Problem page archive entries:
Name [Harry] Age  Gender [M]
I dont really know how to start this, i just feel like i dont want to be around anymore. I dont feel like i belong anywhere or to anyone and i feel that my sexuality is the reason for this. My family have told me before they "disagree" with homosexuality and its terrifying to me that if i came out there is a danger i would lose my family. I have come out to close friends and they have all been very supportive and helped me as much as they can but i still dont feel like they care enough for me to stick around. I just feel that if i did take my life i would be making life for everyone else much easier. All i think about now is dying, i walk past knives in the kitchen and feel the urge to use them. I realised i needed to speak to someone so i went to a teacher at my school and they were very supportive and they actually recommended this website and i called the doctor to make an appointment but the only available appointment was three weeks away, my teacher told me i should call and tell them its an emergency but im terrified they wont think it is an emergency and they will just say no and i know i cannot wait 3 weeks but somehow the fear of rejection from my gp is bigger than the fear of death now, i just dont know what to do to pull my head out of this pit of self hate. Even if i got anti depressants or whatever i still would have the underlying hatred of myself. I dont want to commit suicide but in all honesty it feels like my only option right now. This constant struggle to feel equal to everyone else is so exhausting to me and i just cant cope with these feelings any longer, i dont know if you'll be able to help me at all but it was worth a shot.
bgiok isn't able to offer emergency help for people who feel suicidal so I urge you to call the Samaritans, and ask for support from your doctor. Longer term, ask to be referred for counselling (free on the NHS, but expect a waiting list).
What bgiok can offer is some advice and ideas for helping you to feel better about who you are so that you don't get to the point where you feel you don't want to be here. You haven't provided an email address so I am unable to get in touch directly. I hope that you check the website and see this soon.
Although you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, it also sounds as though you are rational and clear-headed. You explain clearly about the knives in the kitchen and a feeling of not wanting to be here, and your email is is not the frantic scribblings of someone who's too desperate to think straight. Writing to me shows that you would like things to be better; you'd like to be happier and you would like things to change so that you can stick around and see what good things will come along in the future. Even if you don't agree with me, writing to bgiok is a positive thing that someone who's given up doesn't do. Take strength from that.
Why do you feel so bad about being gay? You say that your family 'disagree' with homosexuality, but that doesn't mean the same thing as they are relentless homophobes or that they would be completely incapable of accepting you as gay, even over time. We often imagine the worst, but try to think about how your family members have behaved in the past when you've needed support or when you've done things they weren't happy about. Did they hold a grudge for years? Did they withdraw their love? Do you feel that their love and support is only provided if you do what they say and live up to their expectations exactly? Be honest with yourself when you think about what sort of people your family members are and what basis that does or doesn't provide for your fears.
How would you be making their lives easier by not being here? Regardless of your sexuality, they would be in terrible pain for the rest of their lives over the loss of their son. And what if you had been wrong about their reaction and ability to be supportive? What a dreadful waste that would be. Your family would be asking themselves every day why you thought being dead was better than facing the obstacles and challenges that coming out can present. They would feel that they had failed even though you didn't give them a chance to.
Even if you aren't a close family, unless they are a rotten and plain nasty bunch, I'm sure they'd rather have a gay son than a dead one. At least coming out presents an opportunity for positive change, even if it's a bit crappy to start with. Suicide removed all opportunities.
You didn't decide to be gay and there's nothing inherently wrong with it. It's the value judgements we make about our sexuality that makes life harder or easier; it's why some 15 year olds are happy, confident and even dating, whole some are writing to me as potential suicide cases. You need to begin to work toward the former. It's not impossible: it's slowly becoming someone who sees their sexuality as just part of who they are and not a disability, curse or something they are inflicting on their loved ones. The information on this website can give you a starting point.
You can be happy. You can get what you want out of life. You can find love. And you can develop the strength and confidence to handle those you meet in life who feel it's their right to say you don't deserve these things because you fancy men instead of women. The reality of your current situation is that the people you've come out to have been supportive and want to help. That's amazing. Use it.
It'll take time, support and a shift in outlook, but life can get better. Stick around.
Name [Sam] Age  Gender [M]
Hey Jason, I'm Sam, I'm in a huge emotional mess here, basically there was this boy i liked, i met him at a party and we ended up sleeping together, i got some feelings for him after that, and he said that he thinks me and him have a real chance, the next minute he goes off and gets into a relationship with another guy, and I'm so hurt I don't know what to do with myself, I really need some advice and I have no one else to turn to, please help me.
