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Chris Kryzan

July 1999

Hi Chris,

I am 16 years old, bisexual, and find it hard to tell my family. I also don't know how to deal with this. I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

I have strong feelings for two people: One is male, the other female. I am totally confused. Please help me.

Marga

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Hi Marga,

Coming to believe that you are not heterosexual can be a difficult thing for many people, and often more so for teens, what with all of the other stresses that usually fill your life.

You may be bisexual or you may be lesbian, and the first thing to remember is that any of these possibilities is alright, and equally as valid, equally as "normal" as any other. In time, and with exploration, you will come to understand better who you are and what your orientation is.

Bisexuality can often be the most confusing of any of these. That's because we live in a very cut-and-dry, black-and-white society, and the thing about sexuality is that it can often be a very fluid thing. There is often prejudice on both sides of the sexual orientation table against bisexuals -- heterosexuals see them as queer, queers see them as lesbians (or gay men) who are repressing their true feelings. Only you can be the judge of what you are feeling, however.

Recognizing these feelings is an important first step. Now, you will need to decide how you want to act on them. If you believe yourself to be attracted to this other girl, and believe you can trust her, and that she may return your interest, then perhaps you may decide to tell her about your feelings. (If she is openly lesbian or bisexual, this may be easier).

If you enter into a relationship with her, you may find, in time, that you are either a bisexual woman, or a lesbian. The most important thing, though, is to accept yourself for whatever it is you discover, and to allow yourself the same opportunity for happiness. Love (and lust, too) is a wonderful thing. To explore this side of yourself can be freeing, and hopefully, joyful.

Telling your parents is another thing in front of you, and one you should prepare for. I highly recommend the following books as the best places for any queer youth to start on both the process of self-exploration and sharing what you find with others:

Free Your Mind, by Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufmann

Outing Yourself, by Michelangelo Signorile

Best wishes on your own journey.

Chris
Chris@kryzan.com


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