Problem page archive entries:
March 2013

Name [Chris] Age [12] Gender [M]

Hi Jason, I am gay and everyone... really knows that apart from my mum and dad but I am having trouble with 2 things. I am being bullied by all the boys around me...

I am really sad because all my friends are just girls but I would like to have some friends that are boys... and I am very open about my sexuality but none of my friends are really open to talking about that and I have no one to talk to about my feelings and how I feel about things and that is depressing me even more !!! Please help me...


Hi Chris,

You really must be brave and speak to a teacher about the bullying. I’ve written about bullying and what to do to get it stopped in my dedicated section. I was bullied for many years in secondary school and was terrified of speaking out about it, but it was quickly dealt with when I finally told a teacher. Even now I wish that I had tackled it sooner. remember, you know you’re a good person and so do your friends and family. The idiots who give you a hard time don’t know you and ultimately don’t matter in your life. Also, what a terrible waste of energy and time the bullies spend hassling you when they could be doing better things. Pity them.

It must be frustrating that friends don’t seem to want to engage on the topic of sexuality, but many 12 year olds simply aren’t mature enough yet or have the life experience to be able to empathise with those who are different. Be patient with them. I don’t want to patronise you, but you are children and many of you simply won’t have sexuality or sex matters on the radar yet. As a young gay man you are dealing with issues of sexuality that many heterosexual people take for granted. It doesn’t make them bad people; we simply live in a world that assumes 12 year olds are straight, and isn’t always equipped to best support someone who has different questions and concerns.

If you can, talk to your Mum and Dad about anything that’s worrying you or perhaps an older relative or close family friend. Maybe your school has a counsellor you could make an appointment with. It doesn’t mean that being gay is a problem - it just means you have things on your mind that heterosexul children don’t, and you need to look a bit harder than they do to find suitable support.

As you get older you’ll find that your friends mature and are more able to engage on adult topics. You’ll also meet new people as you go through life and naturally accumulate friends who enjoy being open about the issues you want to discuss. Making good use of the resources that are available to you is key to feeling better, and addressing the bullying as soon as possible. Hard as it is, a little patience with those around you will help you to feel less frustrated too.

Name [Jacob] Age [19] Gender [M]

I feel very alone right now. I'm so sick and tired of seeing everyone else be happy. The gay world is so fickle, because I'm ugly guys don't even talk to me.


Hi Jacob,

Although we see signs that various parts of the world are becoming more accepting of same-sex relationships, we’re still very much in a heterosexual world. It’s easy to forget that gay people exist, as we go about our daily lives. TV ads, mainstream films, love songs etc. - all very, very straight. If you're not lucky enough to have a gay pal or two you can be forgiven for thinking you’re the only gay person some days. And then you might reach out to the gay scene as an antidote and way of potentially meeting a partner, but what you find may be no friendlier than any other bar in town full of strangers, and harbouring a culture that appears to value looks and youth above all else. That’s all well and good if you’re a stunning 18 year old who’s looking for a good night, but sod-all use if you’re not a supermodel and quite fancy the idea of getting to know someone on a few dates first.

Although these stereotypes hold water, they don’t speak for every gay man in the UK. You are a sensitive chap who’s feeling lonely and would like to be valued for more than what you can contribute to a watercolour. You aren’t alone. I should also point out here that looks and attractiveness are entirely subjective. You might not think much of your reflection but someone else might. It’s a cliche, but there is much more to a person than looks. Some of the guys I’ve connected with most in my life haven’t necessarily been the best looking. It’s also worth remembering that all these good looking people out there didn’t do a thing to earn their pretty faces. Genetic good fortune is all. Think of the things you have achieved, the things you’ve worked hard for. That stuff wasn’t handed to you in the womb, and is truly worth being noticed for. And if you haven’t achieved much or have procrastinated in you low mood, then it’s time to challenge yourself and make some changes.

I’ve written a page with some ideas for meeting people that might help but the key is to stray from your usual comfort zones and the usual crowd. Trust me, I know there’s only so many baby and wedding photos you can stomach before you want a little bit of life for yourself! You can be happy but you’ll have to look a little harder.

Name [Jane] Age [21] Gender [F]

I am sorry this is so long, and probably really grammatically incorrect, it's late here. It's just this girl means an awful lot to me and so I don't want to shrink down my story, I want you to get the whole picture so I can get the best advice. Thank you in advance for reading and for any help you can give! 