Sleeping with someone you have just met is always a gamble when you're on the lookout for a deeper and lasting connection. It's not impossible to find a boyfriend this way, but if you're the sensitive sort of person who's looking for a partner then it can be a good idea to protect yourself from disappointments by going out on a few dates before giving yourself in the bedroom. That way, you get more of a feel that person's personality, what they're looking for and how much you like them. Sometimes you become even more interested, while other times you might find that after one dinner together you aren't all that keen after all. In the former case you heighten the excitement for when you do go to bed, and in the case of the latter you save yourself from sharing something important with a guy you don't like. It's worth being patient if you're hoping for more than a one-off: even just a little delay can give you a lot of information about a person that the excitement of an initial meeting at a party doesn't reveal.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and all that. You didn't do anything wrong in developed feelings for this guy quickly and being excited about him and the prospect of becoming a couple. Sadly, he doesn't appear to be as deserving of your attention as he first appeared to be and he's already found someone else he's switched his focus to. It could be that he's the sort of fickle chap who leaps in and out of things quite quickly, grabbing onto the guy who interests him the most from one moment to the next. Or perhaps the guy he's with now is someone he had existing feelings for and you got caught in the crossfire. Regardless, I don't think this is the sort of person you're looking for or need. He wasn't very honest about what he wanted from the evening and his talk of being a couple was hollow. Again, you just can't expect to know someone after a few hours, let alone trust them on.
I know it hurts, but he's made his choice. Take his behaviour as a big warning sign. His rapid leap to someone else likely saved you being hurt more in a few months time. You can help yourself to move on by not chasing after this guy, because it'll just prolong the hurt and allows him to flit back to you on a whim if things don't work out. Don't be used and don't wait around. Take control, put it behind you and be a bit more cautious in the future if you're looking for more than a moment of fun.
Name [Jade] Age  Gender [M]
I don't know where to begin so I'll just say it. I'm gay and I have known for like 6 years but I am not out of the closet yet. I always hoped I would be out by now but I am not and that makes me feel even worse about myself. I know my friends and family will be okay with it but I just haven't been able to come to terms and being okay with being gay myself. I did tell one of my friends earlier this school year that I "think" I might be gay. She does not have a problem with gay people and she has gay friends and family members. She also has a transgender cousin. So she is totally fine with it but when I told her she said I was probably just confused. We haven't talked about it since but it still bothers me and scares me that other people might not take me seriously if I come out. Another problem I have is my sister is constantly pressing me about my sexuality. She tells me to just come out all the time and calls me a fag everytime we fight. I need her to stop. It's not just her everybody is pressuring me to come out. I have overheard kids having actual group discussions debating the fact if I'm gay or not in school. I just want them to shut up they have no idea what it Is like to be gay. Being gay has been the worst experience of my life I have never felt okay with who I am. I have also felt weird and that something is wrong with me. I would give literally everything to be straight I will never be happy as long as I am gay. No matter what I am going to have to live with the fact that there are ignorant people who just think I'm sick in the head or I can persuade myself to be straight but choose not to. How can I get past peoples ignorance and just be okay with who I am?
I get many emails from young people who, upon coming out for the first time, receive unintentionally dismissive remarks about being confused. Nobody tells a heterosexual teen to give it a few years and reassess. You know how you feel and when you're brave enough to confide in someone about it your news should be taken seriously and treated with respect. But don't assume that everyone will label you as confused when you tell them that you are gay.
It's not completely clear from your email why you have a problem with being gay. You say that friends and family would be okay with it, so it doesn't sound as though you are in an overtly hostile or anti-gay environment. The people around you seem to have a strong sense of your sexuality, so coming out seems to be little more than a formality at this stage. What would be the difference to you between people thinking you are gay and knowing that you are gay? Would confirming it be a relief after all the worrying and secrecy? I think it may well be. Would people find something else to do beside speculate over your sexuality? I think they might.
There are people in the world with outdated, ignorant and even hateful views on homosexuality, but that doesn't stop the majority of gay people from having good lives and getting on with the things they want to do. Being straight and ignored by those who hate anything different is not the secret key to unlocking absolute happiness and peace. Being surrounded by good people who accept you, and believing in and being true to yourself, no matter what your sexuality, is what's important. You can be happy. You can find love. Being gay can be what it should be: just a part of you that's neither good nor bad or worth fretting over.
Nothing is wrong with you, Jade. I think you need to take control of your situation and come up with a plan for moving forward. At the moment you're in a limbo of feeling bad about something that isn't, with people all around eager for you to confirm what they already know. You can't change your sexuality, but you do get complete control over what you do with it: embrace it and work toward feeling good about who you are, or hide it and nurture this sense of wrongness. It's all completely down to you.
Name [Joey] Age  Gender [M]
I am really scared even coming out as anonymous on the internet. For nearly five years I have known I was gay, but have never told anyone. I am in high school, and I am a wrestler. I fear that if I come out, everyone will think I am some kind of pervert and that I only wrestle to roll around with other guys. This is completely untrue, as I was wrestling before I knew I was gay and am not thinking about sex when I wrestle. Regardless, I am afraid all the other wrestlers on my team will be creeped out and that I will never have a practice partner who doesn't happen to be the odd man out. Even worse, I fear I will be mocked and teased by the other wrestlers. At the same time, I am sick of waiting year after year with no one to talk to. I am fairly sure that my friends in other activities like debate and forensics would be fairly accepting, which has led me to consider quitting the wrestling team and coming out. What do you think I should do in this situation? Do I have to make a choice between wrestling and coming out?
