selfish gain: you are a scared man who is worried about his world changing simply because he wishes to be honest about his sexuality.
Your Mum already suspects that you are gay so half the work is already done. I don't thinks she'll be shocked if you tell her the truth. Don't worry that you were not ready at the time to take the opportunity she presented to come out. You can tell her how scared you've been when you tell her that you are gay - and I really think you should. This isn't about telling her a lie in the past; this is about your struggle. You already know she's open to speaking about it and didn't rant and rave at the idea. Use the experience of coming out to your Mum as a starting point. Your confidence will grow and you'll begin to see that you deserve to be accepted by those who claim to care about you and that no one who falls under that catchment would want you to be unhappy just so they get to pretend that their friend is straight.
My coming out section may help further.
Name [Sam] Age [?] Gender [?]
i am in a little bit of emotional crisis, i broke up with my last boyfriend last october, and im still finding it hard to forget him, whats worse is one of my other exes messaged me today saying he still loves me! What should i do?
Thanks, my name is sam and you can put this on the problem page if you want,
Getting over someone you love is hard, but you can do it. You must have been very involved with this person if you're still in so much pain 5-6 months later. You don't give a lot of detail about the circumstances then and now, but I have a feeling that you're still quite involved with your ex and perhaps see him often.
It's vital that you have some space while you're still feeling so raw, and you mustn't sleep together. It's great if two people can remain friends after the breakdown of a romantic relationship but only if it is not causing you pain or preventing you from healing and moving on. Sometimes a friendship can only blossom after a cool-down period, when both parties feel ready. This can be tough if the ex is part of your friendship circle, but then that's always the risk when you get involved with someone so close to home.
Spend time with friends and doing things that you enjoy. Keep busy. I'm not saying you should avoid your feelings but it'll help you to feel better if you don't sit around on your own focussing on how awful you feel. Don't neglect yourself: eat well and do some exercise. Even a decent walk a few times per week will help you to clear your head and benefit from the positive buzz that being active creates. Tempting as it is when feeling low, being sedentary and comforting yourself with chocolate will make you feel worse.
It'll take time to feel better but you can certainly help things along by making sensible decisions when it comes to your ex and how you choose to spend your free time.
As for your other ex, it's obvious that getting involved would be a mistake. You are still hurting over your last partner and, besides, this other chap is an ex for a reason i.e. it didn't work out the first time so what's different now? Let him down gently, as I'm sure he's going through his own pain. Give relationships a miss until you're over your ex. It's not fair on either of you to embark on something new when you can't give yourself fully.
Name [Martin] Age  Gender [M]
I'm 16, I live in Britain ( so I'm of legal age for sex) and about 6 months ago I admitted to myself that I was gay. I battled a sort of 'fear' that I was gay for around a whole year, but I've become accepting of my sexuality now.
My question to the problem page is how am I supposed to let other gay (and possibly interested) men know I am gay? I live in an area where people would mock you just for breathing air, so coming out the closet is a total no go for me. I also know that I've acted differently since being comfortable with being gay in ways such as adopting a more feminine stride ( with my lower back curving inwards which seems to stick my buttocks and chest out) and some feminine gestures. I find it comfortable to act in such ways but it I'm not really up for dressing in feminine outfits ( I feel uncomfortable with that). Unfortunately they gay-me seems to attract a variety of girls instead of men. I never had a heterosexual relationship in my life, so I'm unsure if the gay guys at my school have seen some other way of taking me off their list of potential partners. I understand a slim sporty 6ft2" guy like me might not attract rcery man ( to each their own, of course) but I feel kind of left out of the scene seeing as no one who is A: openly gay , or B: Semi-openly gay ( told just good friends) seems to even consider me. Especially as I have tried the odd subtle come- on in classes or on occasion I was even caught eyeing up a gay guy in my year. So how am I meant to stay in the closet ( or at least closeted from anything other than close friends) and try to find a partner? Because frankly I have a craving to have gay-sex but no one seems interested or even acknowledges signs that I may possibly be gay.
