To the anonymous gay teen who asked for help in a Boing Boing comment thread


[PHOTO: "Jessie," a CC-licensed image by LeTiger.]

A few weeks ago, I blogged a funny video created by a Canadian high-school student titled "Hiding Your Sexual Orientation From Your Parents 101." One of the many people who commented on that post was an anonymous commenter who wrote:

Ok, my parents found out i was gay by myspace (which i regret for putting my sexual orientation) and my parents will never accept cause my parents are really realigous for our christianity. They are so realigous, that i'm now homeschooled and going to a private school. Also i have no internet unless for emergencies, no friends houses, no phone, no boy friends til i'm 18. The only times i can get out is to christian youth groups so i have no life for the next 5 years ( cause i'm 13). Oh and my parents think all the wrong things in the world about gays, they even use the gay f word. I need help and i'm typing this from my PS3 cause they don't know it has internet. HELP!!! =O

It's hard for jaded internet people like me to know when someone's pulling your leg online, but I'll take this one at face value. Many other teens read Boing Boing, and perhaps one of them is in a similar predicament. So, Dear Anonymous:

Boy, that sucks. I don't have a way of contacting you privately, so I'll say it to the world. You are fine just as you are. There is nothing wrong with being gay, and everything right with being true to yourself, no matter who tries to tell you otherwise. But being gay and a teen is very hard when your family isn't cool with it. My friend Maggie suggests that you might want to check out these helplines and Web resources, so you can talk to someone who can help you sort stuff out: (a teen LGBTQ site) (Web chat based teen
counseling service) (National LGBTQ help center, with
phone counseling lines manned by other LGBTQ people. They've got a
special youth line, online peer support and access to local services and organizations.)

If you are reading this post, Anonymous, I bet some other people will be writing suggestions for other good resources in the comments. Check them out. Good luck. There are many of us in the world who welcome you just as you are. Don't believe anyone who tells you that who you are is anything less than beautiful.

Keep your head held high, little happy mutant.