It's taken place over the past 15 months or so. I came out in September 2011 at the age of 20, I'd never even kissed a girl. I moved into a house with 3 other gay people, 2 guys, one girl, I had known the girl for about a year and always felt attracted to her but never entertained that she might like me back as I wasn't out/noticing those kinds of things.

Anyway as we moved towards Xmas, there became a real sexual vibe between us, one night when we both went to bed I txt her and told her that I thought I was starting to like her, she responded saying she didn't feel the same and I thought ok that's that. After this I felt uncomfortable and awkward alone around her and felt as though we weren't getting along and couldn't wait to go home to my parents for the holidays and get out of the situation. I told myself she wasn't interested so just ignore the feelings and move on, but our sexual vibe only increased, she flirted and teased me more. I confronted her again whilst drunk and she told me her ex was her best friend and then they got together and she got her heart broken so she vowed to NEVER get with a friend again, I felt for her but couldn't understand if that was the case why she would tease me so much. We both went home for Christmas.

When I returned on NYE for our NYE party I was in the mind-set that nothing would happen between us after our last conversation however the vibe was stronger than ever, she was very forward with me and after lots of alcohol and new year's celebrations, I lost my virginity to her that night. She was my complete first. For me I was thrilled and naive and thought it was the start of something but over the next few days she pretended it didn't happen and ignored me, a week later we went out, she slept with someone else at the club and then when we returned home she slept with me, and then pretended again that it didn't happen. I felt so confused, used and upset, but knew she wasn't that type of girl normally so something must be going on with her, a few days later I made a move and she rejected me saying she was no longer going to sleep with me as it wasn't fair as I had feelings and she didn't. I was hurtful but she was honest which I appreciated so I suppressed my hurt and feelings as much as possible because we were housemates. It was clear she used me to mask something going on with herself.

Over the next 4 months she began to casually see another girl, I saw them together, and even had to listen to them having sex as my room was right next to theirs, (that was horrible) but as time went on my feelings grew and I began to really like her and we actually became really really close friends, we hung out all the time, and became very comfortable around each other, and we still flirted more than ever. I fell for her hard. She continued to flirt outrageously but didn't act on it again until May when we again had a drunken night, I was again naive and was thrilled but then a few days later she was sleeping with the other girl again and I got into a massive drunken mess in front of them both.

A close friend of mine confronted her, she told my friend she had no feelings for me, and it was a mistake and she would tell me when we were both sober. She never brought it up instead she slept with me a few days later. At this point I couldn't see the wood for the trees, I was willing to be second best to the other girl and found any opportunity for us to go on a night out so something could happen. All the while being with her 24/7 at our house, getting along unbelievably well with this constant sexual tension-SO CONFUSING. We moved out in July and nothing happened with us for the rest of our time at our house except for our friendship getting stronger. 

I told myself now that when we no longer lived together it would be easy to move on and that I would slowly decrease our friendship as she hadn't treated me too nicely on the sleeping together side of things, but she maintained contact and I couldn't ignore her. We didn't see each other over the summer and I felt as though I was starting to move on, we were at the point where I could finally see her being just a friend. Then in October after 3 months of not physically seeing her, she came to visit me in my hometown and when we went out together, I really did try and resist but she told me how much she missed me, how amazing a person I was, how she didn't think she was going to miss me like she did, she thought of me lots and that I was one of her VERY best friends, I was so flattered and happy, I tried to take it as a great friendship moment but by the time we got back to my house I couldn't resist any longer and we slept with each other again. This really messed with my head, I went totally back to square one and for a few weeks she behaved as though something might develop, it was a very slow pace but it was a pace none the less so I didn't question it, she was acknowledging our night together, reiterating all the nice things she said, texting me all the time and calling me things like baby which she had never done before. 

We slept with each other again but then around the time of the two year mark since she split with her ex in November she became really cold, she came for a night out in my town, she ignored me the whole night, but then got in bed with me, I assumed this meant sex but she told me she didn't wanted to and asked if I could just spoon her, I found this again very confusing and so a few days later, I told her I just wanted to be friends from now on, whatever extra was going on with us had to stop completely as I was struggling to know where we were as friends, and wanted more than just sex so I was taking space to allow my feelings to dim, she told me to take all the time I needed. I was so upset that she didnâ t want anything after her recent behavior but was determined to move on from the long drawn out situation, and salvage our friendship.

We didn't see each other until just before Christmas, I missed her so much, we hadn't spoken at all and we were both so happy to see each other, our connection felt stronger than ever, and then on NYE 2012, we were out together and again things happened. I was weak but she was so intense that night I felt like maybe I should just be patient and she'd come around. A week or two later we were out together and I became insanely jealous when she was flirting with another girl, we argued, I asked her why she slept with me all those times and she said she didn't know, she said she had gotten drunk and it just happened. I asked if that was the case-why me as she knew all along how I felt, she said she didn't know. 

Things were not the same with us after that night, she felt completely distant, and as my best friend and the girl I love I struggled with that and so things have been tough, so at the beginning of Feb 2013 I told her that I had to completely cut all contact, that being friends was just too hard for me, that I tried but I couldn't stick to being just friends but I couldn't cope with what we were/weren't either, so I would be removing her from FB, twitter, removing her number etc to really try and move on, she didn't respond. I txt her again a few days later upset that she seemed to not care that we were no longer going to be in each others lives, and she said that she didn't respond because she had nothing constructive to say, I told her I was so hurt and confused by her behavior throughout our whole friendship, that she knew she could have had me whenever she wanted and I didn't understand how she could do it to me if she cared about me so much, so clearly she couldn’t care about me. I also told her that I loved her. Her response was that I was her best friend so of course she cared, that she wasn't angry that I was removing her from my life, she understood why and if I wanted to be friends in the future she would be happy with that. 

I can't understand why she let it happen so many times knowing how I felt. I was always very clear I wanted more. I was clear I wanted the just sex to stop (yes I was weak) but she continued to sleep with me. We spent so much time together the first 6 months of 2012, built such a strong bond and then the last 6 months showed how no matter how hard we tried we couldn't stay away from each other, the last 6 months felt the most intense, I really did believe she had feelings for me, part of me still does, wishful thinking maybe, but it didn't feel like just sex. I know it was always drunk sex but it felt as though she had to get drunk to enable herself to do what she really wanted and then excuse it with alcohol. 

It's been a month, I think of her all the time, I cry most days and feel so upset, I keep telling myself the feelings will fade over time, that it's just my first experience which is why it's so intense but I can't stop going over how it all played out, wondering why I'm not good enough and just wanting to know why anything ever happened between us. I'll never get the answers out of her, I've tried. I'm not going to see her for at least another 6 weeks but then we'll be in NYC together for a week with a large group of friends from college, it can't be avoided. 

How should I behave with her? Is cutting all contact the right thing to do? What should I think/feel about what's happened? How do I get over this? I really have been telling myself to move on for almost a year but I am struggling terribly, I miss my best friend. I feel so sad that maybe she doesn't and never did care at all about me as a friend or a lover? 

Any advice/thoughts on my situation would be greatly appreciated, be honest, I need to hear the truth. If I've been a mug-tell me, if I need to shut up, man up and move on-tell me, I want to know.

Thank you.


Hi Jane,

You came to the right place if you want the truth. You might not like everything I have to say (or any of it!), but you’ll find it useful, I’m sure.

God, I know how painful it is when you’re nuts about someone who, frankly, doesn’t really give a shit. Rationally, you know that if someone isn’t really all that good for you then why can’t your feelings just sort themselves out and free you from the hurt? But emotions tend to work on a different level from reason and take their own sweet time to shift and refocus. You’ll have to ride the storm, but it can calm sooner if you change your tactics.

You have denied yourself the opportunity to get over this girl by continually falling into bed with her and putting up with her lightswitch behaviour. Once or twice was enough to see this wasn’t going to turn into what you wanted, and this girl has had a wonderful time because she’s had a great plan B whenever she was horny, and she didn’t even need to worry about a bus home. She knew how you felt about her and has shown a complete lack of respect for you. A true friend wouldn’t sleep with someone who was in love with them, and in great pain. Drink is no excuse and makes things worse. Alcohol doesn't alter a person, it just lifts the lid right off and strips any sense of reservation or caution away. She slept with you because she wanted to, not because she’d had a beer. She’s an adult and knew the score.

This young woman has had the luxury of being able to dabble with the idea of being with you for many, many months. She’s played at it and then withdrawn. She’s flirted and then gone cold. She’s imagined a relationship with you and then decided that it’s not for her, only to play around with the thought again when, I dunno, there wasn’t much on the box. She’s had a great old time and you’ve let her. I’m not saying she’s a villain but I am saying that she has not shown respect or care for someone she says is a friend. You have bounced back at every turn because you have such strong feelings for her and kept on thinking, "Maybe this time...". But she’s had a year's more of your patience than she deserves. She also helped herself to your virginity even though she knew she wasn't interested in more than sex, and knowing how you felt about her. Terribly selfish.

