I’m a 16-year-old boy who loves makeup. I like to wear crop tops and I like to paint my nails. I made out with one of my closest friends once although he’s a guy. Because of this, my peers think I’m gay or bisexual but I’m not. I don’t feel the same connection with guys that I do with girls and I make out with my friend for fun. I’m not attracted to him nor any other guy in general. I do have a serious girlfriend. She is fine with what I do and she never questions my orientation. My peers say this so much that I’m starting to think that maybe they’re right. Is it okay to like things that are meant for girls although I’m a guy? It hurts my feelings when people say mean things about me. Some of my peers say that I made out with my friend for attention but that’s not true. I am not okay with myself and there are times that I want to hurt myself because of them. How can I not let their words get to me and be comfortable with who I am?
- Thanks for writing into TeenCentral.com with your story. You seem to have a strong sense of self and who you are and you are not afraid to share that with others. For the most part, it appears that people accept you for that, such as your girl friend. Continue to focus on those who do support you for the person you are and try to redirect your frustration away from those who criticize you.
- At times, people who do not understand something, like how you are comfortable with who you are, will find a way to put others down or criticize them. If you feel comfortable, try to educate them when the opportunity arises. Let them know your girlfriend is accepting of you for who you are and although you like to dress unconventionally, it does not mean you are gay.
- When you feel distressed about the comments that people are sharing make sure you talk to someone about how you are feeling. Find support from someone such as a friend, a family member, a trusted adult, or a counselor. Contact Teen Helpline 24 hours a day if you feel you need immediate help at 1-800-273-8255.
- Who could you talk to when you need support?
- How can you help others understand your choices?
- How can you stay positive when others are critical of your choices?