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Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Transgender

  • TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS Pt 16: Community Connections Continued- LBGTQ
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    TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS Pt 16: Community Connections Continued- LBGTQ

    In honor of our 35th Anniversary, Dr. Leader shares her memories of the early days of Teen Line in a series we like to call…

    TEEN LINE FOUNDATIONS
    By Elaine Leader, Ph.D., CGP, BCD, FAGPA

    Chapter Sixteen: Community Connections Continued – LGBTQ Community

    One of our most important and rewarding connections has been with the LGBTQ community and on so many different levels and in varied settings.   As I think back over the years there is so much to write about it is hard to know where to begin!   In addition to launching an LGBTQ outreach to working with Project 10 (forerunner to the Gay/Straight Alliance) to my participation on important Task Forces.
    There were two important Task Forces that impacted LGBTQ Youth.  One was with the State Department of Education.  This required taking flights to Sacramento to give input to amend the law requiring California schools be responsible to combat discrimination.  The amendment was to include sexual orientation and gender identity along with religion, ethnicity, etc.   We were successful.  We then followed this with conducting anti-bias trainings for LAUSD school administrators, counselors and faculty.  We were part of a team with Project 10, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and Human Rights Watch to which we provided an LGBT youth as one of the team.
    Another meaningful Task Force we attended was held at the Edelman Childrens’ Center. This was the Task Force to End Homophobia.  These meetings were a very meaningful experience.  It helped us to fine tune our LGBTQ Outreach while giving us the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations with the mutual goal of ending prejudice against LGBT teens and homophobia.   I became friendly with Michael Ferrara who consulted me about his wish to start a mentoring program for LGBTQ students which he called Lifeworks Mentoring.  He has since achieved much more and has grown his program to become an essential component of the LGBT Center.
    In the early 90s we featured a panel of lesbian, gay and transgender teens at our annual Food for Thought Luncheon.  Our honorees were Ellen DeGeneres and her mother Betty.   This was an outstanding and moving event as Ellen had just lost her TV show when she had come out as a lesbian on it.  This spurred two of our teen panelists to want to be part of an LGBTQ outreach to speak to students.   It became our Sheldon Andelson Growing up Gay Outreach and an integral component of our educational outreaches.

    ellen-degeneres-teen-line
    I would be remiss if I did not include a very important relationship that continues to this day.  I first heard about Project 10 from doing regular outreach at Fairfax High School.   It was the mid-80s when Virginia Uribe started Project 10 at Fairfax High as a lunchtime venue for gay students to connect and to feel valued.  This led to my meeting Gail Rolf who had started a similar program at another LAUSD school.  Gail became an important speaker for educating our teen volunteers about LGBT issues and a good friend of mine and Teen Line’s. She and Virginia went on to develop the Models of Pride annual conference for LGBTQ youth at which we have always participated with a suicide prevention workshop and a resource table.  This annual conference is now held at USC to which over 1,000 youth attend at no cost and sponsored by Lifeworks.
    Although there have been many positive changes in our community with regard to acceptance of LGBTQ youth there is still much more to be done.   Just two years ago we had to move our annual luncheon from the Beverly Hills Hotel to the Sony Pictures Lot when we learned that the hotel owner, the Sultan of Brnuei, came from a country that stoned gay people.  This revelation led to a lot of media coverage. We had seven days to make the change which turned out to be one of our most successful events.
    On a final note I want to urge you to view our LGBTQ video on the Teen Line website – we are very proud of this video and want to thank the Matthew Silverman Foundation for funding it.

    lgbtq-video-teen-line

    Miss an earlier Foundations Blog? Catch up here:

    Pt 1 – Birth of a hotline

    Pt 2 – Training begins

    Pt 3 – Early Challenges

    Pt 4 – Resourcing RAs

    Pt 5 – Blowing our horn

    Pt 6 – Community Policing

    Pt 7 – See how they run

    Pt 8 – Food for Thought Luncheon

    Pt 9 – Food for Thought Luncheon Continued

    Pt 10 – Community Connections

    Pt 11 – Community Connections Suicide Prevention Network

    Pt 12 – Community Connections Matthew Silverman Memorial Foundation

    Pt 13 – Community Connections Matthew Mezza Memorial Fund

    Pt 14 – Community Connections Didi Hirsch

    Pt 15 – Community Connections Violence Prevention Coalition

  • I’m worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I’m bisexual.
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    I’m worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I’m bisexual.

