Dear Dr. Darcy:
I think I am a lesbian, or at least bisexual, but I don’t know how to explore it some more. And I tried talking to my best friend about it a little, but she thought I was joking, so I pretended I was because I have never been very good at sharing my emotions. I suppose I just want to experiment a little, but I don’t know how to without everyone finding out other than an internet relationship, but I don’t think that will help. So, how can I explore my sexuality and eventually, maybe, come out?
This is a great question, and just to clarify for my readers, I emailed this writer to confirm her age, which is 16, because clearly my answer would be different if I were responding to an adult. That said, here we go:
I’m sorry we live in a world where it’s still not (necessarily) safe for kids to explore their sexuality in high school, but at least now there are systems in place intended to make the process easier. The first thing you should do is check to see if your school has a Gay/Straight Alliance (called GSA). Most public schools do. (Parents of straight kids: Please check with your school to ensure that they have a GSA). The kids in it are gay, bisexual, questioning or homo-friendly, which means that it will be safe for you to discuss your feelings with the kids in that group. The next thing you can do is connect with an organization called GLSEN (linked to here), particularly if your school doesn’t have a GSA, as they’ll be able to help you start one. You can also volunteer for GLSEN or for any other LGBT organization, which will help connect you to people with whom you can discuss this. I don’t know how open your family is, but there are also summer camps specifically for LGBTQ’s (the Q is for questioning), such as Camp Ten Trees, (linked to here). The bottom line is that you want to make some HomoFriends. And to be crystal clear, do NOT look for HomoFriends through the internet. Men pose on those websites as girls ALL THE TIME and there is no way to confirm someone’s age or gender until you meet up, which is VERY DANGEROUS.
‘Coming Out’ can look different for each person. I was daydreaming yesterday and realized that I’m ‘out’ almost 10 years…to myself. Some people wouldn’t consider that coming out, but for me, coming out began with recognizing my attraction to females. Mind you, I still hadn’t hooked up with a woman, but I had begun to recognize and accept this part of me. So I guess my point is this: Coming out is a journey ~ not a destination. And I hope this information makes your journey a little easier. Please email me if there’s anything else I can do.
Writer’s Stats: Female, Confused