Problem page archive entries:
Name [Anonymous] Age  Gender [F]
I was invited to write an 80 word reply to the below for 'Pick Me Up!' magazine. The issue was out on the 21st February - Jason
"I was scared when I came out to Mum and Dad but they were so great. Now I want to tell my gran but Mum asked me not to. She said Gran's not prejudiced, just from a different generation. She wouldn't understand and the news that I'm gay would upset her. She's 87 so that's the last thing I want. Plus I'm single so there's no reason she should know. But I love her and feel like I'm lying. Should I keep it from her like Mum says?"
I'm surprised, having been great about your sexuality, that your Mum is urging you not to come out to your Gran. The only important factor is that she is not prejudiced, not her generation or age. We all feel lighter and happier when we're honest and open with those we love, and I can tell that coming out to your Gran is important to you. You are an adult and the decision is yours, not your Mum's.
Name [Teddy] Age  Gender [F]
I find you're website really useful! I'm 17 and gay and I've been out for a few years now. Everything is going fine, except I've got this problem with my best friend. He told me that he had feelings for other guys as well as feelings for girls too. Thing is he's really flirtatious around me and other guys, which I was OK with at first, but now he's started touching me and saying stuff to me, that's made me think that he liked me. I've got feelings towards him, so I told him about it. His reaction was really strange, because he kinda ended the conversation and now we've not spoken about it, so its really awkward between us. I just don't know what to do. I feel really awkward bringing it up again and I'm scared that he doesn't like me back.
It sounds to me as though your friend is not quite sure where he is with his sexuality. The flirting and touching are his way of exploring his feelings in a safe way, but your revelation confronted him with the reality of same-sex attraction and the opportunity to enter a relationship. It sounds as though he got cold feet, or even scared. You didn't do anything wrong, though, and it must be hard when you have feelings for someone with whom you don't quite know where you stand. It took courage to tell him what you did, and put your heart on the line.
There's no point being pushy. You've told him how you feel and he may need time to process that news. But, in the long term, you need clarity. You don't want to be hanging around for someone who might take a while to decide if he likes guys and, more importantly, likes you enough to take the friendship to the next level. You may miss out on real romantic opportunities while you're waiting.
You enjoy this guy's friendship, and there's no reason not to carry on doing so. Bring the topic up again in a few weeks time. He might even bring it up first once he's had time to think things over. But if he's not willing to talk about it, you may have to settle for just being friends. His sexuality, romantic confidence, and his ability to communicate about sensitive issues, are things for him to figure out, not you.
Name [Sarah] Age  Gender [F]
Me and my boyfriend have been together nearly 2 years now and I couldn't love him more. He is amazing and funny and sweet. He cares about me so much and looks after me and I could genuinely gush about him for days. I have known I liked girls (as well as guys) since I was about 13 and he has no issue with this.
We used to have sex all the time we could barely keep our hands off each other and I wanted him so badly.
The problem is that over the past few months I haven't wanted any physical intimacy with him at all. We kiss but as soon as we get properly in to it I start feeling weird and pull back. I don't want to do things with him and if we have sex its more of an obligation thing than out of desire and although it feels good I don't enjoy it. The reason this worries me and I don't think its just that we've been together a while is because I don't want him sexually at all. I love his cuddles and little kisses and curling up in his arms; I can't sleep right without him.
So anyway.. Last week we went to a party and I met this girl who I haven't seen in months. She was the first and only girl I have ever been 'with'. She looked amazing and I was so turned on just to see her and all I wanted to do was touch her.
I talked to my friend who suggested it could be that I'm going through a rough patch so I'm clinging on to something that was good in the past but when me and my boyfriend saw her when we'd been together about a year I had no issue with really wanting her.
The past week I've been thinking and it all makes sense if I was a lesbian. Surely that couldn't be right because of how attracted I used to be to my boyfriend. Right now the thought of being 'with' a guy actually makes me cringe and I do not want to go near my boyfriends parts. But the thought of being with a woman (any woman) is very appealing.