It's a shame that you you feel you may be faced with a choice between an activity you enjoy and being open about your sexuality, but all your worries are valid.
Try not to get too preoccupied with imagining what might happen, though, because it's easy to scare yourself into not taking any action. Try to balance out your guesses by thinking back to times when the guys in your group have been good friends and behaved in the way you needed them to.
How the news of your sexuality is received is completely down to the type of people in your wrestling club, and how they tend to behave collectively too. If they're a mature and sensitive bunch then you might not have a lot to worry about, but the reality of a group of 16 year old wrestlers is probably quite different. It's likely things will be different once you come out to them, certainly to in the beginning.
Many young people don't knowingly know any gay people and, of course, don't have masses of life experience. There may be some daft ideas bandied around, there may be some teasing and you may even experience some overt homophobia. I can't guess. To continue to be involved in the group, post coming out, may require some determination, strength and courage, but it does represent a third option you haven't mentioned.
It's up to you whether you want to take that kind of challenge on or just quit, but it's a shame to give up something you enjoy and miss an opportunity to challenge prejudice and find new confidence.
If you plan on coming out to other groups you may find that the news finds its way back to the wrestling crowd anyway. So perhaps this is a more a case of 'when', not 'if', you have to tackle the attitudes of your wrestling partners and decide what that means for your hobby.
Name [Martin] Age  Gender [M]
I'm Martin and I'm 17 (although I'm 18 in about a month). I'm sorry if I don't articulate myself particularly well here but I'm not very good at this asking for help thing! I'm usually very independent and private, as I shall explain later.
I've kind of known I was gay for most of my teenage years (as in from probably 10-11ish) but I never really realised. I know that sounds a bit weird and stupid, I mean how can you know and not realise at the same time! I never really realised that what I felt wasn't normal as it wasn't something that really concerned me at the time. It wasn't until about 3ish years ago I started to realise just what it was I felt. That's when the problems really started I guess. I thought that what I was feeling was just "a phase" or that I'd just convinced myself I was gay. This was probably made a lot worse by the fact it's around this kind of age that people start to have serious relationships with girlfriends. I even tried dating girls but I never really connected with any of them, they just didn't attract me. I was able to get away with it though because of what I'm like.
I'm know for not having emotion. This might seem like an exaggeration but it really isn't! Some of these people I've been friends with for over 6 years and most of them have admitted to me that they have never seen me really happy, really sad or even angry. I'm just so closed off to everyone, even my parents. They admitted to me recently that I scare them a bit sometimes cause they can't tell what I'm thinking, whereas they can easily when it comes to my brother and sister. I must admit it scares me slightly. I don't know how I'll ever be able to open up to someone enough to even contemplate a relationship.
I've talked to one of my closest friends (who is a girl a couple of years older than me at work) and talked about it (the emotion thing not me being gay. I haven't told anyone or even mentioned being gay to anyone). We really connected and worked through both of our issues together to realise what was actually bothering us. So I think I probably know most of the reasons for it but I just can't help it. I was forced to grow up very quickly as my mother was on her own looking after two small children so we learned to look after ourselves (just to give you an idea I was getting a taxi home from school by myself at the age of 10) Then when I was 11 I had to tell my biological dad (who I'd been seeing for 8 years every other weekend) that I didn't want to see him again.
Looking back at what I've written I realise that my life doesn't sound that great but I just want to say that it isn't actually that bad. I think it's just helpful to know why I'm so closed off from people emotionally. I know my life isn't horrible and not worth living. I love my family and friends far too much to even consider hurting myself as I wouldn't want to hurt them, even indirectly. Almost all of my friends and I'm sure my family wouldn't mind me being gay or have a problem with it. I know that they'd support me no matter what. It's me that is holding me back. I know this, but I just can't help it. I get so scared about admitting being gay even to myself. I don't want to let them down and sometimes I feel that by being gay I will be doing that. I don't want to hurt them or anyone else I know. I usually just avoid the whole topic about relationships and girls and who we find attractive in our year when I'm with my friends. I haven't admitted to anyone that I'm gay (although once, when I was feeling good about myself and has regained some of my confidence I decided that I was going to come out to my friend. But in the end I got so scared and anxious that I just didn't say anything). This is the first time I have ever even written it down and admitted that I am. I just don't know what to do. I had the vague plan that most people probably have of growing up, going to uni, get a job, meet a girl, get married and have children. By coming out to people I'll be resigning myself to something else. This is why I keep swinging from accepting myself to just rejecting myself. It awful because it affects everything I do, from school to work. I just feel so terrible for lying to everybody all the time! I think about everything I say or how my actions could be interpreted, it's like I'm dying inside. Because I feel so bad about lying to people I tend to avoid socialising and other things like that (although this is also partly to do with my social awkwardness). This in turn leads me to be quite lonely most of the time. I didn't really mind at first but its been 3 years and I just feel lonely occasionally. However I know that I would never be able to have a girlfriend. I just wouldn't be able to lie to someone like that, pretend that I liked them when all the time I was hating it, it would just be such a cruel thing to do. Yet I know that to have a relationship with a guy I'd have to actually come out as gay.
