I’m having some questions about my sexuality. My friends and family keep insisting that I’m gay, they pick on my musical taste, the clothes that I like to wear and my mannerisms. But I have only ever been with girls and I don’t know what I feel. Help!
Canadian Prince, by letter, hand delivered to my locker.
My dear friend, I can whole heartedly say I have a lot of sympathy for you. First, know that you are not alone, and although my advice is genuine and well intentioned, only you will know what you feel.
But let’s start with the basics.
Last year, the office for National Statistics released a study on sexual identity in the UK. According to the sample, 1 million people aged 16 or over identified themselves as lesbian, gay our bisexual.
This represents a small growth from previous years, a tendency that has continued, largely due to a younger population (16-24) that continues to come out in the big numbers.
Over the last decades, significant advances have been made regarding protecting the welfare of the LGBTQ+ population, with an incredible social awareness of the problems experienced by the community.
However, it’s not all roses.
Coming out as any part of the LGBTQ+ soup letter continues to be one the most difficult (and sometimes right down dangerous) things to do. A whopping 24% of homeless young people identify as LGBT and 77% believe coming out to their parents was the main factor of their present situation, according to The Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity devoted to helping those in need.
No one can blame you for having second thoughts and be reticent to assume an identity.
But still, that alone doesn’t really answer your question.
On your letter you say that your parents and family are ‘insisting that you are gay’ and although those close to you know you the best, let me call out them on that ridiculous bulls****.
The only thing that defines your sexual orientation…is your sexual orientation, ie if you think you are attracted to people the same gender as you, than there’s a strong possibility that you are part of the community.
Your clothes, your musical taste, your cheeky tight speedos, none of that really matters. You say you have only been with girls and are just confused. Could it be that you are just cracking under the pressure? Or could it be that there’s something deeper (forgive the pun) waiting to come out?
Regardless, you should have the space and the support to seek your own truth and to explore what that identity might be without having to think at this stage of a label or group to fit in. Without the pressure of your loved ones, forcing you to make a decision.
So for now, dear friend, don’t worry on what the answers might be. Worry about living and having safe, consensual,experiences that might open up a different world to you. You will know when you’re ready.
Do you need help with something? E-mail Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org