• Troubleshooter

I’m a Male Student Attracted to Men, But I Worry about My Future

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male college student in my 20s and I need your advice about my sexual orientation.

When I was in elementary and junior high school, I used to like girls the way most boys do, but after entering high school, I also began to have feelings for boys. Now, I only fancy guys. However, I can’t tell them about this and I end up feeling so empty over one-sided love.

I’m afraid that, if I come out, people will think I’m gay. However, I might be bisexual. I have no intention of coming out. I think if I told my family, they might be perplexed at first, but would eventually accept me. I had a comfortable upbringing thanks to my parents.

I’ve started looking for a job, but I can’t imagine what my future life will be like. I want to get married at some point and I also like children. In addition, I want to be filial to my parents. However, the wishes I have now don’t seem to be compatible with my sexual orientation.

Are my values too old-fashioned? How should I live my life?

O, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Mr. O:

Of the acronym LGBTQ for sexual minorities, Q stands for “questioning” and describes people who are uncertain of their sexual identity or what gender they are attracted to.

Being fluid is who you are. There is no need for you to blame yourself and no reason for anyone to judge you for being who you are. You were born that way, and you can remain who you are.

Nevertheless, you may come across unreasonable situations after you enter the workforce. You may be teased or become the center of attention against your will.

Even if you want to stay as you are, some people may expect you to live differently from what you want. Now that public understanding is in a transitional stage, these things may happen to you.

I have interviewed sexual minorities, and according to some of them, it makes a huge difference to have the understanding of their family. One person told me that their mother’s understanding helped them take another step whenever they experienced hardship outside of the home.

Fortunately, you are not worried about the reaction from your family. Why don’t you talk with them to make sure you have a foundation for your life? Your family is thinking of you much more than you can imagine, and you will find that having them on your side is the greatest support you have ever felt.

Hazuki Saisho, writer