17 May 2002

I Feel So Alone, Who Can I Talk To?

I Feel So Alone, Who Can I Talk To?

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

If you feel alone, you are alone — and you don’t need to be. There are people out there who can help. Unless their parents have been very open with them about sex and gender, most teenagers can feel guilty and ashamed of any sexual feelings and experiences, straight or gay, trans or cis. On top of that, it’s not easy to discover that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer. The prejudice that exists in our society can make you want to hide the way you feel, even from yourself. And that can make you feel isolated and all alone.

The best thing you can do is find someone to talk to that you can trust. Maybe that’s someone you already know — a friend, parent, brother or sister… or a friend’s parent or older brother or sister. Maybe it’s an adult to whom you confided in the past, whom you know you can trust again.

But, right now, until you’re comfortable and happy with yourself, avoid talking with anyone who you think might judge you or anyone who might be anti-gay. You could possibly check out people’s reactions by bringing up the subject of homosexuality or bisexuality in general. Ask questions like: “I saw a TV show about being gay. Do you know any gay people?” or “Some kids in school were making fun of a kid who is bisexual. Don’t you think that’s wrong?” or “I heard about a kid who is a lesbian and whose parents threw her out of the house. Why would they do that?”

When you ask questions like this, however, you have to realize that people’s responses aren’t personal comments about you. They don’t know the real intent of your questions. They might have negative comments about LGBTQ+ people in this situation, but respond very differently about you being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer. 

If you don’t know anyone with whom you’re comfortable talking, who will be supportive and understanding, start by reaching out to AlterHéros. You can talk to a teenager or an adult. You don’t have to give your name, and they won’t try to talk you into or out of anything.

If you don’t feel ready to talk with someone on the phone, you can learn more by reading resources and information from other youth on some of the websites listed in this web site.

And if you do want to talk with someone face-to-face, people with the national hotlines or online resources can help you find a local group or person to call. Remember to use good judgement when making any contacts.

Whatever you choose, talking really helps. And you’ll learn you’re really not alone.

Adapted from “Be Yourself: Q&A for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered Youth” written by PFLAG