It’s perfectly OK to like people who have the same or different gender than you.
Ah, the joys of having a new crush; falling in love; “like-liking” someone; double-tapping every Instagram photo they have; awkwardly making eye contact with them in the school hallway. We’ve all been there! It’s totally normal to be attracted physically, romantically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually to other people, and we want you to know…
…It’s okay to have a crush on someone of the same sex or gender, or someone who has a different sex or gender. We’re all human, and we experience attraction in various ways. Who we like might change over time, or generally stay the same.
…It is okay to have fantasies about another person, and not take action on them.
For LGBTQ youth who are in the closet – that means not being “out” about the kind of people they are attracted to – finding someone to talk to about their crushes can be tricky. Read through the FAQ section to learn about some common situations, and ways to handle them.
1. I’ve always been attracted to guys, but now I have a crush on my friend who is a girl. I haven’t told anyone else about it yet. What should I do?
Take a second to close your eyes, take a breath, and give yourself credit for being open and willing to explore your feelings—that’s a huge accomplishment! Now, let’s talk about your crush. It’s tough to like somebody in secret, especially when that person is one of your friends. It also sounds like this is your first crush who isn’t a guy – and that’s ok! It can be confusing and even frustrating sometimes when you can’t make sense of your emotions, but it’s perfectly normal to like people who have the same gender as you.There’s always a risk involved when we tell a friend that we have a crush on them, and it’s impossible to know how that person will react. Since your friend is the same gender as you, there’s also an added layer of tricky-ness, especially since you’re not “out” about liking girls. Is there anyone you can talk to about your feelings? Having people who support you can make a big difference when or if you decide to talk to your friend. How might she react if you told her about your crush? She may be surprised; she might like you back; she might need some time to think about what you said; or, in a worst-case-scenario, she may not want to stay friends – and that can be scary to imagine.
Keep in mind that just because you have a crush on your friend doesn’t mean you have to take action on it. Instead of talking to her about it, it might be safer to explore what drew you to her in the first place: What do you like about her? What do you dislike about her? Are there things that you imagine doing together? How would you like to spend your time together, if you were a couple? Are there certain things she says or does that make you happy? This might give you a better idea about what you find attractive in people, rather than just your friend.
Remember, you have so much time in your life to develop meaningful relationships with other people as you continue to learn about your own identity. There is no right or wrong way to feel attraction, and it is perfectly normal for your feelings to change over time. Stay true to yourself, listen to your feelings, and empower yourself to do what’s best for YOU. As always, The Trevor Project is here to help if you ever need support: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help/.
2. I recently told my crush I liked him. He isn’t being hostile or anything, but I feel like he is avoiding me. What can I do to fix our friendship?
It can be frustrating to feel like someone has pulled away from us, especially if you worry that it’s because you let your crush know that you like him. Have you tried to reach out to your friend over text or IM to let him know that you didn’t mean to make him uncomfortable? He might not know how to react to what you shared, and doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. The next time you see him, you could also say something easy-going like, “Hey! Are we good?”
Continue to treat him like you would any other friend. Is he only avoiding you when it’s a one-on-one situation? Maybe you can invite him to get together with a larger group, so that there is less pressure. Once he sees you acting the same as you always did (which may be a challenge to do, since he’s your crush!), he may relax and fall back into the old groove of your friendship.
Still, it can be hard to stay “just friends” with someone you have feelings for. Only you can decide if the friendship is still working, especially if he still seems to be avoiding you. But you aren’t alone. The Trevor Project is here to offer resources like www.TrevorSpace.org, our safe and secure online social networking site with young people who are ages 13 to 24. Chances are you’ll be able to find someone who has gone through a similar experience. You can also connect with us if you ever need to talk. Counselors are available on TrevorChat and TrevorText during select hours, or on our 24/7 Trevor Lifeline (1-866-488-7386).
3. I think I am in love with my best friend. She is amazing, and so supportive of my sexuality. How can I ask her out? What if she says no?
First of all, it is great that you have an accepting and loving friend! Support systems are so important. That’s why we can understand why you are worried about risking this important relationship. Start by weighing the pros and cons of asking her out, and make sure to prepare for any outcome.
How will you react if your friend says no? Will things become awkward or will you be able to move past your feelings and cherish the friendship you have? Maybe she just sees you are a really close friend, but isn’t interested in dating romantically.
Is there a way to casually test how she might feel? Maybe you can ask her to go with you to a movie or for a weekend activity where it is just the two of you. See how it feels to spend time together in a “date-like” situation. If it feels right, you could tell her how you feel. It can be tough to find the right words but sometimes the honest truth is the best approach.
It might hurt if she doesn’t feel the same way, especially since you really care for her. But if this happens, try to talk to her about how you two can still stay friends. The relationship you two have right now is valuable, even if she does not want to date romantically.
Above all else, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Do what feels right when it feels right.
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