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You Asked: Should I Come Out or Stay In?

DearSugar,

I am a 19-year-old male who has recently come to the conclusion that I am bisexual. I like women very much, but that has not stopped me from being intimate with 2 friends of mine that happen to be gay.


I am scared about the way my mother will react and I am not sure if I should tell her. I come from a highly christian family and a wonderful up bringing, but I have always felt that I needed something else...something to fill the void.

Like I said, I like females, but I like men too. What should I do? ~ Scared Gareth

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Dear Gareth --

I wish I could help you make this decision, as it will be an important one for you and you deserve as much support and encouragement as possible. Thing is, every person in your situation has a unique experience and set of challenges, and they must carefully evaluate when to come out and to whom they should come out. I think the very best thing I can do for you, Gareth, is to gather some resources and evaluate them for you.

First, while not based in the U.S., this website is a very, very thorough resource that walks you through all the things to consider and expect when coming out, as bisexual or homosexual, to the people in your life. You'll also find a list of reasons others have given for coming out and comprehensive suggestions about how and when to come out once you've decided you're ready. I strongly encourage you to spend some time at this site.

To read the coming-out stories of people your own age, check out this site. It's good idea to learn from others when you can, Gareth, and the stories help show the range of what to expect, should you decide to tell your family or friends anytime soon.

I wanted to offer a small selection of fiction and non-fiction books, too, because it matters to see yourself reflected in the world, and the art, around you. Go here for the list.

Should you decide to come out to family members, I think this site is down-to-earth and realistic, a good place for family to learn more, be in touch with other parents, and get support if they need it. Might want to bookmark it for the future.

And finally, the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) community has a national youth hotline number for folks under 25, with peer counseling, information and local resources in your area.

I'm hoping you'll now have most of what you need, Gareth, to begin to answer this question for yourself. Let people help, be good to yourself, and I will be hoping your mother -- should you tell her -- finds herself happy to recognize all the wonderful things about you. Good luck, you.

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