Why am I not attracted to my boyfriend anymore even though I love him? Is it possible for your sexuality to change.. ie. can I become a lesbian? Can I fix things with my boyfriend because other than the sex thing we have the perfect relationship.
Thankyou for any help or insight you can give xxx
It's certainly not uncommon for sexuality to take its time to fully form and settle, especially around your age. In fact, some people much older than you experience romantic feelings that lead them to places they hadn't anticipated. Most people assume they are heterosexual and are often surprised when that isn't the full story. Some people deliberately avoid their true nature, out of shame and guilt, while some simply didn't realise that side of themselves was there. And some, as time goes by, realise they perhaps feel more for their own gender than they had previously realised. I have met several bisexual people who had relationships with members of the opposite sex earlier in life, but realised they preferred same-sex relationships as they got a little older. It sounds as though you might have to accept that your feelings for women are stronger than for men.
The fact that you might once have found your boyfriend sexy, and enjoyed sex with him, doesn't mean that another side to your sexuality can't assert itself now. The reality is that women turn you on and your boyfriend doesn't. You specifically talk about not wanting to go near his private parts, and that the thought of being intimate with a man makes you cringe. I imagine that most lesbian women would say the same.
This isn't a simple case of having fallen out of love, and it doesn't sound as though the relationship is going through a more typical difficult patch i.e. you haven't fallen out or grown apart. You enjoy being close to him, but close friends can enjoy a hug and snuggle on the sofa too. There may even still be a strong romantic element to your relationship, but romantic love usually comes bundled with the sex stuff, unless there's a problem or both partners are happy to let that aspect of their relationship fade (people far older than you!). Gay, straight, or bi, it's a problem if you don't fancy your partner or want to have sex with him/her, and it's not a sustainable situation.
I think you need to tell your boyfriend what you've told me. That will open an honest dialogue where you can make a decision together about whether to carry on as a couple or to end the relationship. He deserves to know the score and say whether he wants to continue in the hope that you might rediscover your sexual interest in him/men, or whether he'd prefer to call it a day. Your feelings seem pretty clear to me, and I can't imagine you'll suddenly want sex with men again, or certainly to the extent that they overshadow your feelings for women.
It's hard to work out what you want while in a relationship, while your head and heart are split, but if you need clarity on how you feel just reread your email to me - all the facts are there. Let them inform your next step.
Name [Daniela] Age  Gender [F]
i think i need help. i feel good with myself but my mom and my family is like they don't support me. My friends always support me but is like i want support from my family, i feel frustrated.
It's important to look at the positives first: you feel good about yourself - something many young gay and lesbian people struggle with - and you have the support of your friends. These are reasons to be thankful, and hopeful about the future. It shows that not everyone is going to have a problem with your sexuality. You have the opportunity to surround yourself with people who accept the real you. This isn't something that everyone, straight or gay, can claim.
We can't force people to be supportive, accept us, or share our views, of course. Sometimes, all we can do is say our piece and then get on with our lives. I know this is tough when you live with the people in question. I'm guessing that you have only recently come out to your family, so give them time for the news to process and for the dust to settle. From their perspective, they've been hit with something completely unexpected. Perhaps their experience of homosexuality is limited to sensationalist headlines and overtly camp hair dressers! The concept of a lesian daughter may be completely alien to them. They're either going into denial mode or attempting to rewire their thinking and their expectations of you. The latter can take time! Try to be the calm, patient person they need when they have questions.
You haven't done anything wrong, and it's no one's place to make you feel bad about being who you are. It takes courage to come out and you had every reason to have hoped for a positive and supportive reception. But try to be positive about what has gone well and try to be patient with your family. I can't promise that they'll see the light, but forcing the issue or getting into conflict situations won't bring about the changes you'd like.
Name [Lucy] Age  Gender [F]
Thank you for your web site am finding it difficult to find info as our daughter came out a year ago at 15 as a lesbian on her own accord but found it harder to tell her father (who is Danish, Which is funny as they are very relaxed about life!!) than me but we have given her our 100 percent backing that we love her no matter what, we all swim & do Gym together now but when she was finding out herself she was self harming which we didn't know till later (thankfully that seems to have stopped now). I suppose I'm asking if there is anything else we can do to support her than what we are already doing, we have a very open family unit & as she is our only child we try to do the best we can...but NO spoiling that wouldn't make her a good person. Anyway, thanks for listening. Good luck with your fantastic work as it seems to cover most situations.