All this and work, exam pressure, tension at home caused by my anxiety, looking after my autistic/selective eating disorder younger brother and just being everyone's shoulder to cry on is really getting me down. I started suffering from insomnia about a year ago and have suffered ever since. I get so frustrated with myself and others over little things, although I never let on. People just expect that I'm fine and that I'm so sure of myself and solid. I've been told that I give the best advice, especially about relationships. If so then why can't I help myself! I just feel so useless and terrible for lying constantly.
Anyway I'm sorry for rambling on and on. After all that I don't really know what my question is! I suppose my question is simple really: can you help me? To be honest just being there (wherever "there" is) and having this website makes me feel so much better. I've been on other sites before and haven't really know what to do, everyone seemed so sure of themselves and who they were. So thankyou. Even if I get no response it makes it better that there is someone that wants to help others. So yeah, anyway, thanks.
I can relate to this very well:
I've been told that I give the best advice, especially about relationships. If so then why can't I help myself!
But don't tell anyone!
As you point out, you have had to grow up fast. It's no wonder that you appear to be quite outwardly in control and somewhat reserved perhaps, not reacting emotionally and dramatically to things like a lot of young people. Others have come to know you as someone who's solid and mature; someone they can predict and lean on. It sounds like you're a pretty special person.
You're not a victim of peoples' perceptions, though. How they feel about you is based on how you appear to them. They don't know what you choose to hide from them. You've learned to control your emotions, or perhaps they just don't flourish and reveal themselves in the same way as others who haven't had the pressures you've had. But that doesn't mean that you don't feel - your email is all about fear, for a start. Locking away secrets and having to be strong in the face of challenges meant for older people means keeping your emotions in check, like a mother trying not to cry because she doesn't want to worry the kids. But you need to lean sometimes too and you've clearly reached a point where you know that things need to change.
Coming out doesn't resign you to anything. You like guys whether you say it out loud or not. Coming out means giving people the opportunity to accept you completely. It means letting your guard down and dropping the act. It means letting go of behaviour monitoring and modifying. It means having the freedom to be yourself or, perhaps in your case especially, discovering a lot about yourself from scratch. It could mean letting go of a great source of stress and anxiety that you're choosing to hold onto. As a first and next step it sounds like a good idea.
Let the new openness and honesty of coming out be a beginning that sees you letting people in and asking for help. It's the key to banishing some of that anxiety and the only healthy long-term course for a happy and relaxed young man.
Name [Hunter] Age [?] Gender [F]
My name is Hunter (pretty unique name for a girl, I've been told) and I live in America. For about four months now, I have been dating my best friend of three years. She is not a lesbian as I am, for she has said that I am the only female she is interested in. But I digress. You see, she and I have been skating on thin ice with my parents and her grandparents lately. About a month into our relationship, she spent the night, and the next day my mum noticed the hickies on my neck, because my hair is too short to cover them. At that point, she set a new rule; that I was not allowed to have anyone over anymore, because I was deemed 'untrustworthy.' Before I go further, I will just say that I have not come out to either of my parents. I am from a hardcore, God-fearing Christian family (though I don't believe in such things myself), and as soon as I showed the first small signs of having an interest in the same sex, my mum threatened to send me to an all-girls Christian academy, or to homeschool me. So you see how well that worked out. Anyway, back to what I was saying. After about three weeks, I convinced my mother (using the all-powerful skills of persuasion and logic) that Lyndsay, my girlfriend, and myself were just friends. That didn't last long, because an incident with clearly homophobic faculty at my public school resulted in a notification to my parents that I had been 'making out' with my girlfriend on campus. For the record, I wasn't, and I'm not that stupid, but that's off topic. Now, my girlfriend and I aren't allowed to see one another outside of school, and my parents basically have me on complete and utter social lockdown. I wanted to ask for your opinion on whether or not coming out to my parents at this point (I don't think I'll be able to hide it for much longer) would help or hurt my situation. What do you think?
I think, at this point, coming out is just a formality. It would put a label on the things your parents are already aware of. Having said that, giving it a name and making a defined statement about it could solidify the concept in your parents' minds - a concept they are no doubt happy to avoid - and aggravate the situation further. I think timing is worth considering. They're clearly not pleased about recent events and their implications and it might be best to save coming out for when things are calmer at home.
