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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » I'm so confused... Can I please talk to someone?

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Author Topic: I'm so confused... Can I please talk to someone?
mrudolph52
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I'm 19 years old and have recently realized that I think I am attracted to girls. It's so hard for me because I hate feeling so confused. I know I need to explore my feelings, so I really want to meet somebody, but it is so hard for me to meet somebody because I am so worried about what people will think of me if I am a lesbian or bisexual. My recent sexual confusion has resulted in me losing focus in school, and I can't afford to hold in these feelings anymore. I have told my closest friend and my sister about my feelings, but I just don't know what to do. I really want to explore these feelings, but I don't know how to go about that. I just wish this could be an easier process. [Frown]
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Heather
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Talk away!

We can explore our feelings without being in relationship to someone else, even when our feelings are about other people. And when we're feeling really freaked out and confused, that tends to be the worst time to try and forge sexual or other intimate relationship with people, anyway. That just isn't a good headspace to start relationships in, and other folks and your relationships with them probably are only going to add more confusion in a space like this, rather than more clarity.

I'm hearing that you're both feeling confused about your attraction to girls, but are also feeling very worried about being lesbian or bisexual because of what others will think. Are there other people in particular you're worried about in terms of judgment?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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Thanks for replying. I am not really sure. I know I have a really supportive family and group of friends, but my sister is a lesbian, and I don't want my parents to be disappointed that I may be as well. It's also very hard for me because my housemates that I am living with are pretty homophobic and are very unaccepting of that "lifestyle." It is really hard dealing with these feelings and knowing that the people who I am friends with, and am LIVING with, are so anti-gay.
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Heather
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Why do you think your parents would be disappointed?

Perhaps more directly: why do you think it would be okay for parents to have any investment in what orientation their children are, and if they do, why isn't that their own issue to sort out and manage?

By all means, living in a homophobic household can be scary no matter what your orientation is, but all the more so when you're not heterosexual. Might it be time to consider changing your living arrangement?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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I don't know. I think my parents would mostly be concerned. They know that there is still a lot of discrimination and they would probably worry about me having to face that. But they also hope for me to get married and have children.

And I know. I am considering changing my living arrangements for next year. It is so hard because I have to be so secretive about everything right now. If I ever talk about this with anyone, I have to make sure none of my housemates are home. I just really hate feeling so confused and having to live a double life.

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Heather
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You can still get married and have children with a female partner if that's something you both want.

By all means, concerns about discrimination are sound concerns. However, those aren't answered by you not being whoever it is you are. Those are actually best answered by everyone being authentically who they are and asking for fairness, and by allies doing the same.

I also think good parents will want to be supportive of whatever your orientation is and recognize that they need to manage their own worries, since they're the parents AND know that you being able to be who you are with them and have their support makes you a lot safer all by itself. You know?

I'm so sorry you're in that spot with your housemates, which sounds incredibly emotionally dangerous to me. Can you look into changing your living situation sooner rather than later?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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Yeah, I totally understand. My parents are very loving and I know they would be supportive. And I know that I could still get married and have children with a female partner. I just don't want to give my parents something else to worry about.

And I don't know. [Frown] It's really hard to look into different apartments since I am attending college and working part-time and have already settled in to our new apartment. My roommate is open-minded, so I think she would be supportive, but I don't know about my other housemates. I'm so afraid of opening up to some of these people because they are my friends and I don't want this to change anything about our relationship. Especially since some of them are homophobic.

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Heather
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It might help to recognize that your parents would probably also be very worried -- maybe even more so -- about their kid feeling they couldn't ask them for care and support because the kid was most worried about them. [Smile]

I understand how touch changing living arrangements quickly can be on a skimpy income and with little time. At the same time, being afraid to have your orientation discovered because you know or suspect it would equal harassment or attacks by housemates just really isn't a healthy living situation.

Do you want to talk about ways you could move fast more easily OR about possible avenues to have this sorted out with them?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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I just wish there was a way that i can help them with their ignorance. They are supposedly good friends, so I just wish there was something I could do to show them that I'm not a different person because I may be having these feelings, that I am the same person they became friends with and moved in with.
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Heather
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I'm needing to be done with work for the day, but when I'm back tomorrow morning, I'll step in this thread first thing and talk about some options with this for you.

Hang in there!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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okay. Thank you so much. [Smile]
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Heather
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Sorry you had to wait!

quote:
I just wish there was something I could do to show them that I'm not a different person because I may be having these feelings, that I am the same person they became friends with and moved in with.
While I agree with this at its core, and think it's an important sentiment, at the same time, I think its equally important to remember that their homophobia isn't personal. I don't mean it's not okay to take it personally -- it IS personal for you -- but that if a person is homophobic, realizing ONE queer person is "the same person" as before they knew they were LBGQ, or before the other person knew they were, probably isn't going to fix anything.

Because ultimately, right, this is about whatever set of negative or unaccepting assumptions they make and ideas they have about all LGBQ people; about ways they discriminate against all. It's about not only how many of their ideas are likely false, but about their hating.

I think it might help me out to know some of the ways in which they have enacted/voiced homophobia first. Can you fill me in a little more?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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Okay. I have heard them say several times that people that are gay are "gross" and that they are going to go to Hell. They constantly try to figure out if people are gay or lesbian and if they think they are, they whisper amongst themselves. Truthfully, it is very immature. There was a time when I was discussing with my parents about my sister, who is a lesbian, and who wants to marry her partner, and my housemates walked into the room during this conversation and they blatantly started laughing and freaked out that my sister is a lesbian. It is really hurtful.

The worst part is that I am not completely sure yet if I am or am not a lesbian or bisexual so I can't confide in anybody except for my sister. [Frown]

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Heather
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I'm so sorry it took me so long to get back to this: storms here today cut off my 'net for much of the day.

I have to be honest and say that this doesn't sound like a situation where these folks are likely to change much or make it at all safe for you. This sounds like incredibly strong bias, and they've also shown you that even when they do know someone or of someone directly who isn't straight, they still won't step it up.

There are some folks where you can really start to talk about this and who probably can have some epiphanies in relatively short order. There are some folks who it's safe to have those conversations with. Based on what you've told me, these folks don't sound like either, so my very best advice is to change your living situation as soon as you can. Heck, even if you were straight, these don't sound like people who create a healthy living environment, so you'd probably want to get out anyway.

I know that's probably not the news or advice you wanted, but it's the best that I have for a situation like this. [Frown]

That given, if you want some help or support in looking into ways to move, I'd be glad to help.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mrudolph52
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Okay. I will keep that in mind. Thank you for your help. [Smile]
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