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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Safe Places

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Author Topic: Safe Places
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 36725

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So many times people are encouraged to "Just be yourself" around others if you want to be accepted. But it's not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes being yourself is something that makes us all feel a little less than comfortable or safe.

What makes you feel the most comfortable talking with a friend, family member, or anyone else about being G/L/B/T? What types of signs do you look for when meeting and getting to know people that let you know they might be a safe person to talk to? What types of things make you a little less than comfortable just being able to be who you are without worrying about how others may view you? Do you find it difficult to be yourself around other people?

"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Great topic, Stephanie! [Smile]

Here are some places I can think of off the top of my head:

- Most places with a close friend: When I was 14, it was loud conversations on the schoolbus (oh my!) with a good friend and just yesterday it was while talking all over town with another friend. While I usually watch what I'm saying depending on the location, it just feels so right and comfortable.

- Queer-friendly locales, such a LGBT evening at a coffee shop or dance night at a club.

- HIV testing non-profit: I had never felt so comfortable talking about my sexual history with a complete stranger than I did with that great social worker! (I almost forgot to keep looking at the rapid test; nonetheless, I was greatly relieved to see when it's negative....)

- Online at Scarleteen!

- Emails and chats with friends.

- Sometimes in the car. (Infamous location for coming out to parents, right?)

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Scarleteen Volunteer
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Interesting topic! [Smile]

There are a few people that I feel safe with, regardless of where I'm at, and that's my friends from high school. We've known each other for ten years now and no matter what, we're there for each other. It also helps that, in my particular group of friends, about half are some type of queer.

In connection with that, I also always felt safe when I still went to my old high school. The whole place was just so freakin' accepting and welcoming.

I feel safe at my parents' house because, even though they may not always 'get' me, they completely support me.

There is also an indie cafe/dance club on my campus that's very queer-friendly.

And, of course, e-mail/chat/etc with close friends.

(Lena: I almost came out to my then-boyfriend in the car but decided against it, as a mutual friend had recently come out to her brother while he was driving, and he'd ended up taking down a mailbox [Razz] )

What signs do I look for? I sometimes still use the old trick of bringing up a gay-themed movie/song/etc or a celebrity that's out, just to test the waters. But mostly, I've stopped 'coming out' and now use a "if you ask, I'll answer" policy. Anyone who's wierded out isn't someone I want to be friends with, anyway, and I thankfully live in an area where wierd looks and backing away is the worst that'll happen to me.

Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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I find it hard to think of places where I can just be myself. I feel physically safe, usually everywhere. But I don't really feel emotionally safe anywhere.

Everyone I speak to about this stuff, I censor myself- even with a counsellor. I guess its easier to talk with friendly queer people about being queer, but then I've found that there's other parts of me that they don't understand. So still, I don't really talk beyond the superficial.

And, its really hard to keep things inside like this so I hope that I can find a safe person to talk to one of these days.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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