Man Crush on Teacher or am I Gay?
Dear Birdy Slade,
I'm a 16-year-old guy, and I'm feeling really confused and stressed about my sexuality. I've recently realized that I might be gay, and it's been hard to come to terms with it. To add to this, I've developed a crush on my gym teacher. I know it's inappropriate and nothing can come of it, but I can't help how I feel. I'm scared of these feelings and I'm not sure who to talk to. I haven't come out to anyone yet, and I'm afraid of how my friends and family will react. What should I do?
Charlie in Tx
Dear Charlie in TX,
Firstly, I want to assure you that what you're experiencing is completely normal. Understanding and accepting your sexuality is a significant and sometimes challenging journey, and it's okay to feel confused or scared.
Regarding your crush, it's normal to have crushes on those we admire, including teachers. However, it's crucial to recognize the boundaries in such situations. These feelings, while intense, are part of your process of understanding your sexuality. It's important to find appropriate outlets to explore these feelings, such as talking to someone you trust.
Finding support is key. Consider reaching out to a counselor, either at school or externally. They can provide a safe space to discuss your feelings without judgment. If you're not ready to talk to someone in person, there are many confidential online resources and communities for young people exploring their sexuality.
Coming out is a personal decision and should be done at your own pace. It's important to do it when you feel safe and ready. Start by confiding in someone you deeply trust and who you believe will be supportive.
Remember, there is no rush to label yourself. Give yourself time to explore and understand your feelings. Your sexuality is just one part of who you are. Embrace your journey of self-discovery with kindness and patience.