I am gay but I cannot tell anyone

Dear Suzie,

I am pretty sure I am gay but I can not tell anyone!

My parents would freak, my classmates would take the piss so badly my life would not be worth living anymore. I really don’t know what to do..

The very best thing to do is talk it over with someone who can be sympathetic, helpful, non-judgemental and supportive. For a start, you need some time and space to work out exactly how you do feel. It’s very common for teenagers to have sexual fantasies and sexual feelings for people of the same sex, whether strangers such as pop or film stars, or people they know, without it necessarily meaning their sexual orientation is fixed as gay. This is, after all, the time in your life when you are exploring and trying out.

And even if you were more strongly drawn to members of the same sex than the opposite, you don’t need to jump in to labelling yourself right away. Sexuality is actually a lot more fluid than we tend to acknowledge. You can have sexual feelings for your own sex one week and the opposite sex the next, and that’s perfectly normal.

You shouldn’t assume your family or friends would react in a particular way, either. Some people can seem stupid and bigoted when it’s a theoretical situation, and make cruel remarks or tell nasty jokes, when it seems far from themselves. But as soon as they’re confronted with the fact that someone they know, trust and love is gay they often take a deep breath and grow up, surprising themselves as well as the person who felt they’d be let down.

So – you may be gay or you may just be developing your sexuality. If you are gay, you may want to come out soon or take your time about it. You may want help in knowing how to tackle the situation or how to delay telling. Whatever the problem there are people who can listen and help.

I strongly suggest you have a word with someone at either Lesbian and Gay Foundation on 0845 3 30 30 30 or London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on 020 7837 7324. They’ll talk you through without pushing you one way or other. Good luck!

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