Dear Auntie – My mom found my ulterior social media account, where I posted about me being bi. She confronted me, while outing me to my entire family, and forced me to come out to my friends. None of them accept me. I was and am depressed and suicidal. Help?
First off, I am so sorry your right to come out when you were ready was taken away from you. That’s inexcusable and incredibly hurtful behavior. It was unacceptable for your mom to do this. All this is especially painful, coming from someone who ought to have your back.
What I would like to do is talk about what you can do now…
Thinking Ahead – Keep in mind, that other people’s reactions are more about them than they are about you. You’ve had time to think about your feelings and while you are still likely sorting those feelings out, your family and friends are learning this news for the first time. When they found out you were bi, they began their own acceptance process. It may take some time for them to fully understand your news.
Here are a few things I want you to think about:
- Make Sure You’re Safe – If for whatever reason, you think your safety is in jeopardy, I want you to make a safety plan. This can include finding a safe place to stay for a while, looking for a job so that you can take care of yourself financially, or setting up rides to school or work. It’s also a good idea to let your school counselor or a trusted adult know, so they can help out.
- Find an Ally – It can be a really lonely place when don’t feel accepted by those closest to you. Find someone you think you can trust. You’re not alone and there are others who can have your back. It may also be a good idea to get involved with LGBTQ groups. Check to see if there are any locally by going to GLBT Near Me, or by going to TheTrevorProject.org.
- Take the Power Back! – When you are ready, think about how you would like to come out and when. Redo the ‘coming out’ experience by doing things your way. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be right away, it can be after graduation, when you have a job, or have moved away to college. This will be on your terms. For more help check out “The Guide to Coming Out As You.”
- Get Help – If you’re feeling depressed and suicidal it’s vital that you get help by talking to folks who care. You’re not alone and you don’t need to go through this alone. Call the Trevor Lifeline (1.866.488.7386) – it’s there for you 24/7, as well as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text START to 741-741 anytime, day or night. You can also check with your tribal clinic, or school counselor to help.
I’m proud of you for reaching out. I hope this helps you take your power back. You’ve already shown that you can do this. I care about you and will be sending you good thoughts. You’ll be in my prayers.