So I'm planning on coming out to my parents next month...

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by anal_lightbulb, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. anal_lightbulb

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    I've known since I was a teenager, but having just turned 30 a few months ago, I can't take hiding it anymore, lying to people, or repressing myself. I only started becoming sexually active with men about 2 years ago, so I have been a late bloomer when it comes to that.

    My dad is a minister, and is extremely homophobic and I think he has mental issues (undiagnosed) so I know this isn't going to go over well with him. My mom is a bit more understanding, but has her moments too. I already came out to my brother who has been awesome and understanding, and a few friends. I have already written the letter I plan on sending to them telling them what I've been going through, the suicidal thoughts, that e being gay is not their fault, and how much I've isolated myself from them over the past few years.

    It's taken months of therapy, PFLAG meetings, and support to get to where I am now, and while I know it might not go over well (I KNOW it won't go over well with several members of my extended family, but they get on my nerves anyhow), my peace of mind is a lot more important than what other people think.

    For those of you who have came out to your parents, how did you do it? I'm sending a letter because a telephone conversation announcing this would involve a lot of yelling and cursing. I'd rather cover my bases before the telephone call I know I'm going to get after.

    The next people I plan to tell will be my closest straight male friends. I k ow I'll have to reitierate to them that I wouldn't do anything to them to compromise our friendship but if we no longer speak, I've made my peace with it.

    Knowing my dad, he'll try to find a woman to hook me up with or try to find someone to "save" me, but my parents live 450 miles away, and I'm financially independent, so it's easier to tell them to mind their business, but I'm not ready for a personal confrotation quite yet. For those of you with really controlling, meddling parents, how did you deal with the fallout?

    I've never been so terrified to do something in my life, but I know it has to be done for the sake of my sanity. Honestly, I think they have their suspicions, so I think this will be a huge weight off of everyone's shoulders once all is said and done.

    For those of you who have gone through this, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. D_Blue_Barry_Eel

    D_Blue_Barry_Eel Account Disabled

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    Honestly, any advice I'd give would be without experience behind it. I came out at 16 about three years ago to an accepting family in a country that's generally a lot more accepting of it.

    All the same, good luck! Hopefully they'll be okay with it, or will be given some time. I imagine it'll be a shock to them so you'd only be lying to yourself if you expect immediate positive reactions of course, but just bare with it.
    Even if they don't end up coming round, you can at least live your life openly and freely and without it being a lie anymore, which should be a great comfort within itself.
     
  3. jay4422

    jay4422 Member

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    wow dude much support to you hope it all works out
     
  4. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    My heart goes out to you in every sense. Trust me, although it may take time it will all work out for you in the best possible way. Pm me. Honestly.
     
  5. Charles Finn

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    welcome to the other side of the closet.
    been out since i was 14 i hit 45 this year if i can help just let me share one thing Jesus loves you no matter who or what you are.
     
  6. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    To the OP - good luck. I was in grad school a 24 hour flight from my parents when I decided to come out to them at 23. My first attempt was I was home for vacation, and decided to do it, so I cooked them a nice meal of some chunk of meat (a first for me since I've been vegetarian since I was 10), but they had been out with friends and had been imbibing so I chickened out.

    They visited me in the US about 4 months later, and I rented a ski apartment for a few days, and planned to do it there. We were driving back from central New Hampshire to Boston after about 4 missed opportunities when I thought it's now or never, so I came out to them while my dad was in control of a moving vehicle on an interstate. Seriously - don't do this. My mother was tearful, but understanding, but my dad basically didn't understand. Nothing homophobic/sinful, he just genuinely didn't understand since he had never even considered it, nor did he have any skills for dealing with gay people. I would guess it took him about 10 years to get used to the idea.

    Coming out is a lifelong process, person by person. It sounds like you have taken all of the right steps with therapy, PFlag and support groups. It also sounds like you have an excellent ally in your brother, and he should be involved in the whole process with your parents. It also seems like you are walking into this with eyes wide open, recognising that there will be some harsh words, some hateful words, and some relationships ending. I wish I could say that it is going to be roses and hallelujahs, but there is going to be a lot of crap on the way.

