Am I selfish for not wanting to come out?

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strawberrysyrup
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Am I selfish for not wanting to come out?

Unread postby strawberrysyrup » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:30 am

Hello,

I've been questioning my sexuality for a few years now (almost 3) and I've never really wanted to come out because I don't actually know if I am bi (or something else) or not. Part of this is probably because I don't think I am valid in my feelings. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as being gay or bi until almost seventh grade. And it was only then that I began to think about what it would be like to have a crush on or like someone of my same gender.

For some reason, I feel like I tricked myself into thinking that I'm bi because I never had those feelings before I had heard of the concept. And like you guys have said, being turned on or having crushes or things is all from your brain. I've never actually slept with anyone of any gender, so I can't even use that as a basis to see whether I can get aroused with different people. How do I even know that I am actually bi or just not straight, and this all not just my brain tricking me into this?

Honestly, I probably would've just continued not telling anyone until I was 200% sure, but about a week ago my baby sister (11 yrs) came out to me and said she thought she was lesbian. And she's very stressed out because she wants to come out to our parents, and wants to be able to talk to someone who understands her.

I've never told anyone that I felt like this, but now I'm wondering if I should for her because she needs someone to rely on. But, I just don't want to because I'm not confident with what my brain is telling me, and I don't want that weight of having myself out.

I guess, do you guys have any advice on what I should do here, if anything at all?

Thank you <3

Sam W
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Re: Am I selfish for not wanting to come out?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:48 am

Hi strawberrysyrup,

To answer the question in your title: no, it's not selfish to not come out. Coming out is a really personal decision, one you get to make for yourself, so if you don't feel ready to come out as bi (or even as questioning), you don't have to, and it doesn't make you a selfish person.

That being said, there may be a way for you to support your sister without coming out entirely or having to have you own orientation sorted out first. Since it sounds like you two are close enough that she came out to you first, would you feel comfortable telling her that you know what it's like to question your orientation, and that if she wants to talk with someone about it or process her feelings, you're open to being that person (assuming that you actually are)? Too, even if you don't want to come out, do you get the sense she's looking for support in figuring out how to do that? If so, do you feel up for helping her figure out how to come out to your parents?

As far as your concerns about your orientation, you're right that our brains play a huge role in attraction. But that means that it's less likely that your brain is somehow tricking you into imagining an orientation that's not there and more likely that it's cluing you in to an orientation, or at least a curiosity, that is. Too, if these thoughts only arouse after you learned about the concept of being bi or gay, that's not a sign they're fake. Often, that happens because when we learn a new concept, we may look to see if it applies to our own lives and find evidence that it does (or it might).

I really like the questions towards the bottom of this article that are designed to help people think bout what their orientation might be, and they may be helpful ones to ask yourself: The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone.

strawberrysyrup
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:41 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I am a pretty good writer
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: questioning and confused
Location: Texas

Re: Am I selfish for not wanting to come out?

Unread postby strawberrysyrup » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:41 pm

Hi sorry for the late reply, we've been out of power for a bit now but now that we have it back I've been thinking about your post a lot.

First of all, thank you a lot for that reassurance, I don't know if I'll ever be ready ready to come out, but at least it's not on me for that. This is off topic, but what if I never want to come out? Is that an option? Like could I potentially just show up at home with my partner and announce them as my s/o...

I don't know if this could have anything to do with it, but in the article there was a paragraph about how heteronormativity was (is) a big thing. I distinctly remember as a child all I would see were m/f couples. Like I mentioned before, I had no idea it was even an option to love someone else than a guy. Even my uncle who is openly gay, was always introduced with 'his best friend.' I only found out via eavesdropping that him and his (now husband) boyfriend were together romantically. While I understand that that was because our mother country, where he currently lives, had made homosexuality illegal and our family didn't want a 7 year old spilling criminal activities, it still rubs me a bit wrong. My sister of course found out at the same time as I did, so she would have been about 7 and I was 12. In that paragraph, there is a mention about how our community and society shape us. And I can't help but wonder how that has affected my sister and I. With how differently we're approaching the same dilemma.

I don't think she's wrong or anything, or mistaken with her sexuality. I can't do that, and I am doing my best to support her as an ally and a week ago I almost thought she came out to her friends without telling anyone. But I don't think she did, and i don't even know what to do at this point.

Sorry this ended being more of a ranting ramble, than any actual questions being asked or answered. But to answer your main question, yes I would absolutely be up for helping her come out, except every time she approaches me I'm getting ready for bed, so my brain has already begun to shut down and relax so I tend to get snappy or short when I'm not in full control of my emotions. And I think I may have accidentally driven her away, even though I'm trying to help her. :cry:

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6834
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Am I selfish for not wanting to come out?

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:08 am

No worries, and I'm glad you've gotten power back!

I do think that when we're exposed to concepts like same gender relationships can influence our own understanding of our orientation, if for no other reason than it gives us context for things we might be feeling. As far as letting her know you support her and will help her come out if that's something she needs, what if you initiated the conversation with her? Even just saying something basic like, "hey, the last few times you've brought this up, I wasn't really in headspace to talk bout it. But what I want you to know is that if you need help or support round this, that's something you can ask me for."

In terms of maybe not ever coming out, some people do not ever come out to certain people in their lives. A lot of factors go into making that choice, including the risks of coming out, the emotional stress of staying closeted, and the difficulties posed by not coming out (like having to really be on alert during conversations). And some people do choose to come out in actions rather than words (so, bringing partner home to meet the family). I generally don't recommend that approach, because it can be extra stressful for you and the other person, and it my amplify whatever reactions your family has to you coming out, because it feels to them like an added shock.


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