I know it’s hard but you have to face the fact that this girl doesn’t want to be with you. She quite likes the odd bunk-up but she’s not the one for you. Would you treat a friend this way? Would you befriend someone new who you knew behaved this way? Would you, knowing what you know now, go through this all again if you zapped back to 2011? Or maybe you think you deserve better. I do.

But you’re not helpless in all this. You made decisions along the way too: the decisions to sleep with her, the decision to give her the benefit of the doubt once again, the decision to be patient, the decision to entertain various explanations for her behaviour. You latest decision to cut contact is the right one and, going forward, you can decide not to sleep with her again or jump when she thinks she’d like to give it a go because she’s got a few days with nothing much in her diary.

You sound like an intelligent, sensitive and caring person and you deserve much, much better than waiting around for this thing to never happen with someone who doesn’t deserve even a half of you.

So leave her off Twitter. Block her on Facebook. Delete her email address and phone number. Do it because you want to heal, not because you want to see how hard she’ll try to get in touch without these options. Don’t play that game. She’ll disappoint you and you’ll feel even worse. Trust me: been there, done that, hurt like hell for far too long. Whatever she texts, it’ll never be what you want to read. She’ll never text back quickly enough, or she'll use words that are ambiguous, or you’ll sit and stare at the screen and wonder what she meant for more than the 5 seconds it deserves.

As for the upcoming social week: be polite, keep the conversation surface level. By that I mean: what you’re doing at work/college, how your family are, what the weather is doing back home, how the dog’s gum problems are faring. Don’t even approach talk of your feelings or hopes, and don’t rake over the past. She doesn’t care anywhere near as much as you do. You know this already, but you’ll be tempted to prod and test once again. You’ll just set yourself up for hurt. Don’t give her an opportunity to disappoint and hurt you by handing her a part of your heart. She might be interested for a bit, if her favourite song just finished, but will always leave it on the table and find something else to do. Keep alcohol to a minimum or, better, don’t drink at all when she is around. That way, you get to keep more of the rational brain active and it can keep the emotional side in check. Focus on the other friends who will be there. Deliberately make an effort to talk to others and enjoy the various aspects of the week. Polite, surface-level stuff with her, and a little imaginary shield around yourself that protects you from any negative effects of the things she says or does. And if she bunks up with someone - good for her. She’s single and can do what she likes. But so can you. It might hurt, but she’s not yours and you can take some control back now. She’ll won’t hide it from you because she just doesn’t think that way, which is another reason not to count her among your closest friends.

The best way to move on and give the middle finger to this hurt and the way this girl has treated you, is to strive to be your best. Get on with life, be successful, enjoy your other friends, try new things - get back to you. You’ve got a bit lost, all caught up in this girl and unable to see much else. Break out from all that now.

Hurt, because you have no choice. Accept it. But it will get better if you don’t stoke up the flames anymore. No sex with her, no poignant conversations, no fraught texts in the middle of the night. She’s had her chance and, boy, has she made the most of it. Time to move on.

You are a great person and there are plenty of lovely ladies out there who you won’t need a degree in psychology to figure out or the patience of a saint to tolerate. Remember, friends are those who care about us and treat us with respect. I suggest that there is only a place in your life for this girl when you no longer hurt for her and when she treats you with the respect and consideration that a friend should. It may never happen and please don't waste a second waiting.

If this has seemed harsh it’s because I want your to realise that you deserve better.

You will be happy again.

Name [Blathnaid] Age [16] Gender [F]


I'm Blathnaid and I'm sixteen. I'm really confused about my sexuality and I need some advice!

I've always been attracted to girls and I've never felt as strongly about a guy as a girl. However I do have some sort of attraction to guys. It is an emotional attraction and I think it might be more of a case of being attracted to them in terms of wanting to be their friend, but I don't really know if that could be true. Also, this emotional attraction is stronger than the emotional attraction I have to girls.

Sometimes though, I think of myself as a boy. It is a subconscious thing but sometimes I think that I want to look like a guy and be a guy. However I'm not uncomfortable with my gender and I was wondering if that is just curiosity or if it is actually me being attracted to guys.

As you can probably tell I'm pretty confused. My instinct is that I'm attracted to girls and I really don't know how to tell if I like guys because I know that if you're bi you can feel differently about guys and girls. I was just looking for any advice that you could give, and I know that I'm the only person who can know my sexuality and that I don't have it figure it out now, but I want to come out and just get it over with, and if I come out as one thing and then change later my dad and others won't believe me as they aren't very open minded in that way. Also my dad would try to convince me that I was straight if I came out as questioning.

Please help me! I came out as bi to a friend last year and I spoke to her a bit and she's very open, but she doesn't really get it.