    My experience was more positive than negative (which most gay men would echo - coming out is a good thing in the long run), and my straight buddies were the ones that most surprised me. One response you may not be expecting is "what took you so long to figure it out".

    Another point made by my aunt when I came out to her was "this is a bigger deal for you than it is for anyone else". This is a small part of your dad's life - this *is* your life.

    You speculate on how your dad might try to be controlling - there are a few other threads here on this. You need to maintain your support network to remain sane when he tells you that you are a evil, despicable human being and that you are going to hell. You need to be clear that being gay is not a decision, and nothing he does (or the prostitute he rents for you) is going to change who you are. Your brother is likely to be useful in communicating that you don't want to end the relationship, but you are prepared to if he continues his shit. You need to be strong, and you need to buck some instincts you presumably have about honoring thy father.

    This won't be easy, but it is do-able. Hopefully once your father recognises the situation as it is and not as he wants it to be, you can redevelop a great relationship. If you can't, it is your father's loss, and frankly his fault if you do this right.

    Good luck and keep us all posted.
     
  7. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    I rather like this, in spite of myself.
     
  8. Charles Finn

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    I am blessed my family was not thrilled but very accepting but noth sides of my family are a little crazy live each day like a treasure treasure those who support you finally you can choose to be happy. make god first in your life then family then friends surround yourself with people that love accept and support you no matter what.
    it has taken me a very long time to get to the point in my life that i am stable and happy.
    always remember 2 people will always love you God and you this will get you through anything.
    I am living proof you can be gay and Christian it has taken me so long to find my place in this world.
    but i was always true to myself and to my friends. make yourself happy first god wants us to be happy find more support in your area. Gods peace and love my friend.
     
  9. Charles Finn

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    BTW had the talk with my dad when i was 15 and my mom at 18.
     
  10. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Coming out was extraordinarily easy for me, as difficult as it seemed. Although I did it at 19, and my family threatened to cut me off, I was doing it for the love of a boy, not a concept. I had no choice, so I fought them. Nearly 18 months of estrangement.

    Ultimately, they all came around because they loved me (and that boy). Now, and since, I could not have had a more loving and accepting family despite all the mutual growth we had to go through. Whomever I love is family to all of them.

    So maybe you have a happy ending. Possibly you don't. But I can promise you this: owning who you are, no matter what the consequences, is what will make you happy. Your happiness and self-acceptance will most likely bring them back. And even if it doesn't, you'll be far, far better for all of it.
     
  11. houtx48

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    you're 30 years old at this point they might have a clue unless you brag about all the women you been baggin.
     
  12. rbkwp

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    For those of you who have came out to your parents, how did you do it?

    Never felt the need to, and dont regret that decision, felt sure they knew, and did not need there sons confirmation..thats how i handled it, and feel we respected each other, because of it
    They would have preferred non sexual talk anyway, so respect all round

    as fr yr situation, feel your folk should have at least 15 years of partially knowing, and in yr fathers case, he should have been sensible enuf to 'prepare' himself, for his sons day of comming out ...God knows how many sermons for his father he has prepared, and one acceptance for his son, shouldnt be a major, sounds like he may be a stubborn person over it all, perhaps more like a loss of face, fr him..
    geuss i shouldnt be to harsh...on him, just from what you have said..

    for a personal confrotation quite yet. For those of you with really controlling, meddling parents, how did you deal with the fallout?

    fortunately, mine were never ever like that, so i feel for you, anyway you are 30 now, financially independant etc, and i feel / hope your confident enuf, that tf neccesary, for your 'own peace of mind' etc as you say
    YOU tell them, if you feel it neccesary, that its best you severe ties with them...yr Father i am, talking, perhaps not immeadiately, maybe thru your trusted Brother / Mother, to let yr Father know.if he ends up being a real ass about it..
    in yr case it may be the best for YOU
    if you were a Teen i would not suggest that
    MY Personal thoughts on yr predicament anyway matey

    ALL the BEST.
     
