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This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians, click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.
If you follow the news, you'll notice there've been a number of high profile issues involving trans (short for transgender) teens or kids. For those who may not know, trans refers to individuals who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Many trans or gender non-conforming youth come to us looking for support they're having difficulty finding, or don't feel safe looking for elsewhere. We know from talking with these users that one of the biggest factors in their overall well-being -- and how hard or easy all of this is on them -- is how supported and safe they feel in their identities when around their families.Read more...
In an episode of the Mtv show 'Faking It', the main character Amy expresses being interested in a boy. Since this comes on the heels of Amy confessing her love for her female best friend at the end of the first season, many viewers felt frustrated and confused. Wasn't Amy a lesbian? Had she not just come out? What was she doing making eyes at that boy?
To some extent, I get that. There are so few relateable representations of lesbians on television, especially when it comes to young women, that we just want to hold on to the few we've got. We don't want Amy to be making eyes at that guy because we really, really need Amy on our team. But by wanting Amy to be on Team Lesbian, we are not only closing the door on other, equally valid identities (bisexuality, pansexuality, queer, etc), but we are also denying the reality for many that sexual orientation is not an on/off switch or something that is static, but that attraction and figuring ourselves out is a long process that is not alwaysRead more...
I first learned asexuality existed around a year ago. I decided to research it simply because it was something I had never heard about and wanted to be informed.
I came across AVEN and several blogs with people telling about their own experiences with asexuality and debunking myths. After some time of reading about it and kind of forgot about the matter, kept the information I had researched as something to remember when talking to people.
Several months later, the Sunday newspaper featured an article about asexuality. Like before, I didn't think much beyond that it was good asexuality was finally seeming to get some media to talk about it.
One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.
Also, it's helpful for parents to have their own source of support in handling a child's gender identity or transition. Of course, you're going to be the best expert in your own identity and what support you specifically need from your family and loved ones, but it might be a big help for everyone involved if you can connect them to some of theseRead more...
In hindsight, I knew when I was around ten or eleven that I was queer: that I had and was experiencing growing sexual and romantic feelings for people of all genders, not just those of one of for those of a different sex or gender than me, feelings I'd continue to have throughout my teen years and my adult life to date. I didn't have the language for it then, though, even though there were queer adults in my orbit I could have gotten it from, adults I naturally gravitated towards without realizing a big part of why was because I saw myself in them and I really needed them. Looking back, others identified my orientation before I did: a homophobic grandparent, an uncomfortable parent as well as a comfortable and readily accepting parent, and, most important to this particular tale, a group of teenage meanies in the blessedly brief time I spent in a suburban public high school in the 80's who sometimes whispered but other times yelled, "Dyke!" or "Lesbo!" as they passed me in the halls.Read more...
I guess I'll just jump right in to it! My boyfriend recently broke up with me, and confided in me that it was because lately, he's been seriously questioning his sexuality. I completely support him, I still care about him, and I want to help him find out, because I can't stand seeing him so confused and helpless (that's what he said he felt like). So problem #1 is, how can I be there for him? The past week, he's been very down, his head hurts from thinking, and every time I see him, he looks lost. He's not sure how attracted he really is to other guys, mostly because we live in a small town, and he's never had a relationship with a guy before. We've talked a lot, and spent a couple days after school just sitting, and me just putting my arms around him for a while. I don't know what else I can do for him.
turbo18 asks:I've known I was gay for about 5 years (im now 19). Lately however something's been "wrong," I'm being attracted to certain women! I've even started looking at "straight" porn. Last night I made out with a girl for the first time, and I even asked her out and I have strong feelings for her (she knew I was gay).
I feel as I've lost my identity. I've dont know who or what I am anymore. I've been with and fallen for guys before. but now I'm questioning my own sexuality again, but for the opposite reason then most. I think I might be bisexual or straight.
Shadowlover says: I am feeling extremely guilty at the moment. I am a seventeen year old bisexual girl, and am currently involved in a relationship with a lovely boy. But I am also lusting after (or crushing on, really) another girl. The problem isn't that I can't have her, I know that, but rather the guilt I feel towards not wanting my boyfriend as much. I really like him and he loves me, but I don't know whether I want to stay with him, and I don't want to hurt his feelings as I have broken up with him before. But I really would prefer a relationship with another female, and feel extremely guilty as I am with someone. I have no clue what to do! Or even how to find another bi/gay girl if i do break up with my boy.