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How do I come out/advice about sexuality?


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I'm 15 (and a girl), and I've kinda figured out throughout the past year-ish that I'm pretty sure I like girls. And I also always have thought that I like boys, so last summer, I told one friend who is openly queer that I was bi. She was super supportive, so I'm now pretty open about it at school, and pretty much all of my friends know I'm bi.  But I still haven't told anyone in my family even though I'm pretty sure my family will be accepting, because I'm still nervous and until recently, I wasn't very sure why. Recently, I've been thinking that maybe i'm not super confident in being bi because maybe I don't actually like boys. So maybe I'm just a lesbian? And I know that labels aren't really important, but I think it would be easier to come out to my family if I did have a label. To sum it up, my two questions are 1. how do I come out to my parents/family when I think that they're accepting but am still scared... and 2. how do i tell if I'm bi or a lesbian?  THANK YOU SO MUCH

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7 hours ago, Tardigrade26 said:

I'm 15 (and a girl), and I've kinda figured out throughout the past year-ish that I'm pretty sure I like girls. And I also always have thought that I like boys, so last summer, I told one friend who is openly queer that I was bi. She was super supportive, so I'm now pretty open about it at school, and pretty much all of my friends know I'm bi.  But I still haven't told anyone in my family even though I'm pretty sure my family will be accepting, because I'm still nervous and until recently, I wasn't very sure why. Recently, I've been thinking that maybe i'm not super confident in being bi because maybe I don't actually like boys. So maybe I'm just a lesbian? And I know that labels aren't really important, but I think it would be easier to come out to my family if I did have a label. To sum it up, my two questions are 1. how do I come out to my parents/family when I think that they're accepting but am still scared... and 2. how do i tell if I'm bi or a lesbian?  THANK YOU SO MUCH

Hi @Tardigrade26 and a warm welcome to community! I'm Blondie, one of the support mentors here. 

I think that maybe if we look at how you identify first, this might make it smoother to come out - what do you think?

It is completely normal and usual for people to be pretty fluid in their sexuality over a lifetime. You will always have people of course who know they are, for example a lesbian and will always identify that way but lots more will be more fluid and can be bi but with a greater attraction to either males or females which fluctuates. I know we've all seen things around being bi, such a "how can you be bi if you're married to (insert opposite sex)?" and this doesn't help at all! Bisexuality isn't cancelled out if you're with someone of the opposite sex.

Can I ask what your dating experience has been so far - in terms of gender?

 

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8 hours ago, Blondie said:

Hi @Tardigrade26 and a warm welcome to community! I'm Blondie, one of the support mentors here. 

I think that maybe if we look at how you identify first, this might make it smoother to come out - what do you think?

It is completely normal and usual for people to be pretty fluid in their sexuality over a lifetime. You will always have people of course who know they are, for example a lesbian and will always identify that way but lots more will be more fluid and can be bi but with a greater attraction to either males or females which fluctuates. I know we've all seen things around being bi, such a "how can you be bi if you're married to (insert opposite sex)?" and this doesn't help at all! Bisexuality isn't cancelled out if you're with someone of the opposite sex.

Can I ask what your dating experience has been so far - in terms of gender?

 

 

I agree that figuring out how I identify will probably make it easier to come out! Thank you for the advice about attraction fluctuating, I will definitely think about that. 

I haven't actually dated anyone, yet. However, I have had a crush on a girl and (I think) on a boy, too, although I'm not entirely sure if that was a real crush or if I only liked him as a friend. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Tardigrade26 said:

I agree that figuring out how I identify will probably make it easier to come out! Thank you for the advice about attraction fluctuating, I will definitely think about that. 

I haven't actually dated anyone, yet. However, I have had a crush on a girl and (I think) on a boy, too, although I'm not entirely sure if that was a real crush or if I only liked him as a friend. 

I know what you mean - we can have pretty strong feelings for people we really admire.

When you feel ready to date, it might be a good idea to be open to boy / girl so you're not holding yourself back. I think you would know pretty quickly how you felt about them.

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4 hours ago, Blondie said:

I know what you mean - we can have pretty strong feelings for people we really admire.

When you feel ready to date, it might be a good idea to be open to boy / girl so you're not holding yourself back. I think you would know pretty quickly how you felt about them.

A lot of people were also expecting me to have a crush on said boy, so I don’t know if that played a part in my feelings towards him. However, at least for the moment, I think that I’ll definitely be open to dating either boys or girls, as I can imagine myself being happy with either. Also, I’ve been thinking about it more and, for now, I’m feeling comfortable identifying as bi, so that’s how I’m going to keep identifying (but I’m still open to my sexuality changing over time, especially once I start dating). 
Do you have any advice on coming out to my parents/family?

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12 hours ago, Tardigrade26 said:

A lot of people were also expecting me to have a crush on said boy, so I don’t know if that played a part in my feelings towards him. However, at least for the moment, I think that I’ll definitely be open to dating either boys or girls, as I can imagine myself being happy with either. Also, I’ve been thinking about it more and, for now, I’m feeling comfortable identifying as bi, so that’s how I’m going to keep identifying (but I’m still open to my sexuality changing over time, especially once I start dating). 
Do you have any advice on coming out to my parents/family?

