How Can I Stop Feeling Ashamed to Be Gay?

Chalkboard Pride
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If you're experiencing feelings of shame about being gay, you're not alone. It's not surprising that you feel ashamed of being gay in a world where a lot of people still treat the LGBTQ community like second-class citizens and where high school hallways are filled with gay jokes and harassment of gay students. Hopefully, you know that there is nothing wrong with being gay. You are who you are, and that's a wonderful thing.

What You Should Know If You Feel Ashamed to Be Gay

You are most likely your own worst critic and that feeling can be a result of having low self-esteem. Sexual orientation isn't something you can change, even if you really, really want to. It's a deeper aspect of who you are.

Shame is a terrible thing to carry around, and you could probably use some positive reinforcement to remind you just how great you really are, regardless of whether you're gay. Talking to an adult who supports you is a good first step. If you don't think anyone in your family would accept you, consider talking to the guidance counselor at school. Hopefully, he or she will be able to offer advice and put you in touch with support services.

You might also want to contact your closest LGBTQ community center. Many have programs for teens. Meeting other gay teens can be a really helpful way to feel less alone.

Another good resource is the GLBT National Hotline. Call them toll-free for help and support at 1-800-246-PRIDE. The Trevor Project also provides non-judgmental, LGBTQ-sensitive trained counselors you can call, text, or chat during a mental health crisis. It's a totally free service that is available 24/7 at 866-488-7386.

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