Your folks incorrectly think that they can stop you being gay by putting restrictions on your freedoms and social life. All that achieves is that they end up with a daughter who's frustrated and feels trapped... and is just as gay as when she was free to go out. It's a bit like putting a hungry person in a room without food: doesn't stop them being hungry.
Unless your folks suddenly decide that being gay is okay, I think you'll have to be level-headed, patient and wise about how you behave in the family home.
If you don't resist the current restrictions the situation should become more relaxed and there will be less focus on what you're up to. So, it's no good insisting that you simply must be allowed to see the girl who gave you hickies, because that won't get you anywhere. In time, you could say that you're unhappy having no access to friends outside of school, and you could point out that it's not healthy for anyone to be trapped and have no social life. Do they intend to keep you at home until you are old enough to leave? They might begin to see how daft that is and how it can drive a wedge between them and you. Is there another adult family member who would sympathise with your situation and who could act as mediator between you and your parents? Try to think around the situation, using common sense and logical arguments to negotiate freedoms. Avoid getting angry or getting into arguments. Allow your parents to see that you're not this problem teen they might think you are.
Worst case scenario: you have to bide your time until you are 18. Beyond that, they simply can't expect to dictate the friends you have and when you can leave the building. You don't have to change but while under 18 and dependent on your folks for a roof and cash, unfair as it is, you have to learn to work with what they dish out.
Name [Morven] Age  Gender [F]
Hey, well in about september last year i started coming out as bisexual, it was quite hard,not many people wanted to support me,and a few people have been insulting me for it. But now,i think im a lesbian? I dont know if i can be though,i was really attracted to one guy for a while,but i went off him,and since then ive only ever had feelings for girls. Im scared incase i am a lesbian,because then i would probably get insulted more,and i think less people would support me through it.
In an ideal world, the words 'homosexual' and 'bisexual' simply state what gender a person may or may not be romantically interested in, but in our world both these terms come with their own baggage, assumptions and prejudice. These exist and depend completely on the people around you, though. Some of us are lucky to be surrounded by mature, compassionate and open minded people, while others have to tiptoe around the negativity, and even hatred, of others.
You can't choose whether you are bisexual or lesbian, but it is completely up to you who you share personal information with and it's up to you to shape a plan for tackling any negative backlash. You don't have to be a victim, where you allow others to decide how to treat you depending on how they feel about different sexual orientations. Whether at school or in the workplace, you have a right to feel safe, supported and given the opportunity to flourish. If you are given a hard time, get help.
Right now you are unsure whether you are bisexual or lesbian, so there's no need to stick a label on yourself and announce it. This is a personal journey and it's not about how other people feel about it. Focus on your feelings and needs. They will become clearer and easier to understand as time goes by, so try to be patient.
Name [Skippy] Age  Gender [M]
Hello Jason, its been about a month since I've confessed to my family, and a few of my friends that I was gay. You see, the only friends I've told so far were female, because I'm kind of nervous on telling my guy friends. Its not that I don't want to tell them, I'm just scared that they'll stop being my friend, or we'll always be extremely awkward around me....They might even think I have a crush on them, when I really don't.... They're just my bros that I fix computers, say random perverted jokes, and play video games with...So do you have any advise for me?
Thanks for your time,
By the way, it was easy telling my female friends, because most of them were conveniently bisexual anyways.
In school I found it easier to come out to female friends than male. It's a cliche, but my female friends were curious, supportive and open-minded, while male friends thought my sexuality was amusing or a reason to bully me. I think things have likely shifted since then (20 years ago!), with a greater awareness of homophobia and bullying in schools, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear people still saying that coming out to girls is easier than guys; they tend to be more grown up and not troubled by daft ideas about what constitutes manliness.
Having said that, don't assume that because guys are into computers and making crude jokes, that they can't be sensitive and supportive too. It's easy to fall into pigeonholing straight people too. There's no logical reason why anything needs to change between you and your male friends. You choosing to reveal your sexuality doesn't change anything about you apart from the new level of honesty you'd be introducing; you're still the guy they like spending time with. It's also a plus, and makes things less emotional and complicated, that you don't find these guys attractive or have romantic feelings for any of them.
How friends react to coming out is, however, not necessarily easy to predict and not always fair. Ultimately you have to decide what's more important: things carry on exactly as they are, but you are somewhat secretive and even dishonest, or you come clean and risk things changing for the worse for the chance at a better environment of openness and honesty. You have control at the moment but as time goes by the decision may well be made for you.
It's inevitable that more questions about your person life will come up and, when you meet someone special, friends will want to know who 'that guy' is that you spend so much time with. I believe that the best friends to have are those whom you can be yourself with. Good friends wouldn't want you to pretend to be anything else.