And thank you for your kind donation.
Self harm can often be an outlet for difficult feelings that a person doesn't know how to deal with. In your daughter's case, I suspect that she was anxious about her sexuality and didn't feel able to share her feelings at that time. She may have been generally quite stressed and anxious, and used self harm as a coping mechanism. I am pleased that this period has passed now. I imagine it was a huge relief for your daughter to tell you both, and it released all that anxious energy.
As I say on my parental advice page, I think it's important not to make too much of a fuss over a child's sexuality. Don't turn her into a 'special case', make her feel that she has special needs, or make it apparent that you're especially worried about her, more than you would be a heterosexual child. Such things may make her feel guilty that she's causing you to worry, and make her hyper aware of being 'different'. She won't want to be treated as the 'gay daughter', but simply as your daughter.
As long as she knows that she is loved and accepted, and that she can come to you whenever she needs to talk, then she has everything she needs - that's all any child needs. Resist the temptation to frequently ask her if she's okay, as though you are constantly worried. Try to relax, and she'll be able to do the same; a normal and happy home environment.
I think your daughter is very lucky to have such supportive and concerned parents.
Name [Adam] Age  Gender [M]
Ummm. firstly, Hi my name's Adam, i'm 12 and im worried about coming out to family, nearly every one in my year knows i am gay so that doesn't bother although i would like a gay friend my age, i never get bullied so thats good but i am just really worried about what my family will do, they're homophobic but i am happy being gay and cant wait to experience different things but as i have said 3 times i am worried about my family i have been gay for about 3 years now and amongst school work and everything coming out to them, will the accept me, will the chuck me out, my closest friends know my situation and have all said 'aww, you can stay with me, my mum/dad wouldnt mind' but that doesnt bother me i love my family and dont want to lose them, a reply would be nice if you could, thank you for your time.
Firstly, there's no rush. I'm not going to tell you that at 12 you don't know who you fancy, but I will say that it might be wise to delay coming out at home if you truly have cause to suspect your parents would make you homeless.
What makes you think your folks would react in such a negative way to you being gay, that they'd want to disown you completely? That's pretty much the worst outcome imaginable for any young person coming out. Are you sure you aren't getting yourself worked up with no real evidence to support your prediction? How have your parents behaved in the past when you've needed support, or when you did something they weren't happy about? Do rocky patches pass? Frankly, are your parents frosty, unsupportive, negative folk, who tend to hold grudges? You may find that these words don't describe them at all.
Talk to your supportive friends, take your time over this, and put fear aside while you consider the sort of people your parents really are. I've written lots more about coming out, here.
Name [Dant] Age  Gender [M]
Hello my name is Dant
I need help figuring out if someone has been flirting with me and is attracted to me and on what to do next
You see I have recently been talking to a guy from my college on Facebook and we get along just fine. The only thing in confused about is his if he is attracted to me or not because he keeps going on about his body image.
He has also asked me if I am currently in a relationship (he asked this after 2 days of talking to me) not only that but he has said things about his "parts" (including their size) and he said "I would not mind you touching my hips. The also gets excited at the mention of someone at our college being attracted to him. He has during our talks use a lot of these (Wink smileys)
I have him what his sexuality is to which he hesitated for 27 hours with the answer of straight.
The only down side is that he has avoided any question with meeting up, he has even changed from meet with to help him with his work to do it with someone else (he is also has mild autism which could explain why he won't meet me but I don't know :/). I have also try to ask him if he wants my phone number, this as another question he has avoided. He was also shock to find out my real age.
His grandfather recently passed away less than 2 week ago so he is grieving and he has closed backup and focusing heavily on his work and not talking much, I need to know if it is the right time to ask him how he feels about me or whether I should tell him about my (very strong) feelings for him. Should I wait and tell him how I feel after the funeral (after I ask him how he feels about me) or should I tell him before (as it could cheer him up)?
