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Hey, JB, thanks for writing to us. At a glance, our first advice to you is just to take a big, deep breath. Next, realize you aren’t different. Next, your confusion is totally normal and a lot of people your age are going through the same thing. The tricky thing is finding people to talk to. And it can be soooo much to think about, PLUS you have to think about what would happen if you DID tell someone. But one thing is to not rush and to relax a bit. Sort thru stuff going on in your head as best you can. Write stuff down. Write emails to yourself on a new yahoo account. Do anything to sort thru the things in your head. You can write to us too. Don’t be in a rush to come out of the closet. Your day will come. Make some targets, like, how about the last day of school? Or how about a few weeks before the last day of school you tell a close enough friend. Or you could go to the teachers you know who are lesbians (even though they don’t know you know that, they will understand) They would know how hard it is for you to talk to them. Write them an anonymous note, maybe, and ask them to write one back. Leave them a note with a yahoo email address of yours that no one else knows and ask them to write back.

A lot of people are confused for a long time in their lives, but most of the time they get it sorted out. You have lots of time to do that and don’t worry if it feels like you are lying when you aren’t out of the closet. It’s totally cool to keep it a secret til you are good and ready.

I’m a member of my school’s varsity swim team and I’ve been swimming long before I knew I was gay, but I was just wondering… A lot of the other swimmers act fairly homophobic. A lot of “purple nipples” and “your mom” jokes get passed around. Sometimes when a friend is standing on the starting block somebody else will just pick up a kick board and give them a big whack on the butt. Last fall during Water Polo season there was even a large bout of people going up to someone underwater and groping their nipples. Just wondering if I should be making any inferences? So far nobody has come out, assuming anybody is gay.

Thanks, S.

Dear S.

Thanks for asking what we think of all this pseudo homo stuff going on in the swimming world!!! 🙂

Yes, you should probably make inferences. In our opinion, jokes that don’t ever seem to go away and touching and groping are basically just indicators that people want to engage in this topic cuz it is buzzing around in their head. (Keep in mind that we are sorta biased cuz we basically believe everyone is gay). Add the near-nakedness of swimming and it makes for a highly charged environment. Everything you described is somehow mocking or paralleling gay behavior. It is just working itself out in butt whacking and nipple groping.

Now, whether you should act on those inferences, who knows. Are you out? Do the people you swim with know you are gay? Or are you doing all the same stuff but no one knows?

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