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Asker

To Sam

coming out gay

I am a 13 year old boy and i am gay. i havent come out to anyone but i feel like i have too. i get called gay at school and i really want to say that i am but i dint know how! please help!
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

It’s really good to hear from you.

Thanks for explaining how you’re feeling at the moment. It’s really positive to hear that you want to be open about your sexuality. Sometimes feeling that you have to keep something about yourself hidden can be really hard, like carrying a heavy weight around with you all the time.

I did notice that in your letter you said that you feel like you “have to” come out now and I’m just wondering if you’re feeling under pressure to tell others? It might be that because people are already saying that you’re gay, you almost feel they have a right to know. The most important thing is for you to only share things about yourself because you want to and because you feel ready to do so.

“Coming out” to other people can send a really positive message that you know that being gay is OK. When you are considering coming out, it can be helpful to think about who you want to tell first and what you want them to understand. It might be a good idea to start by talking to someone who you really trust and who you think will be supportive. Having a positive first experience of “coming out” will hopefully give you the confidence to tell other people when you feel ready. There’s some helpful information about coming out on the sexuality pages in Explore.

Unfortunately, sometimes people will react negatively to finding out someone is gay because they don’t understand it or are scared by it. That can be really unhelpful and upsetting so it’s important that you feel ready to hear less helpful responses before you start to come out. You’ve said that people are calling you “gay” at school. Using the word “gay” as an insult is bullying, and it’s not OK. If you feel you’re being bullied, then it’s important to tell a teacher or an adult at home, because it shouldn’t be happening. Although you absolutely have the right to be yourself, it’s worth thinking about whether the people calling you “gay” will react helpfully if you come out to everyone at school.

You could talk more about this with a ChildLine counsellor by calling free on 0800 1111, or have a 1-2-1 chat online. You might also really benefit from having a look at the sexuality thread on the ChildLine message boards where you could learn some ideas from other young people who have been in a similar situation.

Take care,

Sam

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