If you could help me out by giving me advice on what to do I would appreciate to very much. it a really confusing time as i am also questionning my sexualy, i am not homosexual (as i a romantically attracted to girls) but im not entirely sure if i am bisexual.
You seem quite keen to take your internet-established friendship to another level, by speaking on the phone and meeting up in person with this guy, but it's not entirely clear from your email what you want to happen. Are your feelings romantic toward this guy? If they are, then it's clear that there's a part of you that can feel that way about men, which technically makes you bisexual. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean you prefer men or that you'll feel this way about many of them. Read more about bisexuality here.
This guy seems to become elusive when you attempt to move the friendship forward or when you raise certain topics, so perhaps he's also unsure of his sexuality, or simply happy to keep your contact to online only. But, as you point out, he has a lot going on in his life. He may not have the capacity to focus on any feelings he might have for you at the moment, and you may have to be patient and avoid being pushy.
Carry on enjoying your online exchanges. After a few weeks, put your feelings down in a message to him. Say that you like him and you'd like to be more than just online penpals. Offer your phone number again and make a suggestion for a meet-up activity. There's no need to get heavy in order to make it clear that you're keen to develop the friendship. Since you're not entirely sure of your feelings, and you've never met in person, it wouldn't be appropriate to declare romantic intentions anyway. You have a concept of each other, based on emails, chat and photos, that may be very different from the face-to-face reality.
The worst case scenario is that this chap simply enjoys online interaction, and may not want anything further. You may have to decide if that's good enough or whether your energies are better placed elsewhere.
Name [Scarlett] Age  Gender [F]
I'm a 18-year-old girl, and I'm so confused about my sexuality... I sincerely wish for some help.
I'm 18 years old but I'm still a virgin and haven't been in any relationship before. I start to watch porn in a very early age ( I think it's 12? I'm not sure... Surely that's early right? Consider I live in Asia). I watch all kinds of porn, gay, lesbian straight... They all turn me on. Recently, I started to notice that I was more interested in the women's body in those porns than the men's, but I am absolutely sure I'm more attracted to boys than girls. The thing is, I think some girls in my school are really cute (they're all cute girls with extremely short hair.) and have been thinking of snogging them for ages, and just recently, I started to think about having sex with them as well... What's more, I like pretty, feminine boys, and I even think about fucking them, but not the other way around ( sorry about the language, but I can't find any other expression). I think about myself being a feminine boy and is being fucked by other boys,too (this is the kind I dream about the most). I also think about having "normal" sex with boys as well. I think I'm bi, but I don't think normal bi girls have my fantasies. Do I have some kind of complicated sexuality, like being bi but deep inside consider oneself a gay male (but I like being a girl)? Or am I just sexually frustrated? I'm so confused... Please help me!!!!!
Confused teen girl,
You're a very sexual person who enjoys pornography, but that's not unusual, neither is the fact that you were interested in sex at 12. The worst thing you can do is be scared of your feelings or try to mould them, so it's good that you're not! To be blunt, people can do weird things when they're horny; something else takes over entirely, even so that we can surprise ourselves. That's why people who aren't comfortable with their sexuality spend so much time feeling guilty!
You find several aspects of sex appealing, enjoying the idea of multiple roles with both genders. This doesn't mean that you're really a guy trapped in a girls body. Nor is anything you've described a definitive statement of homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality. There is no 'normal', when it comes to sexuality. We're all complex creatures with a range or weird and wonderful things that flick our switches. It's about so much more than whether someone likes guys or girls - that's just the beginning.
In terms of the bigger picture, beyond porn and fantasy, I think you need to avoid focussing too much on your sexuality, or attempting to grasp it too firmly when it's still somewhat undefined. Enjoy time with your friends, trying new things, and meeting new people. People will come into your life who inspire a range of feelings and, over time, you'll have a more defined sense of your sexuality.
You can't rush this, so relax and listen to the signals your body is giving you. Ultimately, nobody really needs to sum up who and what they are in one simple, restrictive word.