Gay/Lesbian/Bi Teens/I Wish For Acceptance
I'm a bi-sexual teen, and have recenly come out to a select few friends and family members. After this,
I feel like I have more supprot, but there is also the people who I haven't told. As I've talk with these people to try and learn their veiws, I've found many people I've been soooo close to fro years are against different sexuality, and strongly. Those who would scream at me and condem me to hell if they found out. One being my own brother. I'm Unitarian, so while I accept that this is how they've been tought, I can't come to accept te hate. It hurts so badly......If I were to ever bring a girl home, most of my friends would stop talking with me and my brother would...I don't even know what he would do. It makes me angry to feel afraid to love as I wish. I don't feel shame. I've learned better than to do that. It's fear. And also with my aunt who is like a sister to me getting very involved in religion, I am woried. I don't want my family to hate me. I know my mom doesn't (step, not sure of biological nor do I care), as of me me-maw and papa. I don't know what to do.......I just wish acceptance existed in all places, but I guess it would leave us nothing left to fight for.
Also, my lesbian friend is being forced to move because her mom disagrees with it. Yet when Emily dated abusive people, and her mother as well, when She thought she was pregnant, none of that is worse than this only because the person she loves and who treats her right is a woman. How can I releive my anger over this?
Hi Coaley, it's nice to hear from you. First of all, please forgive me for replying so late. I do my best to respond within 1 day, however I'm been more busy then usual lately (Dec.2 was even my Birthday). You deserve a quicker response, and for that I am very sorry that I didn't do it sooner.
Congrats on coming out to some of your friends and family members. I think of coming out as a video game. At the beginning, you should come out to those who you know will be in your corner 100% and will undoubtedly be supportive (your first few times should have very little surprises) and as time goes by gradually tell more challenging individuals. You'll likely learn what works for you as you go along (for example telling them in person vs. over the phone) and that's something that you'll only learn with experience. Coming out is going to be a lifelong experience for every LGBT individual. As new people enter our lives we will constantly have to decide if/when to come out to them.
If you are hesitant about how someone will react to the news of you coming out, there are a few things that I would like you do first before you tell them.
1. Like I mentioned briefly earlier, tell as many supportive people before you get to the more challenging individuals. It's normal to feel like youíre on a roller coaster of emotions, but it's good to know that those individuals who are supportive will help keep you grounded and thinking clearly as you go through this. Support can go a long way, so feel free to lean on them during difficult times.
2. There is a process of thinking you can do to minimize the potential negativity and it's called "The Worry Buster". First think of what your worried about happening (for example, I'm worried about what other people think of me if I were to give my partner of the same-sex a bit of public display of affection).
Next, you would think of the worst possible scenario that could happen from that situation (for example, the most negative result that could happen to me is getting attacked from individuals who are not supportive of LGBT people).
After that step, you work backwards and put as many steps in place that you can to avoid that from happening (for example, if I'm worried about getting attacked we could stay in LGBT friendly areas, well populated areas so if someone were to do it everyone would see them, you could do it with lots of friends/support around you so they can step-in too and verbally tell them off or call the police if anything were to happen, etc..).
If you apply The Worry Buster often, you will realize that our problems aren't as bad as they first appear, and instead of thinking of the worst possible scenario we think proactively for positive solutions.
3. If youíre not sure whether or not someone is likely going to be supportive right away or not, try talking to them about the LGBT community as a whole. Mention a news story you heard about the community and see how they respond. World AIDS week just passed, you can use that topic if you like. Their reaction and attitude will give you a big hint as to how supportive they will likely be after you tell them the news. I should also mention that sometimes everyone needs a bit of time to process the news. If someone does give a negative reaction, give them a bit of time to show them that nothing about you has changed and they may come around. I know you put in a lot of time coming to the realization that your Bi. If some people have a difficult time accepting the news, give them the same courtesy that you have given yourself and cut them a little slack for a couple weeks or months.
You seem to have a lot of friends and family members who are religious. I know you didn't ask about religion specifically, but there is something I'd like you to know about that topic. There is a website that you can go to that has a listing of LGBT friendly religious denominations in your area. I went through it for random areas and I saw so many different services that religious LGBT individuals can purse if they choose. Just about everything from Presbyterian to Baptist is there somewhere. The website is www.gaychurch.org. If you would like to see whatís in your area you could go to that website, click "List Churches by State/Province. After, select your state from the drop down box and all the listings will appear. As a personal rule, I don't give out any spiritual advice; I leave that for you and your religious leaders. If you do have any questions about how to deal with any challenges that youíre feeling about your religion and sexuality, I encourage you to call a LGBT friendly Church and make an appointment to talk with a leader in one of the religious organizations listed and get their perspective on everything. They will be able to assist you more with that part then I can.
I also want you to know that not coming out is always an option. In fact, I suggest that if you anticipate a negative response from a parent/guardian who you depend on, that you not tell them until you are no longer financially dependent on them. If you feel like you need to tell them anyway, I would like you to go over The Worry Buster, and try to minimize the worst possible scenario in case it should happen.
As far as minimizing your anger goes there are lots of solutions you could do. Some helpful solutions might be to exercise, yoga, music, hang out with supportive individuals and vent to them, read and get a new hobby. You may even just want to write about how angry you are in a journal or word document and delete it right after. Whatever youíre feeling, you will need to let it surface as it happens. Suppressing our emotions never works and if you try, they will come back again later. Letting them surface and resolving them (like you with your anger) is a good way to calm yourself down. Obviously, it is always best to eliminate the cause of anger but that's not always possible. If however you are able to do that, I highly recommend it.
I also suggest that you go to itgetsbetter.org. The website has many videos from lots of different people with different experiences talking about how they felt and what the coming out process was like for them. If you would listen to some, I think youíll find that youíre experience and what youíre feeling if very similar to them.
It would be nice if you could stay in touch with Emily, but it looks unlikely that it will happen. Obviously, nothing that is going on is fair to either one of you, so you'll both likely have to make the best of what's going on as best you can. I have personally felt discrimination from my family because I'm Gay. I can't understand everything what youíre going through, but I can understand at least parts of it. No matter how bad the situation is, do your best to learn from it and stay in close contact with as many supportive individuals as you can (if your able to make some new friends too, thatís a bonus).
Good luck with everything. If I can assist any further, please donít hesitate to send me a follow-up message.
One of your biggest supporters,