    13 year old, Female, Canada

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:  I’ve been losing sleep because im worried about my grandparents kicking me out because I’m bisexual im letting my health drop massively i haven’t been able to eat i just am tried of hiding myself and worrying about being called a slut by my grandparents yes they are religious please help.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi                          ,

    Thank you for contacting Teen Line. I am so glad you found us to contact.
    It must be so difficult to fear about your grandparents kicking you out because you are bisexual. It seems like they are not accepting of your sexual orientation because of their religious beliefs. It must be such a horrible feeling to know that members of your family are not accepting you for who you truly are. It is must also be so hard to have this matter affect your health and eating patterns since your health and well-being is very important. I also wanted to let you know your sexual orientation does not mean that you are any of the mean or cruel things that anyone might say that you are.
    I am wondering if you have ever spoken to another adult about this, such as a school counselor, teacher, or someone else in your family. If you are comfortable talking to anyone of these adults, they may be able to talk to you through this issue and help you with it. I also highly encourage you to call the GLBT National Youth Talk Line (Monday-Friday 1-9 pm PST). Their number is 800-246-7743. You can also email them at youth@gltbnationalhelpcenter.org or visit their website at www.glnh.org. For extra support, you can always call our Teen Line Hotline as well. Our phone number is 310-855-4673 (6pm-10pm PST 7 days a week).
    I know that you currently have a safe place to stay, but I also wanted to give you another phone number in case you are not able to stay at your grandparents’ home. The National Runaway Safeline will provide you with a safe place to stay if you are ever not able to stay at your home. Their number is 800-786-2929 (24/7) and their website is www.1800runaway.org
    Thank you for emailing us at Teen Line.

     

    a TEEN LINE teen
  • I’m both female, male and in between.
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    I’m both female, male and in between.

    13 year old, Genderfluid, Maryland

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    My parents don’t get me. I’m both female, male and in between. Most of the time I’m male and my parents don’t agree with me. They are super religious and force me into dresses and other girly stuff when I don’t like it. It makes me feel bed sometimes (I used to be seriously depressed). Sometimes I wish I was normal.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi                  ,

    Thank you for contacting Teen Line– it was very brave of you to reach out & I hope I can help!
    It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain right now because of your parents not being understanding of your gender & how you want to express your fluidity. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be having your parents force you to dress in a way that makes you so uncomfortable and depressed. I’m so sorry you have to deal with them not being accepting and supportive of you being trans. I’d like you to know that no matter what your parents or anyone else says, the way you feel inside is the truth. If you feel genderfluid, that’s simply what you are and no one else can change that about you. Your experience of gender may be less common, but it doesn’t make you abnormal– you are unique and wonderful in your own way! I hope that you have people around you who will support you and remind you of this. Remember that your parents can’t continue choosing your clothes forever, and eventually you will have much more freedom to choose how you want to express yourself.
    Since you’re going through a difficult time, and used to be very depressed, it is important that you continue to take care of yourself. Coping skills can be as simple as taking walks, drawing, listening to music, or any other hobby you enjoy that can help you keep your mind off of these problems. I also recommend speaking with a friend or a trusted adult like a school counselor if you can, since being able to talk about what’s going on with your parents can really help you feel more understood. If you don’t have someone to talk to, journaling is also a great alternative– just being able to write out your thoughts & feelings can be very stress relieving. Youtuber and therapist Kati Morton has some awesome on managing depression, problems with parents, coping skills, and more on her channel.
    I’d also like you to know about the Trevor Project, which is a 24/7 LGBTQ youth crisis hotline. Their phone number is (866) 488-7386. They also have TrevorText by texting Trevor to 1-202-304-1200 (Thursdays and Fridays 4-8 pm ET) and TrevorChaton their site (every day from 3-9pm ET). The Trevor Project also has a safe LGBTQ social network for teens, calledTrevorSpace, where you can make friends with other people and get support from the community. Teen Line has a message board for gender/sexuality as well, so you can talk with other LGBTQ teens about what’s going on and read about their experiences too. Lastly, I recommend looking for other genderfluid teens on youtube, since many talk about how their struggles and how they coped and overcame them.
    Thank you again for contacting Teen Line– I hope things get better for you,                🙂 <3

     

    a TEEN LINE teen

     

  • I am 11 and I think I may be trans.
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    I am 11 and I think I may be trans.

