I appreciate the courage and honesty of sharing these difficult thoughts. Questioning your sexuality as a teenager is very normal. Yet I can understand how difficult it is to have intrusive thoughts of this nature.
Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is hallmarked by a disproportionate fear of being ridiculed for being gay — or excessive anxiety about becoming gay. Part of this can be having intrusive thoughts and images of homosexual behavior and the fear that others might think you are homosexual. The obsessive thoughts are often accompanied by compulsive behaviors like checking.
In HOCD, which is not an official diagnosis, but rather a term used to describe these symptoms, obsessions are characterized by the excessive fear of being or becoming homosexual and being ridiculed by others for being gay. There is an experience of intrusive, unwanted mental images of homosexual behavior and/or fears that others may believe he/she is homosexual. Compulsions are usually in the form of checking. From this paper, this quote is particularly helpful for understanding the nuances and dynamics of HOCD:
“While conceptualizing sexual obsessions, it is important to recognize that people with sexual obsessions find their thoughts immoral and do not wish to act them out. They are different from fantasies, as the obsessions are unpleasant and provoke guilt rather than being enjoyable. The person in HOCD is not able to stop thinking about same-sex relationships, and the thoughts are severely distressing to him/her. Although in fantasy and dreams he fantasizes about the opposite sex. He often feels emotional intimacy with a partner of the opposite sex. He is worried that people of the same sex might be attracted to him. Sexual obsessions in OCD rarely produce sexual arousal. These obsessions usually decrease sex drive. Obsessions about homosexuality differ from an individual who is actually gay because they do not feel attraction or arousal to members of the same sex. The obsessions result in guilt, shame, distress, and anxiety. The patient often tries to learn more about sexual identity issues to reassure himself that he is not a gay.”
Your anxiety seems to be more of one of identity. It sounds like you are wrestling with who you are as a sexual being, your gender identity, and from what you are saying the anxiety is about trying to figure this out.
I highly recommend talking about this with a therapist about this. Let your parents know that you are having suicidal thoughts and want to talk to a therapist. You don’t have to tell them about the HOCD — it sounds like they don’t understand it, but explaining you have thoughts of hurting yourself will hopefully let them know the seriousness of your distress. Seeing a therapist and talking to one is important. If your parents are unwilling — talk to your high school guidance counselor. He or she will help get you to a therapist who will be able to help.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral