Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I think I'm bisexual

Hi, my name is John, I'm 16 and I have been in college for 4 weeks now. Whilst I have been in college I have gotten really close to this guy and he is bisexual and says he has a crush on me. A bit before starting college I started "changing" and looking at people differently, I always looked at girls to see if they were pretty and stuff but now I have started looking at boys as well and thinking that they are quite handsome as well which scares me a little bit. I hate the thought of having gay sex with another guy but at the same time I feel as though I am totally in love with my friend. We hug all the time and talk all the time and he makes me really happy. He knows how I feel now and we are starting to get really close.

A week yesterday I told my parents that I was bisexual and seeing a guy and they did not react well! My whole life flipped upside down and I don't know what to do. My mum now doesn't sleep at night and my dad won't speak to me. Everything appears to have gone wrong.

I'm scared, I doubt myself a lot but I just can't help this urge to be with another guy. I'm in a really dark place right now and I want to find the light to get out. I'm not sure what my next step is or even if I should tell my friends, after all it has only been 4 weeks and I don't want them to turn against me as well.

I Could really do with some guidance right now, so any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Ask Sam


Hi John,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds as though you have met somebody at college who you really like and who makes you happy and that he has similar feelings for you. I want you to know that it’s normal to think about your sexual orientation or who you are attracted to. There are no rules about whether you like boys or girls or both. You can also change your mind at any time. It’s completely up to you who you tell about it and when you tell them.

I think you’re really brave to talk to your parents about what’s going on for you and I’m sorry to hear that their reaction was not what you hoped for. Telling somebody that you’re gay or bisexual is often called ‘coming out’ and it can be a difficult experience, as you have already found out.

The reason that gay and bisexual people feel the need to come out is because it can often be assumed that you are heterosexual, meaning straight, until you say that you’re not. People’s reactions to you coming out can vary depending on their attitudes and their relationship with you. It can take time for some people to understand and accept your sexuality. Perhaps you could try talking to your parents again, or even show them your letter to me. If you want, you can talk to a ChildLine counsellor about what to say to your parents. Remember, you don’t have come out to anybody until you’re ready.

You mention in your letter that you hate the thought of having sex with another guy. It’s important to understand that whatever your sexual orientation, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. In the UK the age at which you can legally have sex is 16, but this doesn’t mean that everybody is ready at that age. There are lots of different ways to be physically close with another person. You say that at the moment you are hugging, talking and getting to know each other. It’s fine to take things at your own pace.

It sounds as though things feel tough for you at the moment. Remember that it can really help to talk about what’s happening and you don’t have to go through anything alone. You can talk to ChildLine any time. You might also find it helpful to take a look at the message boards. You could share your experiences there and read what other young people have to say. There are also organisations that support lesbian, gay and bisexual people like Young Stonewall and the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (who will talk to you even if you aren't in London). You could also consider talking to a trusted friend or an adult you feel comfortable talking with to get the support that you need.

Take care,

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