    11 year old, Trans, Georgia

    TEEN LINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I am 11 and I think I may be trans. See I am comfortable with my body which is female, but I like to dress and be more male. My mom doesn’t really let me be my true self so it is hard for me to figure out who I am even if I am young. I just want to know who I am so I can be me in middle school. Since I will be in the 6th grade this year. Do you have any ways to help me know if I am trans.

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hi                    ,

    Thanks for contacting Teen Line, it was so brave of you to reach out & I hope I can help!
    It sounds like you’re having a hard time figuring out your gender identity and finding your true self. You’re definitely not alone– for many people, figuring out a label that fits their gender can take some time. It sounds like you’re feeling pressured, but please know you don’t have to figure it all out right now. It can sometimes be difficult or confusing, but I hope that you’ll be comfortable and proud of whatever you discover about yourself! And it’s awful that your mom isn’t letting you express yourself the way that you want. No matter how old you are, it’s really wonderful that you have the courage to discover who you are and try to live as your true self.
    I can’t decide for you if you’re trans, but I do want you to know that no matter what your mom or anyone else might say or do, whatever you feel is right is the truth. For example if you feel like a male, then you simply are one, whether or not people doubt you or if you transition through wearing different clothes, changing pronouns, taking hormones, etc. I’d also like you to know that it’s totally okay if you think you’re one identity, and then change your mind later. Whatever gender you feel fits you in the moment is valid, and that label is just for you to decide.
    One resource that I hope you’ll find really helpful is the transgender teen survival guide blog. It has lots of lists of resources,articles, and a page specifically to figure out ‘What Am I?’ that I think will help you discover your identity. They actually have a helpful flowchart for gender identity too. The flowchart also has great definitions and individual resources for each identity so you can learn more. I also recommend looking for some videos on YouTube since there are lots of trans teens that talk about their own experiences of being a trans person and realizing that they were trans. Another site that may be helpful is TSER (Trans Student Educational Resources). They have a list of sites with more resources, a short dictionary of terms that may be helpful. I’d also like you to know about TrevorSpace, which is a safe LGBTQ social network where you can connect with other teens. Lastly, the Teen Line message boards actually has a space to talk about gender/sexuality– you can talk about your own experiences of questioning and read about other peoples’ stories too.
    If you ever want to reach out to Teen Line in the future, please text TEEN to 839863 or call 310-855-4673 any night from 6-10pm PST. So you know, we can’t reply to another email.
    Thank you again for contacting Teen Line, I hope everything works out for you! 🙂
    a TEEN LINE teen

     

  • The memory and meaning of Matthew Shepard, 16 years later.
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    The memory and meaning of Matthew Shepard, 16 years later.

    It’s hard to believe #MatthewShepard would have been turning 38 this coming December. CLICK HERE to read Matthew Shepard’s story. 
    Matthew Shepard
  • I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual
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    I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual

    14 year old, Female, NY

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I have had the growing assumption that I am bisexual for some time now. I want to meet other bi or lesbian girls. However, I’m not ready to come out about my sexual orientation because I am afraid that no guys will ever be interested in me if I do. I’m not butch, and I don’t feel attracted to any girls that try to look masculine. This is a really confusing time for me and I don’t really know what to do. Any suggestions on how I can give both dating guys and girls a chance?

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi ­­­­­_______.

    Firstly, thank you for reaching out to Teen Line. It takes a lot of courage to open up about something so intimate but I appreciate you entrusting me with your story. It’s understandable that you’d be worried about how others might perceive you after dating a girl but the people worth being with will be accepting of you and your sexuality. Dating another girl doesn’t make you any less of a person. Also, not being attracted to masculinity in females or being masculine yourself doesn’t disvalue the relationship. Having a masculine partner is not a requirement for same-sex relationships. All that matters when it comes to this sort of thing is your happiness.

