Being closeted at secondary school (6th form)
yes17 · 11/11/2018 21:08
Hi, I'm 16, a girl and gay.
I haven't come out to anyone... Especially none of the girls in my year or friendship group.
I just need to get these thoughts somewhat off my chest, maybe some of the things i think about when I think of coming out might help someone to understand why coming out is still a hard process even though it's 2018.
These are some of the things i think about:
-What if they think I'm trying to flirt with them?
-What if they think I look at them in a "weird way?
-What if they think i looked at them when we had to get changed for PE?
-What if they think i looked at them during sleep-overs?
-What if they think i look at them when they get changed in front of me because they don't think I'm gay and they just assume that I'm straight?
-What if they feel uncomfortable?
-Will they think i'm normal?
-Will i still have friends?
-What school can I move to if everything goes badly?
-Which school has no connection to any of my friends
-Will they find out before I'm ready to tell them?
-What if they tell their parents, who will tell my parents?
-Where can i go to live if i get kicked out?
-How will my teachers treat me if they find out?
-Will i get sent to conversion therapy? (idk if this is still legal in England, but it's a possibility)
-Will i still be invited to friends houses?
-Will i still have a family?
-Will i still be loved?
These are just a few of the main questions.
I'd also like to answer some of these questions, just incase there are any girls (and boys) reading this that have a gay/bi/pan/queer/questioning friends that have come out:
No, i have not ever looked at you whilst you were changing, I purposefully divert my eyes or leave the room whilst you are doing so. I used to go into the changing room toilets to get changed and wait there till i was certain that all of the girls were changed in hopes that when you find out I'm not straight you won't be creeped out by me.
I'm not a cishet boy, I don't look at girls the same way as those sort of boys who are only interested in 'boobs and butts' I would never talk about a girl the way some boys do, I find it quite disgusting.
To put it in short: Although I am attracted to the same sex, it does not mean i'm attracted to you, I don't look at you 'weirdly' and I would certainly never want to make you feel uncomfortable. My only intention is to let you know who I am and I hope that one day I feel as if i can be me, rather than pretend to be someone I'm not.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thank you.
velvetcake1 · 12/11/2018 01:45
Hi there! I’m 18 and your post sounds exactly like something I could’ve written in the past.
(Btw if your teachers did find out anything it is illegal for them to treat you differently (Equality Act 2010) and the government has announced that they’re going to ban conversion therapy very soon.)
My main advice would be to just hang in there. I know it is so hard and scary but you can do it, I promise! Posting this was so brave.
Something that really changed things for me was coming out to just one person. Telling that first person is terrifying but the relief I felt the next day was indescribable, all of my worst fears and everything I had built up in my head for years didn’t happen and it was okay. Do you have any friends outside of school you trust - that’s a good place to start? Or online friends (who don’t know your school friends). However if you don’t want to or you aren’t ready, then you don’t need to do that! There is no shame in being closeted - I have only ever told 3 friends and no one at uni so far, and that’s fine! And just because you tell one or two people doesn’t mean you need to tell anyone / or your family. It’s your choice. (Also idk if this applies but you don’t need to use specific labels if that’s something you worry about, it works just as well to say “I like girls” or similar.)
At school I was so worried about so many of the same things as you. There is always a risk of things like that happening, but remember that people nowadays are very tolerant and in general most people will not care. I don’t really have any advice for the PE or sleepover thing - I understand how hard that is. But remember you are NOT “weird” or anything else - being gay is normal and it does not make you creepy etc!!! Please never think that!!! (I also relate to what you said about cishet boys and how they talk about girls... yeah. I don’t know what to say but I understand what you mean. Don’t feel guilty, what any boys do or say has nothing to do with you and what you think about girls.)
Re: parents. It’s true that if you did tell your friend there is a chance that it could get back to your parents somehow so if you tell someone just make sure they’re trustworthy enough not to do that. But in general people won’t find out unless you tell them. I don’t know your family (obviously!) but I am sure that they (or most of them) will support you and love you once you tell them, even if it takes them a bit of time to get used to it. If you did get kicked out there will be lots of support services in your area, especially as you’re still under 18. But that is so so unlikely and there is nothing worse than sitting there going over and over in your head worrying about worse case scenarios. I spent years imagining sitting alone at lunch and everyone at school rejecting me and calling me weird and having to move away - nothing like that ever happened to me. Don’t over think too much, it’ll be okay... remember you don’t need to tell your parents, like if you waited until you’ve moved out then that’s another way to make sure you’re safe.
Wishing you luck :) If you’re in year 12 then you have 18 months until you leave school forever - take it one step at a time and it will be manageable. Once you move on to uni, a job, or whatever comes next, you can be yourself as much as you want. And that day will be amazing. Being yourself is fantastic!!!
Ps. Sorry for the very long message and advice overload - obviously you don’t have to listen to what I said! Your post just really struck a chord with me and what I’ve experienced. I just wanted to tell you that it’ll be okay and being gay doesn’t mean everyone will hate you. No matter how much it feels like that - it’s not true, I promise. :)
MrsTerryPratcett · 12/11/2018 01:58
DO you have any LGB groups in your areas. Two young lesbians I know absolutely LOVE their group and it gives them a place that they can not bother with any of those questions.
FWIW I had gay and lesbian friends 4000 years ago at school. It got very boring very quickly.
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