The reason it can be tough to find a partner at your age and in school is because most of your fellow pupils feel the same fears around coming out, and timidity over expressing themselves, as you do, and some may be much less forthcoming and confident. But you can bet that there are many guys and girls in school who feel the same eagerness to make contact with other gay and lesbian people. Things certainly get easier at college, in that department, and by the time you get to uni there are gay social groups, and access to other gay people is a lot easier. You will also find a marked increase in maturity in fellow pupils as you move to higher education and much less of the snickering in corridors that you might expect at secondary school.
Keen as you are to attract someone it's important not to deliberately alter your behaviour. You could end up playing a contrived part, and people may be surprised to discover the real you once you've got their - not necessarily positive - attention. Be yourself, because that way you get a boyfriend who is attracted to who you really are.
Don't be so quick to completely rule out the possibility of coming out in your home town. There are few places on the map that a gay person would point to and say is a good coming out location. Even towns like Brighton - known for their gay scene and higher than average gay population - can be just as hard to come out in for a scared teen whose parents have a homophobic outlook.
Perhaps a different approach is in order: begin coming out instead of trying to find a man via guesswork and walking style! Tell a few close friends, test the water, build your coming out confidence. If people know that you are gay then an admirer will be more likely to approach you or at least give some signals.
Outside of school, what about a gay youth group or social club? Failing that, you may just have to be patient until after school has finished and you move on to college or work. A little older and you can explore dating websites and give the gay scene a try, as well as all the chance meetings with all sorts of people as you move through life. The world can seem pretty small and frustrating in school, when your ideas are bigger, but things will change.
Name [Erin] Age  Gender [F]
I'm Erin and I'm 17 years old. I've fallen for a woman (my ex-teacher) who is way older than me (40). We're still pretty close friends, she's married and she also has a son. That means she's straight. But please can you tell me why she always stares at me and whenever I turn to look at her she turns her head away ? Sometimes she acts weird and I really can't understand her. The way she looks at me has changed as well as the way she talks to me. It's not all in my head 'cause my friends had noticed it before me. She does things she has never done before. I'm pretty confused because I'm in love with her (and it's not a crush) and not knowing about her true feelings, drives me crazy. As I told you she's married with a son but she's not happy married. Also she hasn't many friends and she usually tells me how important I am to her. Can you please tell me what should I do 'cause I don't want to lose her friendship...Thanks for reading!
I know it's tough, but I'd say there isn't a great deal you can do. This woman is married and has a kid. This doesn't mean that she is heterosexual but it does mean - if we're all being decent, honest folk - that she's off limits.
If she was to reveal that she has romantic feelings toward you then she needs to make some changes (i.e. separation from her husband) before she can pursue a relationship. I know life often isn't as neat and tidy as that, but I also know that seeing a married woman who has a clueless hubby at home is not as much as you deserve out of your love life. It won't be fun sneaking around and having to lie.
The age difference is not for me to debate and it's not the most important consideration here. If two people get on well then age isn't important. If you're struggling to connect with someone because of a generation gap then that doesn't make for a good friendship or anything else. Only you know what spending time with this woman feels like.
I worry that you will wait for your friend and play guessing games for a long time, which could be draining and lonely. Clearly you need to know where you stand and if there is any hope of becoming more than friends. If she isn't interested, then you have to accept that you'll only ever be friends, and try to move on. It would be a shame to miss out on other romantic opportunities, that don't come with strings, because you're waiting.
On paper, you're hoping for something from someone who can't give it. But if your friend isn't revealing everything about her feelings then the situation might not be so easy to define. Time to ask some questions that may have unpredictable repercussions, or accept and enjoy the friendship for what it is and move on.
Name [Rikki] Age  Gender [M]
I am a 16 year old gay male...I suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and self-harm. I feel like I am failing in life as I am failing in school, I'm scared of continue living if I am going to live a life full of pain and sorrow. I am scarred that no one will ever love me or care for me. I fear that one day I will take my life because of my depression.