  13. Russ311

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    I just came out this past summer at 30 and wish I would have before. I had reasons not too, and it wasn't that I was afraid of my parents now speaking to me. I do have to say it was the best thing I did and do not regret it one bit. I dated girls the whole time while messing with men on the side for years. It just feels good to finally be myself, good luck my friends and I am praying all goes well for you! We are all made in God's image, so how can God hate us when we were all born this way! Thats my belief on it, and I come from a background of 12 yrs in Catholic school and still attending church.
     
  14. Thirdlegproduction

    Thirdlegproduction Formerly WhiteMonst3r
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    I'll admitt I'm quite insensitive to your feelings of coming out, having brought up in a very understanding and open family, but I don't see how your sexual preferences are any of your parents or friends concerns?

    If people should ask be open yes, but taking the issue to them then they will pay the price for your clear conscience.

    As you have already indicated your parents would probably not be very understanding, Is your clear conscience worth more then the wellbeing of your family?
     
  15. CuriousGuy

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    It's about his family "knowing" the person he really is. Before I came out to my parents I worried about one of them or me dying and what a tragedy it would have been that they would have never really known who I was. It's not simply a matter of your sex life and what you do in the bedroom. Can you imagine telling a straight person to keep their sexual preferences a secret to their family and friends and, in effect, hiding their very being from from the people they love?
     
  16. B_jeepguy2

    B_jeepguy2 New Member

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    Why do you want to tell them? You live 450 miles away and probably see them like what, two or three times a year, what is the point?

    I live much closer to my parents and see them several times a month but I have never told them. My parents are probably very much like your parents. Dad is not a pastor but as a church warden and a layreader he might as well be. I knew that if I told him it would completely destroy him. Decades ago I just decided to let sleeping dogs lie and made the decision that I would only tell them if they came right out and asked me if I was gay. I figure that if they ask, then they are ready to accept whatever answer I give them.

    So far they have never asked, but when I was about 35 they sbruptly stopped asking me when I was going to find a girl and get married. It may be because they figured out or it may be because my sister had a kid and they were too occupied with their new grandchild to worry about my dating/marital status anymore.
     
  17. mcstang

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    I came out only a couple months ago, at 41 (!!), when I told my parents I was divorcing my wife. I have known for 30 years but tried to suppress it all these years. The 1980s in the south was not a nurturing community for anything alternative. I don't regret any part of my journey, that I have a son, but sure there are times I wonder what life would have been like had I come out (and been comfortable in doing so) when I was much younger.

    How did I tell my parents? I just flat out said it in the same phone conversation where I told them I was divorcing. It was rather easy to get the words out but the aftermath has been a bit weird I suppose. Although I summed it up as "I am the same son you knew before this conversation, the only thing different is you now know something about me I never told you before". They have met my boyfriend and while it was a bit awkward (they were spending Christmas at the house with my wife), they have accepted him as I knew they would. Their parting words when they flew home: "Thank you for an interesting week." Hey, better than I thought it might go!

    I have been selective about who I tell, as I really don't feel like having the same conversation over and over again with co-workers whom I've known for years but didn't tell. Yes I'm not completely open then, but I don't feel a need to carry a rainbow flag and come out to the office all at once either. It's really none of their business. I have withdrawn from people somewhat out of fear that I won't be accepted, and for now it is easier not to push the agenda. Many people know my wife as she used to work there so that will be awkward. I know she has been telling people which bothers the heck out of me-I told her "you may own the divorce but not my sexuality-that's my business to reveal as I see fit, not yours." So sometimes I have paranoia about people she knows, and what they know about me, but in general it is getting better as I realize sexuality is one small part of my life and hasn't changed my ability to do my job or be a dad. But admittedly growing up and remembering how homosexuality was taught to be an abomination by most people, it's hard to reverse those thoughts in your head. Get a good therapist, as having someone neutral you can talk to is very helpful, sort of a reality check for me.

    In closing, how should you tell them? Just say the words. You can't spend life living it for other people as who they want you to be... you'll never be truly happy. Yes, some people may treat you differently, but your real friends will stick by you and accept you. Mercifully society today is more accepting so I think you'll be surprised that it isn't going to be as bad as you might envision.

    Good luck to you.
     
