oasis
columns


Chris Kryzan

February 2001

Hi Chris,

Ok.. This is really hard for me to do but I have a question. What age do you realize you are a bisexual or a lesbian. I remember in first or second grade I wanted very much to be a boy. I had crushes on a few of the girls, I even cut off my hair so I could look like a boy. And in 4th grade I started to.. um.. masturbate, I guess you could say. At sleepovers I would always sleep next to whoever slept over.

I get easily excited by female pictures... Not necessarily like porn. Just by cute girls. I am not some sicko but I don't know what to do. I know my mom would understand if I told her since her best high school friend, Eric, is gay. He's my godfather so I know she might not be that upset if she found out but my dad... I don't know.

Is there any hotline I can call? I am really depressed lately as I don't know what to do. Thanks so so much.

Meg

P.S. In case you're wondering.. this is gonna sound weird.. But I'm 13.

******

Hi Meg,

Don’t worry, this isn’t weird at all, and there are lots of other guys and girls who have gone through what you are, too (not that that should make you feel better, but just know you’re not alone in this). And there are people here who care, and will help you, so hang in there, you’ll make it through this fine.

You actually volunteered one piece of information — that your fantasies involve girls — that I have found to be one of the most relevant ways to help determine if you are, in fact, gay, lesbian or bisexual. Also, that you find yourself attracted to them, either in person, through pictures, etc. So it is highly likely that you are a lesbian. By the way, all of our data, through the online surveys we have run of queer and questioning youth, indicate that the “typical” gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender teen becomes aware of their orientation between the ages of 12 and 13, so you’re right on the mark there in terms of this awareness.

Now, what might complicate matters, and is something you’re going to have to come to understand better, in time, as well, is whether or not you might really be transgender. If you find that you identify with being a boy to the extent that you begin to think you really are a boy in a girl’s body, that may also be the case, too. There are some great trans links off of our web links page at http://www.outproud.org/web.html, and you may want to investigate some of those to see if what you find there also describes how you are feeling.

Given that your mother is likely to be supportive, and that your godfather is gay, you might want to approach her, or both of them, first, to enlist their help as you work through all of this. It’s not good to go through this alone, and the more people you have around you who care and can help support you in your exploration, the better. If you’re not ready to talk with them, but want to talk with other teens, I recommend The Trevor Hotline, at 800-850-8078. It is staffed by other youth, and there is a professional therapist backing them up. You can also find a lot of other glbt teens to talk to through the message boards and chat rooms at OutProud and on America Online.

I also want to recommend a wonderful book, called “Free Your Mind”, by Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufmann. You can find it at most large chain bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.) and it’s a really good place for a queer teen to start.

I hope this helps get you started.

Take care,

Chris
kryzan@outproud.org


©1995-2001 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.