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To Sam

I'm gay.

Dear Sam,

Maybe I'm writing this because I have no-one else to talk to about being gay, or because I'm desperately trying to figure out what to do next.

As the subject implies, I'm gay. I have been gay since I started going through puberty, and this "gayness" has only gotten stronger and stronger throughout the years. I'm currently 17 years old, and I am fed up of having to live with this secret, which gets harder to keep every single minute.

I have a normal life; great friends, both male and female. I'm going through the stress of being in the last year of high school just like any other teenager. My parents are divorced, though that's not a problem. Everyone goes through these things. But every day when I go to bed, I find myself asking something, "Why am I gay?". You might try to tell me that it is normal, and that I have to live with it. I know that I can't change this for the rest of my life, but why did I have to be gay in the first place? Why can't I just be straight, and attracted to women just like any other guy? I would make a great husband, and a great father, but I know it's not going to work, because I'm gay. That's why I think, it's not normal, and knowing that there is so much discrimination towards gay people nowadays doesn't help one bit. It's like I'm not supposed to be alive.

I would give anything away, just to become straight. This is who I am for the rest of my life, and I only live once. I don't want to be gay.

Thanks Sam.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your email at what seems like a difficult time for you.

I can hear that it’s been really difficult and draining for you in keeping your sexuality a secret. I’m really glad you’ve decided to write to me about this. Not being able to share a big part of your life with anyone else sounds like a lonely and stressful place to be.

It feels like you’re searching for a reason why you are gay and I think that is an impossible question to answer. Sexual orientation is not a choice, any more than your ethnicity or height are choices. You are who you are, and I can hear that at the moment you don’t want to be gay, but also that you recognise it’s not something that you can change. The first step you need to take is acceptance of this part of you, which may take some time, but can be achieved.

I want you to remember that your sexuality does not define who you are as a person, it only makes up a part of all the unique things that make you, such as your personality, values, principles and interests.

It sounds like you feel that being gay is going to stop you from living a happy, fulfilled live, and that’s concerning to hear. You talked about feeling that you can’t be a husband and father, but as a gay man you can choose to enter into a civil partnership and you can also choose to adopt or foster children. You’re right that unfortunately there is still discrimination towards people who are gay, due to some people’s irrational intolerance, but changes in the law have made it clear that this attitude is not acceptable.

You might find it helpful to visit the Sexuality message boards, where you can read about other young people’s experiences. You might also choose to get peer support from others who may be in similar situations to you by adding your own thoughts or starting a new thread if you want to. I would also suggest you have a look at the Young Stonewall website. They have got a lot of information and support on their website about sexual orientation, including advice about coming out to friends and family.

If you want to speak to a ChildLine counsellor in more detail about what has been going on, you would be very welcome to. You can do this by calling them on 0800 1111, logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or sending in an email.

Take care,


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