Figuring out your sexual orientation can feel confusing and lonely. But it doesn’t have to be.
Lots of people assume that everyone around them is straight, or have old-fashioned ideas about what LGBTQ people are like. That can make you feel bad about yourself, especially if you’ve ever been bullied about it.
But actually, you’re not alone at all, and it definitely doesn’t make you bad. It may not seem like it in high school, but being LGBTQ is pretty common — and it’s a huge source of pride and happiness for lots of people. Talking with someone you trust, someone who’s going through the same thing as you, or has gone through it in the past, can really help.
Here are some ways you can find people to talk with.
Going to a Gay/Straight Alliance meeting at your school
Visiting your local LGBTQ community center
Checking with your nearest Planned Parenthood health center for other resources in your area
Searching for online communities of LGBTQ people
Thinking about this stuff can bring out a lot of feelings. If you’re having a really hard time, the Trevor Project has a 24/7 hotline where you can talk about what’s going on.
Remember that deciding who to come out to and when is totally up to you. Figuring out your sexual orientation and coming out are both processes — they take time. Don’t rush yourself.