Also, completely separately, I was wondering what you think of people saying 'that's so gay' to describe something that they don't like. And what do you think of people saying faggot to insult someone if that person isn't gay and the person saying faggot doesn't think they are? Those things annoy me but I don't know if they should.

Thanks for reading this!


Hi Blathnaid,

As human beings, we quite like order, stability and predictability. We like to know that our friends today will be our friends tomorrow and that our house won’t appear in a different street the next time we come looking for it. It makes us feel safe and secure to nail things down, to trust and rely on them. It’s the same with sexuality. We desperately want to put a label on it; something we can use to clearly define ourselves, to ourselves and others. It’s frustrating, to creatures of order, to have something so core to our makeup that can be a bit vague and intangible to many, especially during the teen years. I’m afraid you just have to go through it and allow your sexuality to form more fully in its own time.

You’re exploring various ideas around sex and identity, and this is normal. Wondering what it might be like to be a boy doesn’t mean you should rush off to the sex change clinic, and fancying girls or guys doesn't mean you are 100% one thing or another or exactly half of both. We’re all different, much as people like to pretend that it’s clear-cut. Sure, some are lucky in that they feel they are gay or straight, but for many people it’s more complicated than that. You’ll know when you fancy someone, when you want to be close to someone, and when your body responds to someone in that special way that is very different to how you feel with a friend. If it makes you feel better to define your sexuality then that’s completely up to you, but it doesn’t sound as though there’s anyone prodding for answers apart from you. Take your time.

Regarding the use of the word ‘gay’ as a pejorative term, I don’t think this is a good thing at all. When I was in school this wasn’t popular, but it seems to have sprung up in the last 10 years or so. Even intelligent 20-somethings use it around me, which always surprises. I never fail to point out how childish it is, and how it’s a lazy use of language. After all, calling everything you’re not keen on ‘gay’ doesn’t show much intelligence or imagination, and seems to be to part of a recent trend to be generally less committal with words and far less expressive. I urge you to point this out to people if they offend you and you feel able. The word is often not used maliciously or consciously of it’s impact, but it always undermines and shows a lack of considerations for those who are different. It’s become part of the standard vocabulary, especially amongst younger people, and it’s not a positive shift. ‘Faggot’ is downright rude. It’s more often an American-used term, not popping up in the UK as often, and there’s nothing endearing or affectionate about it. Those who use it are likely more aware of its offensive potential than someone using ‘gay’ causally. It strikes me as quite an aggressive word and very much homophobic in meaning and often in intent.

Name [Scott] Age [21] Gender [M]

My name is Scott, I am twenty one years of age. I am gay and have accepted that I am gay. 
I have a very supporting family, I have never been rejected so my family are completely comfortable with it. Yet I seem to have a fear, that I might become attracted to a woman, or a woman might get attracted to me. I am not quite sure how to handle that.

Is it something that you may know about in your experience, or is this an issue that has come up before and how do I deal with that. I have not had a gay sexual experience with another person. So I am not quite sure what the underlying feelings and fears actually are, in relationship to the opposite sex because I am definitely a gay man. 

So please help.


Hi Scott,

You sound very sure of your sexuality and you’re certainly past being an uncertain child or teen. You, of course, don’t need to actually go anywhere near a man to know that you are gay, just as a heterosexual person’s sexuality isn’t questioned even before they’ve ‘proven it’ with a partner. I’ve often thought that if I was beamed up by the mothership and taken to a planet populated entirely by women, I’d still be gay... but just terribly frustrated. But at least the conversation would be very good. Anyway, the point is that we know what we are. As I said to Blathnaid in my reply to her above, people like to define their sexuality because it makes us feel secure and that we know where we are in life and in relation to other people. It can be frightening to entertain uncertainty in sexuality and that the understanding we have of ourselves might crumble. I can understand why the idea of being attracted to the gender a person doesn’t usually find attractive might cause anxiety to someone. But if you’ve never fancied women, why worry yourself with theoretical scenarios? Besides, would it be so terrible if a woman came into your life who made you feel those things you usually only feel for men? I’ve liked guys from the moment puberty kicked in and I doubt at 37 I’ll ever meet a woman who sparks off something previously dormant, but I’m not afraid of the possibility. If you fall in love with someone who’s wonderful and makes you happy, what does it matter if you have to revise your assumptions and learn a few new tricks?

You’re a gay man so stop worrying and enjoy men. However unlikely it is that a woman might be a part of your romantic future, try not to be afraid of possibilities or preoccupied with things that haven’t happened.