    I encourage you to visit the Teen Line Message Boards or GLNH.org to chat with and gain support from your peers who may have had similar experiences. If You live in the US or Canada the Teen Line Helpline (310-855-4673) is also available on any day of the week between 6 and 10 pm PST to speak with one of our trained Teen Counselors.

    Again, thanks for contacting Teen Line. I hope this response was helpful and I wish you all the best.

     

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • I’ve been in different stages of depression.
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    I’ve been in different stages of depression.

    17 year old, Male, NM

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    Hello Teen Line, the simple act of writing this message is a great relief to me. I have been in different stages of depression. For the past 4 years now I have encountered many problems and I just don’t know what to do. It all started 4 years ago when my mother had come out of the closet. My parents were never married and I had been originally spending weekdays with mom and weekends with dad. However,  when my mother came out my whole life rocked and shifted. She had fallen madly in love with her partner, sometimes leaving me 4 or 5 nights out of the week at my grandmother’s house so she can go see her. I felt so alone and abandoned but my grandmother comforted me. This went on for about two years, until she announced that she and her partner had bought a house together. I was quickly taken away to the next town over where I was miserable at the new house. Although I was in the same house as my mother I still felt ignored because she would never leave her partner’s side. It got to the point that I told her I couldn’t handle it anymore, and had the visitation rights revised so I could spend a week at my dad’s and a week with my mom. Overall I was still very unhappy and It got to the point where I had contemplated suicide. In addition to all of my family problems and thoughts of suicide I have come to discover my sexual orientation. At first I thought I was bisexual but actually now I am leaning towards being gay. I am so ashamed and I cannot tell anyone because I am scared that people won’t like me. Despite everything I feel that this message has given me tremendous help in the sense that someone might read it and I will not be the only one in the world who knows these things. Even if you cannot offer advice I am at ease because at least someone will read it. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and the entire organization.

    TEEN LINE WROTE: 

    Hey ____,

    I’d first like to thank you for contacting us here at Teen Line and I wanted to let you know that you are so brave for reaching out. I’m so glad that writing to us has given you some relief and we are more than happy to provide support to you during this time. You mentioned that your depression has been going on for four years and it started when your mom came out and you also said it has gotten worse since she moved in with her partner, from what you’re saying it sounds like you feel alone and everyone deserves to be acknowledged and heard. I’m so sorry you felt so alone or miserable and I wanted you to know that you are so strong for fighting through all of this. Some websites I suggest you take a look at are:  http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2  This one is about   parents, families, friends, and allies for LGBT people, since you mentioned you felt like you couldn’t tell anyone about your sexuality. Another thing I suggest is that you find a reliable support group since you feel so alone. If there’s a trusted friend, a family therapist, or a school counselor you can confide in them I highly suggest you do so. You said that your belief in God has stopped you in the past from suicide but if those thoughts become too overpowering you definitely should call the suicide prevention hotline which is open 24 hours and they can be reached at 877-727-4747. If you need anymore support you can definitely call in at 310-855-4673 anytime between 6-10 pm PST. Or you can always visit our message boards at http://teenlineonline.org/boards/. I’m so sorry it took us two days to respond to your email and I hope I’ve been helpful.

    Best,

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • I’ve always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I’d be happier.
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    I’ve always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I’d be happier.

    12 year old, Female, CA

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    So, I’ve always had a feeling that if I were a guy, I’d be way more happy and more comfortable. For a while I’ve been saying “I wish I was a guy”. I don’t seem to fit in with girls. And earlier this year while I was still in 7th grade, I found out what transgender was. I heard of transgender but I never really learned much about what it really was so I searched stuff up, and I related to a lot of people who were transgender but at the same time, I also didn’t relate at some points. I just need help because right now my family cannot afford for me to go to therapy. I want to figure this out but I’m just confused in general on what to do. I cut my hair and since I already dressed with unisex and boy clothing. I love how I look as a guy more than how I looked when I looked like a girl; I feel more confident and comfortable. Even after all this I still wouldn’t know if I’m actually cis-gender, transgender, or androgynous. Help?