I'm so sorry to hear that you're having a very tough time at the moment. I know what it's like to struggle with depression and it's a horrible trap that can be hard to get out of. Why do you think you feel so unhappy? When did you begin feeling this way? What is it about you and your life that make you sad? Answering those questions, if you can, can give you valuable information to facilitate a plan of action for improving your situation.
Longer term, it's clear that you need outside support. You're handling some very tough mental health issues and you can't do it alone. Do you have a counsellor or doctor you already talk to? If not, I'd strongly urge you to seek help. In the meantime, consider being more open with the people around you. Perhaps a supportive family member or close friend. Talking about how you feel really does help.
Remember that, while things look dark to you now, you are very young, and have many years ahead in which to see things get better. It is not inevitable - far from it - that you'll feel this bad in even 6 months time.
A simple and helpful thought is this: if you don't stick around, you'll never know if it could have become better.
In the years to come you may very well look back at this time and be thankful you worked through it to better times. You don't know what the future holds. Make sure you give yourself the opportunity to find out. Please, please, please seek help.
Name [Rothwell] Age  Gender [M]
I have been reading your site for a little while now, including the post on liking a straight person, and I just have a story I need to tell someone who can help.
I am not entirely sure I am gay, but I realized I may be due to the fact that there is one guy at my High School I am utterly attracted to. Now before I begin to ask questions, and make statements, I want you to know a little about me: I am an 18 year old American that is in his last year of High School, and through all four 4 years have never really been interested in sexuality. Instead, I have been in the books or at school doing an extracurricular activity. So, needless to say, I have not been sexually active for quite some time, even though many girls constantly drop hints and tell me I am beautiful. I am attracted to a few of those girls, but as I said my schoolwork has been more important. My interests include cars, explosions, New York City, photography, creative writing, and recently this guy named Sam.
Everything in my life has been leading up to going to college in NYC, and this sudden occurrence (I think I will call what I feel this) has changed everything. I almost don't want to leave. This is a major thing for me, I have always known what I have wanted and now I am scared and want to stay. I am not positive if my freight has been building for 4 years, and now that I will graduate in May is overbearing. Or, if because I have feelings for this guy, I don't want to leave for a subconscious fear of missing something great.
Now onto this love interest. You already know his name, so I won't restate that. But, I cannot stop thinking of him or seeing him everywhere I go. I just find him entrancing. I want to talk to him, look at him, be around him. But, I can't. I have never spoken a word to him or seen him before a week ago. This occurrence seems to be something happening just to ruin my life. Yet, I know everything is not nearly as dramatic as I am making it.
I don't even know if he is attracted to the same sex. I have noticed him out of my peripheral checking me out a few times. And, I know that is little evidence, but I can feel the sexual tension when I am around him. The hallway will feel as though a toxic gas has been released, making the room feel as full and heavy as oil.
Sorry man, I tend to ramble. Anyway, onto the point: what should I do about this? Should I start a conversation, while walking behind him, on the way to a class? Should I ask him straight up? Should I just forget about it? I am just so confused for the first time in my life.
Thanks ahead of time,
I don't think you ramble. You explain yourself well and I don't think you sound confused. You're just not sure what to do. Your situation differs from those described in most emails I receive in that you have not been particularly focussed on or preoccupied with your sexuality. Your attraction toward Sam is almost incidental to the other things going on in your life, and this is actually a real gift.
You haven't been obsessing and worrying about being gay for years or second-guessing every urge you've had, to the point where you can't even guess what the heck you want. You have been deep into your studies and reading, and then along came this guy who took your breath away and made you consider your sexuality more than you'd done previously. You can't get a clearer, untainted, and more honest insight into who you are than that.
