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Homophobic friends

All my friends are really, really homophobic and I HATE it. They act like being LGB etc is an incredibly bad thing. To make matters worse, Im a closet lesbian and I want to come out but if I do they'll tear me to pieces. Any advice?
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Sam

Hi,

Thanks for getting in touch with me. I can hear that you want to be able to come out to your friends about your sexuality, but that you’re worried about their reaction.

You absolutely have the right to be accepted for who you are. Unfortunately a lot of people automatically assume that everyone they know is just attracted to the opposite sex. This means that you have to make a choice about whether to correct people’s assumptions about you. It can sometimes be more stressful having to hide your sexuality than being open about it. Only you can know what feels right for you in any particular situation.

You say that your friends are really homophobic so I can understand you having concerns about coming out to them. You haven’t mentioned what makes you say they are homophobic. I’m wondering if they have said something negative in the past that makes you feel this way. Sometimes people can be ignorant and prejudiced about things that they do not understand. This is wrong and you should be able to be open about your sexuality without being judged or worrying what others will think. True friends should make you feel happy and good about yourself and will accept you for who you are.

It’s important to think about your looking after yourself if you decide to come out to someone who may not react positively. Perhaps you could start by just selecting one or two friends who you think might be more supportive. You could try testing the water first by talking about celebrities who are gay or lesbian and see how they react. If you feel uncomfortable about the things they say, you might decide that you don’t want to come out to these particular friends. Although this group of friends may have homophobic ideas, it’s important to remember that not everyone thinks in the same way.

For many people, coming out as gay, lesbian or bisexual can be a really positive experience. You might find it helpful to read advice about coming out in Explore, or on the Stonewall and LGBT Youth Scotland websites.

Maybe there is someone in your life that you trust to talk to about this or you may like to share your feelings to one of the counsellors at Childline .You can call the free helpline number 0800 1111 or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Hope this helps,

Take care,

Sam

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