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Hi _____,

    Firstly, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line. It’s really brave of you to open up to me about what has been going on. I can’t imagine how it might feel for you to not be able to fit in with girls, and not knowing what you’re feelings mean. I just want you to know that it is perfectly normal to question your gender, and I’m glad that you’ve started to learn more about it. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to correctly identify whether you’re cisgender, transgender, or androgynous, but I think it could really help if you contact the GLBT National Youth Talk Line at 1(800) 246-7743 anytime from 1-9pm PST Monday-Friday. You can talk to them about how you’ve been feeling, and they can provide you with information, and support. Have you thought about talking to a trusted adult or school counselor? It could be helpful to open up to someone you are close to about how you’ve been feeling, and it is important to have a stable support system. Also, feel free to contact us at Teen Line at 1(800) 852-8336 or text “teen” to 839863 (6-10pm PST) to talk to a teen about how you’ve been feeling, and we would be able to help you further.

    Again, thank you so much for contacting Teen Line, and if you keep reaching out, you’ll be able to find the help you’re looking for. We really appreciate you, and remember: you’re not alone.

    a TEEN LINE teen

     

  • I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year.
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    I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year.

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    Female, 19 years old, IN

    I found out that I was a lesbian my senior year, I recently graduated from high school June 2013, I met this amazing girl named Marta online she lives in Florida I live in Indiana we are in a long distance relationship. We text, call, Skype, etc. every single day. I plan on meeting her December 2013, but there is one thing stopping me from seeing her. My parents don’t know I am gay. I’m scared to tell them. But I want to go visit my girlfriend so bad it kills me. She makes me feel complete. So what do I do ? should I go without telling them, or should I just tell them I’m gay and let them know my plans. I just know my parents won’t support me and won’t let me go. I don’t want to go behind their back, but if that’s what I have to do to see her then I will do it. Am I doing the right thing?

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Hi ________,

    Thank you for contacting us at TEEN LINE. It must be so hard to feel like you cannot confide in your parents about your sexuality. It sounds like you care about your parents and you are afraid that they won’t be supportive. I think it’s great that you have accepted your sexuality. I understand that it’s difficult to reveal this to your parents, and if you have someone you can talk to, maybe talking it out would help. I can see that you really want to go see your girlfriend, and that your parents might not be open to your sexuality, but you shouldn’t be forced to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. I would appreciate it if you could call us at TEEN LINE at (310)855-4673 from 6pm to 10pm pst. We are here for you and can help you with anything you want to talk about. Another hotline that might help is the GLBT National Youth Talkline where you can get peer-counseling about coming out and parent issues at 1(800)-246-7743 from 1-9pm PST on Mondays through Fridays. Another great program is the Trevor Line which specializes in preventing LGBTQ suicide and you can call them at 866-488-7386.

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • I’m gay and I haven’t told anybody about it.
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    I’m gay and I haven’t told anybody about it.

    14 year-old, Male, Canada

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I’m gay. I haven’t told anybody about it and it makes me scared thinking about how my friends and family would react. I don’t want them to ignore me, or even worse to hate me. I just don’t know what to do about it. To me, it feels wrong that I look at the guys more than the girls in my class, and I can’t stand it. I keep hoping that one day, everything will change and I wouldn’t be this way anymore. But i’ve been saying that for the past year now, and i’m starting to give up hope. I’ve been trying to tell my sister about it, but I keep distracting myself with something else. She’s the absolute first person that I would talk to, if I had a problem. But I just get really nervous when i’m about to tell her about this one. Plus, I figure that she would understand more about it, because she told me that she was bisexual. I was planing to tell her, but she left for vacation, and won’t be back for a couple of weeks. I just really wanted to tell someone about it. What should I do?

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Hi ______,

    It seems like you are having a really difficult time accepting what you are feeling right now. It must not be easy feeling very uncomfortable talking about something that has been on your mind for a while. I want to let you know that however you feel towards guys or girls is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong at all with being gay and I can assure you there are many teens out there who are going through similar situations. Ultimately, You aren’t alone. I am really glad to hear you have your sister’s support and I know it must be hard to have her absent right now. I would suggest calling the LGBT National Youth hotline at 1 800 246 7743. For more information about them, their website is glnh.org. In addition, is there a school counselor that you could talk to this about? They are a 100% confidential and could possibly help your situation. You can also call us at TEEN LINE at 310 855 4673.

