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Coming out to my friends?

Hi sam,

I've recently came out to my parents about me being lesbian, they took it really well which i know i am very lucky too have such accpeting parents. Suprisingly i am more worried about people in my school finding out as there are quite alot of Homophobic people. I really want to tell my friends because its getting really upsetting for me as they always ask if i have a boyfriend or fancy anyone and they say "he's hot isn't he" and i have to play along but i just want them too know so i dont have to deal with these sort of moments but i don't know the best way to tell them without upsetting them too much or even loosing them? I already get bullied for being a lesbian because i have short hair when really they know nothing at all about my sexuality.
thanks sam :)

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Sam

Hi,

Thanks for your message.

Well done for talking to your parents and telling them that you’re lesbian, it sounds like it was a big step for you. It’s great that you had a positive experience of telling your parents, and that you have their support.

Having people assume you like boys sounds uncomfortable and frustrating for you. You mentioned you’re really worried about upsetting or losing your friends when you tell them you’re a lesbian. Genuine friends should want to be your friend whatever your sexual orientation is. Unfortunately, when you know some people have homophobic attitudes, this can make being open about your sexuality feel fairly intimidating.

Homophobia is based on lack of understanding, or fear. Sadly, this attitude can make it feel like there’s something wrong with being LGBT. It’s important to remember that homophobia is very wrong. You’ve told me that people bully you and make assumptions about your sexuality because of your hair style. If the bullying is happening at school or a youth group you could tell the teachers or youth leaders know about it. Homophobic bullying should be taken very seriously, and schools have a legal duty to try and prevent it. The Young Stonewall website has got some great information about tackling homophobic bullying, perhaps you could take a look.

I can hear how important it is for you to be able to be open with your friends about your sexuality. Remember, you don’t have to come out to everyone at once. Perhaps you could start by choosing one friend who you’re fairly sure will be supportive, and then ask for their help with telling your other friends. Have a think about a time and a place where you’ll have some privacy to chat without being interrupted, and where you know you’ll feel fairly comfortable.

It sounds like you think some of your friends might get upset, or reject you. It’s worth remembering that the way people react at first isn’t necessarily how they will always feel. It might feel difficult for them at first, but hopefully they will remember that you are still the same person with the same interests. You might be pleasantly surprised by how some people react. But if telling your friends is a negative experience for you, try to remember that not everyone will react badly. You deserve to have friends in your life who like you for exactly who you are right now.

It might help to have a look at the Sexuality message board. You could also speak to a counsellor at ChildLine before and/or after you speak to your friends; you can chat with them on the phone, 1-2-1 chat, or send an email.

Take care,

Sam

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