But I don't know if you are gay or bisexual, though it is likely that you are one of the above; in my experience, 18 year olds do not have same-sex phases. You've had an awakening: natural, and free of self-applied pressure or bias. It's real and important, even if you never find another guy attractive again. What you do with it is up to you. You might take a chance and ask Sam out. It could be the beginning of an amazing relationship. Equally valid would be to just rest with this new information about yourself, take your time and see how you feel as time goes by. It's all about the a pace that feels comfortable to you. There's no rush. But - romantic head firmly in charge - I think it would be a shame not to at least put yourself into a situation where you can get to know Sam. Questions about whether to be honest with him about your feelings or ask him out will be answered by the experiences that follow.
Name [Alecia] Age  Gender [F]
It's a long story but basically me and my best friend ended up falling for each other problem is she is 17, 16 at the time and I'm 21 we used to constantly be around each others houses and staying with each other. since coming out 6 months ago my family have been good about it whereas hers aren't. I understand there's an age gap and her parents are going to feel as though I have betrayed them but I can't help my feelings for her. Our time together has now been restricted because of this and we no longer get to stay together it has become so hard and stressful. Her mum always texts me telling me how I'm this monster and what I am doing is so immoral it's really beginning to get to me and is making my life miserable. I no what I have done is wrong but is it really that wrong that it makes me such a bad person? I have been thinking about just finishing things but my girlfriend doesn't want it and neither do I deep down so it's not easy to walk away. Its starting to cause a lot of problems in our relationship because I can't handle being controlled and when I do get to see her we both end up in tears when we have to leave but for some reason she is scared to confront her parents about the restrictions. She seems to think when she is 18 it will all get easier but I can't see it?! All I want is to be happy with her because I no if we were left alone we could be but until then I just feel miserable. I know I'm stupid for getting involved with someone of her age and maybe it's not right but I can't help it, I no it could just be a phase she is going through as well but she says she thinks she might actually be fully gay not just bisexual but that's something her parents aren't willing to accept. I just don't know what to do anymore I don't want to be unhappy and I don't want her to lose her family over me but I don't have the strength to walk away. Should I just wait and see if things change? I just don't know I'm fed up of being judged because I'm not this horrible person they seem to think I am.
You sent two emails that were quite similar, so I've used the second here.
You are not a monster, and 16 year olds are not helpless, malleable victims who barely manage to hold onto their fragile heterosexuality for all the wicked gays lurking around. You didn't turn your girlfriend gay or bisexual, though it's a comforting fiction for a family who want their daughter to be straight so that their own hopes and dreams are fulfilled.
The age difference, however, is unfortunate. But it would have been if you'd been a guy. Good parents are protective and a 16 year old has barely left their 'child' label behind. But people grow up at different speeds and knowing how well I knew what I wanted when I was that age, and having read hundreds of emails over the years, I know that it's absolutely possible for a 16 year old to have a very firm sense of self and what they want. It simply isn't the case that 16 year olds who identify as gay or bi turn into happy heterosexuals at the strike of midnight two years later, as long as they steer clear of 'bad influences'.
So you're facing protective parents, which is natural enough given the age difference, but you're also facing their bigotry and outdated ideas, which adds a whole new field of obstacles. I doubt they'd be any keener on your relationship with their daughter if she was 18, going by their blatant homophobia.
What you do from here depends on how much this girl means to you, offset against your own wellbeing. She's at an age where she's very dependent on her family, so they won't be butting out any time soon; they're part of the package. They may well be very supportive and loving parents, and I imagine they feel they they are doing the right thing for their daughter.
Do you take a step back and free yourself of their judgement, but compromise or lose the relationship? You'll miss her but you'll have a huge amount of stress lifted. Or do you hold your head up high as someone who's done nothing wrong and won't give up her girl to keep other people happy, but suffer their comments and draining, ongoing negativity and bad-mouthing? If the current situation is ultimately making you unhappy then things need to change. It's rotten to have to bow to the pressures of others, but you have to consider your own wellbeing. If you decide to stay together you need a long-term plan that gives you both a positive focus and the promise of things being better in the future.