Hi there, Blondie isn't online at the moment so I thought I would jump in. I hope that's OK. Nice to hear that you feel comfortable identifying as bi for now. The most important thing is that you're comfortable and that it feels right for you. And as Blondie said it's completely normal for people to feel fluid in their sexuality throughout their life and it might be that a different label feels right for you at a different point in your life. And that's absolutely fine, too. 

With regards to coming out to your parents/family. Do you think you would like to come out to them all at the same time or would you find it easier to tell one person first? Maybe there is someone in your family who you would feel more comfortable with, talking about your sexuality? 

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8 hours ago, Aurora said:

Hi there, Blondie isn't online at the moment so I thought I would jump in. I hope that's OK. Nice to hear that you feel comfortable identifying as bi for now. The most important thing is that you're comfortable and that it feels right for you. And as Blondie said it's completely normal for people to feel fluid in their sexuality throughout their life and it might be that a different label feels right for you at a different point in your life. And that's absolutely fine, too. 

With regards to coming out to your parents/family. Do you think you would like to come out to them all at the same time or would you find it easier to tell one person first? Maybe there is someone in your family who you would feel more comfortable with, talking about your sexuality? 

On one hand, I don't really want to make coming out a big thing where I gather my whole family to tell them. On the other hand, though, I think that just telling one person in my family would feel weird and secretive (plus, my family is pretty close so I'm worried I could accidentally be outed since we are usually so open with each about things). However, my older sister is at college, and I really trust her, so I feel pretty confident that I could tell her, both because she's not around my family all the time and because we have a good relationship with each other. Although, I still don't really know how to tell her (or the rest of my family for that matter). I suppose if/once I figure out how to tell her, she could help me come out to the rest of family. 

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12 hours ago, Tardigrade26 said:

On one hand, I don't really want to make coming out a big thing where I gather my whole family to tell them. On the other hand, though, I think that just telling one person in my family would feel weird and secretive (plus, my family is pretty close so I'm worried I could accidentally be outed since we are usually so open with each about things). However, my older sister is at college, and I really trust her, so I feel pretty confident that I could tell her, both because she's not around my family all the time and because we have a good relationship with each other. Although, I still don't really know how to tell her (or the rest of my family for that matter). I suppose if/once I figure out how to tell her, she could help me come out to the rest of family. 

That sounds like a good idea - it's often incredibly helpful when you have a supportive friend / relative with you and o have these chats in advance is a good way to feel ready.  They can also be really helpful in steering conversations if you say, feel overwhelmed or really nervous. 

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On 10/22/2022 at 5:25 AM, Blondie said:

That sounds like a good idea - it's often incredibly helpful when you have a supportive friend / relative with you and o have these chats in advance is a good way to feel ready.  They can also be really helpful in steering conversations if you say, feel overwhelmed or really nervous. 

I still am having issues figuring out how I can tell my sister/family. I'm fairly certain they aren't going to care (some reasons... we've watched a lot of queer TV shows together, like Schitt's Creek and A League of Their Own, my sister's roommate is queer, and she's totally ok with that, my family knows that a lot of my friends are queer and don't care), but I'm still really nervous. Simply stating "I'm bi" seems terrifying because, well, I don't really know why. But so does writing a note, or texting my family, etc. 

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9 hours ago, Tardigrade26 said:

I still am having issues figuring out how I can tell my sister/family. I'm fairly certain they aren't going to care (some reasons... we've watched a lot of queer TV shows together, like Schitt's Creek and A League of Their Own, my sister's roommate is queer, and she's totally ok with that, my family knows that a lot of my friends are queer and don't care), but I'm still really nervous. Simply stating "I'm bi" seems terrifying because, well, I don't really know why. But so does writing a note, or texting my family, etc. 

Hi there, Blondie isn't around today so I thought I would jump in. I hope you don't mind. I'm Aurora, I'm one of the other support mentors here at Ditch the Label. 

Please know that it's totally normal to feel nervous about coming out, even if we think that our family will be supportive. You mentioned before that you came out to one of your friends at school. Do you mind me asking, how you came out to them? Did it come up naturally in conversation or did you make a point of telling them? I'm wondering whether you might be able to tell your sister/family the same way you told your friend. What do you think? 

Also, I'm not sure if you've seen this yet, but we have a support article on our website with some tips on how to come out to your parents, that you might find useful https://www.ditchthelabel.org/9-tips-coming-out-to-parents/

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On 10/26/2022 at 7:18 AM, Aurora said:

Hi there, Blondie isn't around today so I thought I would jump in. I hope you don't mind. I'm Aurora, I'm one of the other support mentors here at Ditch the Label. 

Please know that it's totally normal to feel nervous about coming out, even if we think that our family will be supportive. You mentioned before that you came out to one of your friends at school. Do you mind me asking, how you came out to them? Did it come up naturally in conversation or did you make a point of telling them? I'm wondering whether you might be able to tell your sister/family the same way you told your friend. What do you think? 

Also, I'm not sure if you've seen this yet, but we have a support article on our website with some tips on how to come out to your parents, that you might find useful https://www.ditchthelabel.org/9-tips-coming-out-to-parents/

 

When I came out to my friend, I was pretty sure that they already knew (I had gone to my school's GSA as an ally, and had asked them some stuff about their sexuality), so I made a point of calling them to tell them. I don't think anyone in my family already knows, though.

Thanks for the article, I'll check it out!

 

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