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To Sam

Having Pride but being scared

Hi, I recently came out as a lesbian and my family is ok with it. I've told a few of my friends (the ones that I know will support me) and they're cool with it. However, the attack in Orlando got me scared. I'm also on an all-girls soccer team, and they are constantly looking at "hot" guys. As someone who's not interested in being in a relationship yet, this gets rather tedious, especially knowing that I'm not interested in dudes. However, they are teenage girls, so there's nothing I can do that would really stop them. I guess my point is, I'm scared that people will find out I'm lesbian and then judge me for it. I've already had one incident with a homophobe online. Although I live in a very diverse town, there's always a few people with a problem. I know the advice my parents will (and have!) give me is to not come out to someone who you're not sure will support you or not. Very good advice, but I'd like some other advice as well instead of just going off "hide who you truly are until you know the person will be okay with it". As someone who has always been a tomboy and found boys better to hang out with, it might be hard to hide that yes, I do like girls rather than guys. I know that a lot of people support the LGBTQ+ community, but it's the people who don't, who I might know personally that worry me.
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Being who you are in public shouldn’t be something you have to worry about. Sadly you may find people who don’t like you for some reason – either for your sexuality, the way you dress, your beliefs and morals or anything else you can think of. It happens to all of us in some way or another at some point, but knowing yourself and who you are is the key to being open and confident.

The LGBTQ+ community have had very difficult times in the past, and still do today. The fact that such a strong community exists is partly down to the struggles that LGBTQ+ people have had to face up to now. Using that community might be one way to feel more confident about who you are. You could get support from other young people on our message boards who might have similar feelings.

Being comfortable with yourself is the biggest step you can take in feeling confident enough to act as yourself around others. Hiding yourself until you are sure someone else will be okay with your sexuality is not something you should have to do. The other person is the one with the problem, not you. Having the confidence to know that and to be yourself anyway takes time and takes courage.

For those people you know personally who might not support you, try to think of it in this way - if they can’t accept you for who you are, do you really want to know them anyway? You deserve friends who like you for who you are. Anyone else probably won’t make a very good friend.

For those people who cause trouble, this is bullying or harassment and nobody should have to go through that. Whether it’s because of your sexuality, race, gender, religion or even the music you like or the clothes you wear. Whatever the reason, it’s never okay for someone to bully or harass you. And it’s important to tell someone about it.

I hope that helps. If you wanted to talk about what happened in Orlando recently, or about any other worries around your sexuality, then our counsellors are here for you and you can also post on board about current news where other people share their worries.

It’s important to be careful about reaching out to people online but there are some recognised and reputable organisations who can support young LGBTQ+ people. It Gets Better is a great place to start when feeling like you are alone. Stonewall and Young Stonewall are also something to check out.

Take care,
Sam

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