    Thinking of you,

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • I am bi-sexual.
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    I am bi-sexual.

    18 year old, Male, TX

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

     I have just recently been honest enough with myself to come to terms that I am bisexual. I don’t just mean sexually attracted to both genders, but I can also see myself in a deep relationship with both genders. Right now I am going through a bit of an issue though. My (male) best friend is just coming to terms with being bisexual as well, and I feel very close to him, especially sharing this common struggle. I have yet to tell him that I myself am bisexual, and am afraid of what it will do to our friendship. On one hand, I feel like it could only help us to become closer, and to possibly begin a deeper relationship in the near future, but at the same time, part of me thinks that telling him while he is going through his own struggle could put us more apart. I don’t want to lose him, especially because of how I feel about him, now romantically. I am just not sure of what to do right now, and I know that no matter what I choose, it won’t be easy. What advice could you give me to approach the situation?

    TEEN LINE WROTE:

    Hi _______,

    I wanna thank you so much for contacting Teenline with your problem. It’s a very brave and difficult thing to do. I’m very happy that you are able to come to terms with yourself, and admit that you are bisexual; that’s a very hard thing to do, and demonstrates great courage. It sounds like you are very confused about what to tell your friend, and can see both good and bad scenarios playing out. One thing that might help is to check out the website http://www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org. This website is helpful in helping LGBT youth make difficult decisions like this one. You might also want to call Teenline, our number is 310-855-4673. We are open every night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm PST. Another option is to talk to someone who know personally and trust, like a parent, or friend, or school counselor, who can give you more firsthand advice on your situation. If you do not feel comfortable doing these things, you might be interested in writing about your feelings in a journal. Writing is a form of processing thoughts, and perhaps through writing you will be able to come closer to a decision on what to tell your friend.

  • I like both genders but my mother is religious
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    I like both genders but my mother is religious

    17 year old, Female, GA

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    I like both genders but my mother is religious and I have lied to her my whole life about this. I always try to sneak it into the conversation but no matter what I do she get angry at me. It kills me inside how she feels about gay people. She doesn’t necessarily hate them. But she will never accept them at all.

    Majority of my family is religious and they dislike anything that doesn’t agree with it.

    I just can’t keep this bottled up anymore or I’ll explode and tell the wrong person

    TEENLINE WROTE:

     Dear _____,

    First of all I want to commend you for being brave enough to share all of this with me. It must be so difficult to have your mother not accept who you are. There is nothing wrong with being bisexual. It sounds like trying to talk to your mom can end up badly and that must feel so disheartening. I’m so sorry that you feel like your family won’t accept you for who you are, nobody deserves to go through that. I really want you to find someone you can talk to who won’t judge you and can help you get to a better place. I encourage you to call TEENLINE  at 310-855-4673 (we are open from 6pm-10pm PST) or you can visit Pflag.org which is a great website that can give you and your family helpful information about being LGBTQ. Also the glnh.com is another great LGBTQ website.

    a TEEN LINE teen
  • For what seems like all my life, I have been different.
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    For what seems like all my life, I have been different.

    19 year old, Female, WI

    TEENLINE QUESTION/PROBLEM:

    For what seems like all my life, I have been different. I never fit in anywhere. When I was overweight, I was the fat loser. Now I am just a loser. I am in college now and seriously didn’t have anyone I can talk to. Until I met a girl named Janet. Janet is one of the most smart gorgeous and confident young women I have ever met. She hangs out with me everyday and the other day we kissed. I don’t know exactly what came over me, but I have never felt so safe and in love. Today when we met up, she asked me if I wanted to be her girlfriend. I was shocked. I told her I would tell her by Monday. I can’t be a lesbian…but it seems like I am. I have always been Christian and my parents are, too. I feel like I am letting down my faith and everyone I know. I seriously don’t know what to do!