Name [William] Age  Gender [M]
For the past 6 months, I have come to realise that my sexuality is indeed, not straight. However, I am not sure and very confused about this issue. I mean, my eyes always notice all the pretty guys and I do have some sexual fantasies about them but are those signs clear enough to say that I am gay?
If yes, then please tell me what I should do. I come from a very homophobic country and the people around me are very hostile towards gay people. If they ever find out that I am gay, committing suicide is definitely the only way for me to "live". I know I don't have to come out until I am ready but sooner or later, that day will come and I really don't know what to do. Please help me.
Finding men physically attractive and sexually appealing means that you are not heterosexual, though it doesn't necessarily mean that you are gay. Do you have these same feelings for woman too? But yes, having sexual fantasies about men is not something that straight men tend to have. However, sexuality is not always a black and white issue for everyone. For example, some men who identify as heterosexual may have had some same-sex experiences, or a gay man may once have had a girlfriend who he felt he genuinely loved. Your body and emotions will communicate where you sit on the spectrum; who you tend to notice in the high street and what makes you sexually excited. Try not to obsess about it and overanalyze, but instead listen to the information that your body is giving you.
Suicide-or-homosexuality is a desperate and bleak way to look at life and it's very sad that you feel that way, especially considering your age when you've got so many wonderful experiences ahead of you. Remember:
- You don't have to tell anyone about your sexuality until you want to. That could be in years to come when you have your own home and financial independence and when you feel safe. If you are worried about the reaction to your coming out, then don't do it until the circumstances feel right for you to take that step. You are in control of that. Desperate thoughts about what might happen if you come out right now are pointlessly distressing. Nobody is forcing you to confess. It doesn't make you deceptive or manipulative to keep your sexuality to yourself because you think you are at risk.
- If someone asks about your love life, say that you like being single for the moment or that you 'haven't met the right person', or say you prefer to keep your love life to yourself and they shouldn't be nosey. Remember, you are in control of the information that you give people and when you give it - if at all.
- You don't sound completely sure about your sexuality yet. This is another reason not to worry yourself about how other people might react. Focus on your own feelings and needs. As things become clearer and you get to know yourself better, you will feel more confident about facing the issues surrounding coming out.
- It's easy to panic and imagine terrible outcomes, but focus on reality and the facts.
- It's also worth pointing out that, while you may not have been born here, you put your location as the UK. Being gay is not illegal here or punishable by law, no matter what cultural or religious background your family has. Looking to the future, you are not as trapped as you may feel now.
Name [Andrew] Age  Gender [M]
I am 24 years old. I fell in love with a beautiful man last year, and we've been dating for that time. He's 45, I'm 24. There is a significant age difference. It doesn't bother me, or him. We love each other deeply. My parents condemn me or forbid me from ever seeing him. He is so special to me, and I need someone to talk to. I feel like my freedom and life are in danger. Please help.
If you think your life is in danger, for whatever reason, you must speak to the police. Your sexuality is irrelevant in the matter of your physical safety.
At 24 years old - an adult - your parents can't forbid you from seeing whoever you want to see. If you still live at home then it seems like a very good idea to move out. I would have thought, beyond basic rules about helping with the finances and doing your share of the chores, the healthy home life of an adult man wouldn't see his freedoms controlled or conditions put on him about who he can socialise with. This isn't normal, Andrew. It's vital that you realise that.
It's wonderful that you've met someone who makes you happy and it's up to nobody but you to decide if he's right for you. It's up to you to take control of the situation, as a grown man, so that you can be with him. Even without a man in your life, I would urge you to take a serious look at your current home life and family dynamic. I know it's hard, but if those who are supposed to care about you the most are tyrannical and make you feel in danger for your life, you need to get away. Does your partner have somewhere you could stay? What does he think of the situation? How can he help?
Take practical, bold steps to get control over your life and create a better situation for yourself. I don't think you have much choice but to rock the boat and make some big changes. You're not a powerless 15 year old and you don't need to be a victim.
Name [Joshua] Age  Gender [M]
My names Josh and I live in Britain
My coming out story has been and is long gone and took most of my troubles with it thank god. I'm in a much more stabled and balanced situation now which is why I have aloud myself to write to you with a calm and peaceful approach. My main worry now is that I simply can't find a boy to be in a relationship with so much so that I have began to exercise ( I am a tad chunky hehe) and lost half a stone and seen major improvement in my physical and mental happiness but I still feel lonely and I'm afraid that ill be one of these 40 year old with just as many cats as my age what can I possibly do to improve my love life please respond and thanks for listening xxx
At 14 it's a little soon to be worrying about being single, and it worries me that you're thinking about dieting when your body is still growing. Exercise and healthy eating are important at any age and should be a way of life rather than something we do when we put on a few pounds. But it's easy to become too focussed on calories and time spent in the gym, however, so be sure to eat enough and not become obsessive about exercise and body image. I've struggled with my weight at various times in my life too and ended up on meal replacement drinks at 15. They made me feel tired and unwell. I was still a child who was growing and needed to eat properly, not have milkshakes for dinner. You don't need to be skinny to get a boyfriend. In fact, many guys like guys with a fuller, more masculine shape, and that doesn't mean being perfect.
