8 November 2002

Am I gay? Who can I talk to?

Dear AlterHeros Staff,
Well, I don’t know if I’m gay or not. I used to think that I was, and I hated myself for it. So I started to condition myself to be aroused by girls, hiding for years. Now I’m realizing that I can’t change my sexuality, but I also find myself aroused by girls. I’m confused and lost and depressed because I can’t figure out what to do anymore. My school performance is suffering, I’m 21, my relationships with my friends are deteriorating and I’m distancing myself everyday from my parents. Can you help me please? I saw a psych already and he told me I was straight, I fooled him well… so well that I fooled myself.

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

Hello Alex,

First of all, you’re taking steps in the right direction: accepting who you are. It’s not always easy, and the feelings that you’re experiencing are normal. Often, when one discovers that he/she is gay, he/she hates himself/herself for being this way, because one might think that it is wrong to be gay or lesbian. Society tells us that it is wrong to be gay. Yet, it is normal, and you are absolutely right: one cannot change his/her sexuality.

It is important that you talk to someone about it, because you appear to have lost interest in school, and friendship with your friends. You should try to see who is open to subjects dealing with sexual orientation in your circle of friends, or family (uncles, aunts, friends, sisters, brothers, work collegues, social workers, etc). Try to see how people react when you talk about broad subjects related to homosexuality, such as TV shows which include gay caracters. By talking about homosexuality in a broad sense, you will be better able to evaluate how people react and whether or not they are open-minded to the subject – thereby helping you decide if he/she would be receptive if you talk to him/her.

Talking to someone about it will help you see things clearer. But be careful not to have bad experiences – evaluate carefully who you should talk to in order to get support from them. You can also try to see whether there is a support group for gay and lesbian youth in your region. This will help you to explore and understand who you are. Here in Québec, you can call Gai-Écoute, at 1-888-505-1010 to talk – they provide anonymous, free, and confidential services.

Don’t forget that what you are going through is normal. Accepting who we are is never easy, but it is possible. One can be gay and happy.

Good luck!

Team AlterHéros