    TEENLINE WROTE:

    Hey ______,

    It sounds like you’re in a pretty confusing situation! It sounds like it’s really difficult to deal with, especially since you don’t have anybody to talk to. While it sounds like you have a great time with Janet, it is reasonable to be so shocked in your place. Many teens feel nervous or anxious about relationships, and sexual orientations, and while it can seem sort of weird, it is actually very normal. It does sound pretty confusing to be Christian and have affections for someone of the same gender. However, I would like to say that many christians are homosexual, contrary to popular belief. There is a lot of information out there. If you would like there are two websites I found here: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/gay-and-christian-youre-not-alone/ and here: http://www.gaychristian.net/ that talk about the issue. If you would like to talk about it please call in to us or the LGBT National Youth Talk Line. Our number is 310-855-4673 and we are open from 6-10 pm PST every night. The LGBT National Youth Talk Line is 1-800-246-7743 and they are open from 1-9 pm PST every Monday through Friday. If you would like to text instead, you can text “teen” to us at 839863. Our texting times are the same as our phone time.

    a TEEN LINE teen
  • I’m one of those GLB people, except I don’t know which.
  • ×

    I’m one of those GLB people, except I don’t know which.

    17 year old, Female, WA

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
    To keep a long, long issue short… I’m one of those GLB people, except I don’t know which. I seem to be sexually attracted to women and romantically attracted to men. What the hell am I? Do I have any chance for a normal relationship? Also, my family is very religious and I go to a Catholic high school, so even if I do figure out what I am, I don’t know how I would come out. I think my mom would support me, but I’m afraid my dad would freak out, and I know my grandparents would be really hurt. I’m not religious, but I don’t want them to know that either. Please help me or at least let me know if you read this. It’d be nice to know that someone can hear me.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:
    Hi K____. Thanks for contacting us at TEEN LINE. It sounds like you are really confused right now, and it also seems you are afraid of being rejected by your family. I want you to know that it is normal to have attractions for men and women, and what you are going through can be very confusing because sexuality isn’t always clear. There are some great resources out there that can help you to figure out your sexual orientation, and they can talk about the coming out process because that can be really scary. I’d like to give you the number for the GLBT National Youth Talk Line. It is a hotline that specializes in helping teens just like you that are experiencing similar issues. You can call (800) 246- 7743 Monday through Friday from 1 pm – 9 pm PST, and also on Saturdays from 9 am – 2 pm PST. Also I encourage you to call us at TEEN LINE to talk to a trained teen who will listen to you and support you. The number for TEEN LINE is (310) 855- 4673 and the line is open every day 6 pm – 10 pm. Thanks again for contacting us. I wish you luck.

    a TEEN LINE teen

  • ok so i am in 12th grade and i have been lesbian
  • ×

    ok so i am in 12th grade and i have been lesbian

    17 year old, Female, GA

    TEEN QUESTION/PROBLEM:
    ok so i am in 12th grade and i have been lesbian since 6th grade and well my parents just found out this year and they were so pissed. they said that i was sick in the head and was ruinin my life. so i had to convince them that im not a lesbian but the truth is i still am and i hate lyin to my parents i dont know wat to do.

    TEEN LINE WROTE:
    Hi, thanks for contacting us here at TEEN LINE. I can understand why you might feel frustrated because you feel you’re forced to lie to your parents especially about something that is an important part of you. I would also understand if you felt degraded because your parents don’t want to accept you for who you are. Have you talked to anyone about this? A friend, trusted adult, or school counselor? Talking can be a great way to work through an issue. Maybe you could look at the resources at your local gay and lesbian center or pflag (parents and friends of lesbians and gays). They might be able to help you help your parents accept you for who you are; some centers have a group your parents can go to that may help them come around to the idea of you being open about your sexuality. If you’re seeking more support, maybe you could think about calling The Trevor Project at 800-850-8078. The Trevor Project is an LGBT support hotline that may be able to give you support with your parents. The listeners there have been through similar situation and can give you more personal guidance. Also, you can always feel free to call us here at TEEN LINE. We’re open from 6-10pm PST at (310)-855-4673, and you could chat with us at teenlineonline.org.

    a TEEN LINE listener