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Asker

To Sam

Coming Out

Hello. I'm a 13 year old girl who is bisexual. I am in my second year of high school, and I have known that I am bi since the beginning of first year. I really want to tell people that I am bi (there have been rumours and I want them to stop) so they can accept me for who I am, and I will hopefully find out who my real friends are.

I'm writing you a e-mail because this whole experience has taken it's toll on me. The very few people that I have told about this have stopped talking to me and  have received vicious texts from them. I have started cutting because of this, and a few times I have suicidal thoughts, though most of these have gone now. I cut a lot, perhaps 6 or 7 times a day. It seems to have become a compulsive behaviour, and I really want to stop.

I'm not too sure how to come out to everybody. I thought at first maybe Facebook, but then I had second thoughts and I thought that wouldn't be such a good way- lots of stuff happens on facebook that isn't nice. I was wondering if you have any advice on this?

Thank you so much!

J

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

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

You’ve been really brave in telling me what has been going on for you. I can hear you want to tell people that you’re bisexual in order for the rumours to stop. It’s wrong for people to spread rumours about you and it’s not something you should have to put up with.

Coming out is a very personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to do it. What’s important is to find the way that feels best for you. You have the right to be open about who you are and to be accepted for that. Unfortunately there can be risks as well as benefits to coming out. Some people will be supportive but some may be shocked or even abusive. One idea would be to think about doing it in stages, so that you can feel more in control? You could start by coming out to someone who you think will be friendly and then they could help you to take it from there.

Our page on sexuality talks in more detail about coming out and you may find it helpful to read. Young Stonewall have some great advice about coming out and rucomingout is a site where lots of people have shared the their own coming out experiences.

You’ve mentioned that you have started cutting because of what has been happening and you’re concerned it’s becoming a compulsion. It can be hard work to stop self harming, but it can definitely be done. You could have a look at the page on Self-harm in Explore for some ideas of other ways of releasing your feelings. It’s important to remember that you must seek urgent medical help if you are ever worried about a cut (for example if it’s particularly deep or won’t stop bleeding). You could also visit selfharm.co.uk, which contains information on how to keep the risk caused by self-harming as low as possible.

You said that you’ve had some suicidal thoughts and I’m glad to hear that most of these thoughts have now gone. If these thoughts ever came back you could contact us so we could support you through that. If you didn’t feel you could do that or thought you couldn’t keep yourself safe, I want you to know that you can call 999 for urgent help.

If you want to talk in more detail about what has been going on, you would be really welcome to speak to a counsellor by calling 0800 1111, having a 1-2-1 chat or sending in an email.

Good luck and take care,

Sam

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