Hi, I’m a freshman at university and recently I’ve begun to have feelings for other girls. I’ve known for a while now that I am not exclusively attracted to guys, however, now I feel like I’m only attracted to girls. This is a problem for two main reasons. One, I am not out and I risk loosing my family by coming out. Two, I don’t know what the consequences of coming out will be.
In addition, I recently met a girl who goes to the same university and I feel as though we have chemistry. Yet, I don’t want to take the chance because I fear others will find out, and also, I fear being rejected. Is there any way for me to tell her how I feel, or are there any signs that I should look out for to see if she might be interested. – Lee
Thanks for visiting AlterHeros.com and asking us a question. We’ve glad that you found our resource on the web and we will try to answer your question the best as we can. We apologize for the delay in writing this answer.
As a University student you are at a big decision making part of your life. Many teens who have grown up hiding their sexual preferences or fantasies, feel university is the time to come out, and/or experience what they had to hide when they where younger. This is why there are many GLBT groups that are very active on university campuses all over Canada and probably in Australia too.
This best way to approach the situation is to look at a few factors, is there a GLBT group at your university? Is your university small or large? Is it a religious institution or not? Are you located in a big city or small town? These are important factors in determining the techniques to test the terrain, without being rejected.
It is true that if you confirm your preference for the same sex in a small private religious university, you may be harassed or even excluded. In general, larger cities and universities are more anonymous, therefore are easier places to test the terrain safely.
The absolute best way to test your friends’ openness is to start conversations and ask open ended questions, see how open your friends are to cultural diversity… usually people who are not racist or not very religious and who are well informed, will have an opened mind and will therefore not be homophobic. Talk about world events, talk about what your government or university is doing to promote social diversity. Talk a television show with a gay or lesbian character… Will & Grace is a good example.
You may also want to get involved: wear a diversity pin, display a rainbow sticker, participate in on campus activities, write a thesis on diversity for class, volunteer in an arts centre, in theatre or in fine arts. Check out the university services, there might be a GLBT group that is anonymous. If you can’t find a gay, lesbian, bi support group, do some research. There might be one in your city. Write a story about your personal experience and struggles to finding your sexual preference on alterheros.com. You will get feedback from the hundreds of users that visit the site every month.
To answer your other concern, yes coming out is not easy, yes there are bad… and good consequences to coming out. These vary by degree, usually strong at the beginning and then weaker as time goes on. It is harsh when you become good friends with someone and you have not been honest, because then that person takes it as a shock when all is revealed. It is better that you break link with people who talk against others, especially if they talk about same sex partners negatively. These people just do not have the maturity to understand what you are going through.
Your sexual preference is your business, you can be less or more interested in guys or girls, and this can change during the course of your life, sexual preference is fluid and can change, most experts say it’s in the brain, it is not a choice. And remember: you may not be ready to put a “label” on your feelings or put yourself in a particular “box” of straight/bi/gay but, if you are having crushes on girls then why not explore those feelings? It won’t necessarily be easy but, if you’re honest with yourself and those around you then hopefully it will help you come to your own conclusions about your sexuality over time. As for coming-out, give yourself some time. You do not have to come out to everyone just because you want to explore your sexuality. Try to take one day at a time, and you will know when to do so.