You sound as though you're in quite a romantic rush: did you think you'd be settled down with someone and planning the wedding at 14? What makes you think that in the next several decades you won't meet and fall in love with someone amazing?
Maybe better not to worry about never finding love and instead focus on ways you can meet other young gay people. It'll be great to have new friends, but you'll also be more likely to find romance by expanding your friendship circle and creating opportunities. My page here will get you started, and be sure to check out the youth groups links page too.
Name [Fiona] Age  Gender [F]
Okay, a few months ago I broke up with my now ex-girlfriend. I just wanted her out of my life, she'd manipulated and lied to me, and even isolated me from her friends!
I'd wanted to stay friends, but then the unthinkable happened. She started telling people my deepest, darkest secrets. I'd trusted her! In the end, I did my best to cut her out of my life. I ignored her messages and unfriended her.
Now I keep getting nasty messages from her and her new Girlfriend.
I feel so hurt. I've been called names my whole life but they've never hurt like they do now. I want to die.
Breaking up with someone you care about it hard enough for anyone, especially when they hurt you and let you down. But your ex has now turned into a bully and her behaviour cannot be allowed to continue. Her brand of bullying is known as cyber bullying, where she's using the internet to get to you. That may be by email or using social networking sites like Facebook. You can find out more about cyber bullying on this Childline page. Please also take the time to read my bullying page.
It's possible that she and her nasty pals will get bored or find kinder ways to spend their time, but you have to assume they won't, and get help. If you are worried about revealing your sexuality as part of speaking out, remember that you don't have to say this girl is your ex and you don't have to be specific about all of the things she's saying. Besides, whether there is a grain of truth in her messages, to you or in public, or not isn't relevant here: it's the intention to hurt and upset you that is. Speak to a teacher, parent or adult friend. I imagine that the moment this girl is confronted with an adult who is speaking to her parents she'll back right off.
You're better off without this awful girl in your life. You wouldn't want to be with someone who's capable of cruelty and bullying. I know it hurts now, but you will feel better with time. There are plenty of good people out there who are worth your love and trust. This girl is not one of them. We can't help who we develop feelings for and you didn't do anything wrong by falling for her. Her current behaviour is not your fault or something you have to put up with.
Name [Lucy] Age  Gender [F]
My problem is being gay i have a daughter from a brief fling and she means the world to me I have know for some time now that i am gay but I just can't handle tellin any1 I even tried to kill myself a while back it was a stupid thing to do I know that now but I can't see myself ever being true to my feelings i am terrified and have no1 2 talk 2 about it
You're being honest with yourself and with me in your email, so that's a good start. You know that things need to change so that you can be happy and get more out of life. You have a daughter who you love, so hold onto that whenever you feel down or desperate. She needs you to be here with her and to be strong. Being a lesbian or bisexual person isn't the end of the world and it doesn't represent all that you are or all that you have to offer. It shouldn't be something that stops you being the fun, happy mum that your daughter needs.
What is it about liking women that causes you such distress? Are all the people in your life completely anti and hateful? Would they all abandon you and your daughter? Do you think you'd be in danger if they knew the truth? I'm deliberately being extreme here, but that's because suicide is extreme and, it follows, that you must have been in such turmoil or so afraid that you felt you had no choice but to end your life.
The people in your life are either completely unsympathetic and hostile, or you got yourself into a bad emotional state through imagining worst case scenarios with friends and family and simply not being able to accept yourself as a lesbian. If it's the former, I'd suggest you get some distance between yourself and these rotten people, for your mental health and your daughter's wellbeing... but if it's the latter then there's a lot you can do to completely change your life for the better without so much as leaving your desk.
You're a young woman with loads of great things ahead of you but you need to remove this block around your sexuality or it'll be a shadow over everything for as long as you allow it. Concentrate on facts and not imagining the worst or allowing yourself to despair i.e.:
- Try: Mum is usually supportive and hasn't shown any major homopbobic behaviour
Not: She'll hate and abandon me
- Try: My best friend is fairly open minded
Not: She'll ditch me and spread rumours
- Try: I'm a good person who's done nothing wrong and I deserve to be happy
Not: I'm a freak and can't have a normal life
- Try: My daughter loves and needs me and I can teach her that sexuality doesn't matter
Not: My daughter will think I'm disgusting and listen to everyone else's hate
Identifying why you think being gay is such a problem and why you feel so bad about it is the first step. Write a list. That gives us something to cross out!
You might be worried about how your friends and family will react. You might worry about how your daughter will feel about having a gay mum, or worry that she'll be bullied. You might worry about finding a partner and being lonely. These are all common concerns and they can all be tackled. I don't know why you feel so bad, so I can't address your specific worries. It's up to you to look at the things that are blocking your path and to come up with a positive, proactive and logical course of action to tackle each one. A good place to start would be to explore my website. You might find answers to some of your questions or at least get some ideas for moving forward.
You can do this. Start today.
Name [Jed] Age  Gender [M]
hi i'm jed, i'm really really confused at the moment, my whole teen life i thought the way i thought about other guys, i always thought i would change if i tried hard enough, but this year i came to realize that i was gay, i haven't told anyone.
the problem is i thought i was gay but on the weekend i was quite drunk and made out with a chick all night and my head has been spinning since, cause all that my mates wanted me too was go home with but i was not keen, she was attractive but i kept feeling i was doing it for my mates.
i thought that i could be bi but i don't think about woman in that way, i want to make gay friends but i'm my friends and family will catch on, they wouldn't be happy.
is my thinking off or should i try play both sides of the field as much as i can, even if i'm not that much into it???
You should only do what feels right for you and should never do anything with anyone, male or female, for any other reason apart from being attracted to and wanting to be close to them.
If you are attracted to someone then it's completely normal and good to kiss them, but it's not okay to do so because you want to manipulate the way people feel about or perceive you i.e. kissing someone to make your friends think you are heterosexual. You certainly shouldn't be intimate with someone you really aren't all that interested in. It's unfair on the other person and it won't be much fun for you.
It takes courage to be yourself, but it's absolutely the right way you live your life and the clearest path to being happy. You have realised that you are gay and that sexuality is not something you can change, so the next step is to behave more honestly with other people; treating them and yourself with respect. That doesn't mean you have to come out right now if you're not ready, but it does mean not behaving in a way that isn't natural to you or doesn't make you feel good.
Throw away the pressure of 'trying' to be interested in both sexes, and just allow yourself to be drawn to whoever you genuinely find attractive and interesting. Try to be brave enough to do what feels right for you even if that might not be what your friends expect. It'll make you feel empowered, confident and simply good about yourself. Behaving this way also makes it easier to find someone who's really special.
Name [Anonymous] Age  Gender [F]
I really hope you can answer my problem you can put it on the page if you want. I need some help.
When i was young i used to play in a big group of boys and i loved it i also always wished i was a boy, but when i hit puberty they noticed how different i was from them. one of them actually called me a lesbian in front of a group of girls. when i realised i was gay about a year later i had pushed these feelings of wanting to be a boy aside. to get along at high school i became withdrawn and made friends with some girls and fell in love with one of my straight friends. i got over it pretty much but to get by i have to be friends with her still, which is not good because i need to move on. My friends are horrible and criticise me and call me gay lesbian etc, i can't connect with them like i would with a male friend.
i feel so alone and depressed sometimes i get paranoid that someone's going to call me a lesbian or someone will overhear that and spread it round. sometimes i wish i was a boy and feel like a boy so badly, but i'm really confused i like wearing boys clothes and stuff and feel awkward when somebody treats me like a girl. my mum and dad know i'm gay and i get them to call me son as a joke but that's it. maybe i'm just a tomboy? i really don't know anymore, i feel so alone. I'm sorry my letter was so long but please, please help me.
You may find this page from the NHS about gender dysmorphia useful. I don't have much experience of transexual issues and it wouldn't be right for me to attempt to advise you if you feel that you are not simply lesbian, but a man in the wrong body.
My lack of experience doesn't mean I can't offer some general guidance and food for thought. I think it's of key importance, for you to feel happier and more confident, that you work out whether you are a gay woman or a person who feels that her body is the wrong gender.
I have met many lesbian ladies who enjoy wearing clothes regarded as masculine, and who choose to have their hair cut in a short, boyish style, but these weren't woman who were yearning to be male. Likewise, I've met many gay men who were quite effeminate in manner, dress and style, but were very happy to be men and enjoyed experiencing the unique relationship that a man can have with another man.
Homosexuality and transexuality are different things and I think you'll get a clearer idea, as many young people do, about which speaks to your situation as you get older. This is a time of change and discovery, and you can't force or hurry it. Be patient with yourself and try to listen to the information that your body and emotions are giving you. Never 'try' to feel a certain way or put yourself into situations that don't feel right. Don't clutter the path between you and your feelings with worries about what you're 'supposed' to be, and try not to let worries about other peoples' reactions steer you away from the truth of how you feel. Things will make more sense and become clearer with time. It may help you to speak to your doctor if you think that you were born the wrong gender.
I'm concerned that your so-called friends make your life tough with name calling and criticism. If you feel you are being bullied please seek help (my dedicated bullying page may be of interest). I know it's not easy to just break away from a group of people who are important to you, and I'm sure they have their good points, but it's a good idea to spend less time with people who make you feel bad and spend more with those who accept you.