DEAR ABBY: I am a lesbian, still in high school, who has not yet come out to any friends or family. I want them to know, but I'm afraid to tell them.
I'm pretty sure this is who I am, and I don't want them to dismiss my identity. I also don't want them to think of me differently -- I want to be the same person in their eyes as I was before I came out. They aren't homophobic to my knowledge, but I feel "stuck."
I have fairly bad social anxiety, so it's difficult for me to say anything. I'd be grateful for any advice you have. -- HIDING IN COLORADO
DEAR HIDING: I suggest you first deal with your social anxiety (a counselor can help you with this) because it may make it easier for you to come out when you finally decide to do it. Until you are secure in yourself about who you are, I think you should wait to announce your sexual orientation to other people.