  18. 1Cody

    1Cody Active Member

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    This makes me sad. My father was very athletic, competitive, a Paratrooper, a Drill Sergeant, and a real man's man. In everyones eyes growing up, I was sissyfied as they put it. When I was like 10yrs old we went to visit my aunt. My dad and everyone else was fine up to this point. When we got into her house everyone else was normal acting. My dad sits down at her kitchen table and looks all defeated and despondent like it was the end of the world. He announces that I was going to be like Dr. Renee Richards (Americas first man to woman sex reassignment person, I think). My aunt didn't know what he was talking about. He said, "you know that Dr. that got a sex change." She did tell him that I was just a little boy. I was horrified and felt like a freak because I had read something about that in the tabloids. I think my father was trying to shame me into being his idea of what he thought a young boy was. It didn't help that I was clumsy. I literally sat down on the floor and scooted as far back against the wall next to a big easy chair and put my head down. He chose to do this in front of our entire family and close extended family. He did emasculate me completely and I think at 10 yrs self hatred was born within me. Up to this point, even with his endless beatings, emotional and psychological abuse I was pretty much unphased. After this I became full of self hate, depressed, and had no self esteem. I was always not good enough and less than. It took me years to find some kind of peace and to be able to live inside my own skin. My dad and aunt are gone now. I realize my dad had some of his own issues in his life. I still have my moments but have to do a lot of praying, self talk, and get busy to quickly move beyond them. I am doing good as some days I can go whole days and sometimes days at a time without thinking or feeling any of that poison that was put upon me. Good luck to you with whatever happens. Strive and seek for your own inner peace. Oh by the way, I don't think I was ever really naturally gay and still not. I think this thought and the idea that I was gay was drilled into me repeatedly. I guess when you are being beaten and it is because you are not perfect, defective, and maybe a sissy or dufus it begins to have an impact. For those of you that haven't read my earlier posts, yes I have some peace today and I have sought out counseling and 12 step groups and no I am not in an emotional crisis, rather expressing myself. The family dynamic can be very sick.
     
  19. Thirdlegproduction

    Thirdlegproduction Formerly WhiteMonst3r
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    That's actually how I'd prefer it, not keeping it a secret but I don't tell unless I'm asked and I don't really care what my family is up to in their bedrooms either, they could fuck a horse or cat or have wild raging orgies with all the neigbors it doesn't matter it's a private thing.

    And the OP would still be the same person regardless of what stamp you put on him, he's not going to act more or less fruity or bring his dates to his parents house at christmas.
    Nothing changes besides his parents being depressed about their son's sexual orientation.

    As for truly knowing someone I disagree on that as well, we don't truly know anyone unless we can read minds.

    What I keep in mind is long term effect, I imagine his parents are somewhere in their sixties and their health is gradually declining and older people are more set in their ways then anyone else.

    They probably have about 10 to 20 quality years left and they will live it knowing their son will not live up their dreams of him and not see any grandchildren of him, let allone the damage it would do to the father's reputation as minister.
    I don't think it would improve the quality years they have left.

    Don't understand me wrong I think it should be socially accepted and people should feel free to be who they are but when it's not being accepted then don't try to force it out of people.

    But again I have never been denied parts of my identity, so I admitt I can't really place myself in his shoes.
     
  20. ruggerkit28

    ruggerkit28 Active Member

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    I would suggest you come out to some of your straight friends first to see their reaction. I guess it wil be along the lines of 'yea, what's new, fancy another beer?'.

    You are now 30. Unless you have been boasting about shagging girls on the side your parents must have an inkling. It WILL be a shock to them; they make look upon themselves as 'faliures'. They are not. They have a brought up a caring son; that is why you have not mentioned it before. They will also think of how others will see them. At social gatherings it is one thing ot introduce 'our son and his girlfriend'; it is quite another to say 'our son and his boyfriend'. They will be thinking of this.

    That is not to say you must not do it, you must. Can you use your brother/sister so soften things. Have them there so your parents can discuss it with them?.

    At the end of the day you are still their son, they will always be your parents. I know that strong Christian beliefs are often uncomfortable, but by their upbring doesn't Jesus love all?

    (From a person with no religious beliefs).
     
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