View Full Version : Need some help/advice
03-29-2007, 06:31 PM
I am pretty much out to the people around me but I have yet to come out to my family. Everytime I seem to drum up the courage to say something everything just gets crammed back down inside. I dont know if it just isnt the right time for me to say something or it is just the fear of losing my family.
A little history. My family wont even go to WalMart because they support the homosexual community. :rolleyes: Everytime I hear them say something like that it just pushes everything back down again. I am tired of the up and downs that are coming with this. I love my family and I know they love me, but I just dont know what to expect from them on this issue. I know none of you do either. My biggest fear is my father. I am an only child and it is up to me to carry on the family bloodline. Not saying that I cant dot that as a gay man...but you know. Although he has always said that blood is thicker that water...he is a very hard nut to figure out sometimes. I guess it isnt so much the fear of them disowning me...it is more of them being disappointed in me for who I am. I dont know if that makes sense, but that is what it inside my head right now. Hopefully someone out there has some advice or life story that can help me out.
The courage is building slowly. I know the time is coming soon. I mean I only really came out about 2 years ago and only about 3 months ago locally. You can read my story in the "Hello my name is..." forum. So this whole thing is pretty new to me. But finding this site has helped me so much already. It has helped renew my faith in God and let me know that the Bible doesnt condemn me as an abomination in His eyes.
Anyway, if there is anything that anyone can offer I am open to everything you have for me. I am a sponge give me something to soak up.
Love in Christ,
03-29-2007, 06:49 PM
Others have said to you that when the time is right, you will know and I agree with them. Since your understanding of yourself as a gay child of God who is beloved of God is relatively new I would suggest that you do more reading and find and associate with other gay Christians before you come out to your family. It will be important that you be confidant about the arguments and biblical interpretations that undergird your new self understanding before you share them with your family.
On the other hand... if your family were to say something that openedthe door to self disclosure you may want to move ahead.
Just my thoughts...
03-29-2007, 07:30 PM
Think about your family dynamic, and think about what may happen if you came out to them. I didn't have the chance to consider all the dynamics when I came out (actually was outted) to my parents.
I am surprised at how things actually happened. My parents are Assembly of God members. My dad has always been very religious and very strict. Mom did not have the strict religious childhood that my dad did. But it turns out that Mom has a harder time talking about the gay issue, moreso than my dad. I would NEVER have thought that this is how it would go.
I also have the benefit of 2 brothers who have spoken on my behalf. Both of them have given advice to my parents, warned them that if they didn't get some support for themselves, and consequently get over the fact that I'm gay, that it would be possible for them to "lose" me. In this case meaning, that we could become estranged.
Is there a cousin, aunt, uncle, anyone who could advocate with them on your behalf?
03-29-2007, 09:59 PM
Welcome. :) As with what David (U dog) said, perhaps this is something you want to allow a lot more time for. For most people, coming to self-acceptance is a gradual process, and there can be words said that make a person begin to feel insecure and self-doubting again, questioning how valuable they really are in God's sight. When you reach a point where your relationship with God as who you truly, honestly are deep down inside is simply unshakeable, you will know it. Perhaps you've already found yourself there, or perhaps not. If not, then I would suggest waiting before disclosing to your family. It can be very wounding otherwise, if the family responds negatively and there was still some self-doubt lingering on as well. The negative reaction of those we value can wound a fledgling self, and set the process back. Be sure you are secure deep within before initiating the conversation.
Otoh, you may already be at that unshakeably secure place, but find that your family is the last remaining stumbling-block. In that case, I wouldn't even try to advise as I'm still navigating the rocky waters of holding back a lot from my own family. :o
I feel like what I wrote above is a ramble of nonsense. Was it clear? All I mean to convey is, if your sense of self is new and still a bit fragile, you may wish to protect it for a while. Nothing duplicitous or shameful about that. If you walk into a raging tempest with just a tiny candle, the wind will blow it out. But if you protect that little fire of self-acceptance, over time it will grow into a raging fire that can withstand the gusting winds - to put it in metaphor. So, Scott, protect yourself if, deep down, you feel that is what you need to do.
Like David says, if all of a sudden a family member says something that is the perfect lead-in to a coming-out, then perhaps that will be your moment. ?
Take care. Don't pressure yourself.
Best wishes. :pray:
03-29-2007, 10:26 PM
I have an 18 year old cousin (senior in high school) who I am 99% sure is gay and might be out to some of his friends (well, those who are more than friends) but certainly not to his family (or a few girls who have a crush on him.)
So I told my aunt my suspicions in hopes that it will make it easier once he does share the news. I hope that was the right thing to do. If others believe it was a good move, then perhaps you have another family member or friend of the family who can drop a hint or something so it won't be a total shock.
By the way, I am approaching this issue from the other side - I'm straight and my mother came out to me. Since I am not homophobic at all, that made it easier, but still, it is a very hard thing for a family to cope with. Anyway, the point is that one time I "caught" my mom and her "friend" acting very funny when I walked in the house unannounced - so it wasn't a surprise for me.
By contrast, when a male friend who was a life long girl-liker came out, I was shocked. I should have seen it coming because he knew more show tunes than me, but still, he was really into girls for a long time. Anyway, all this is to suggest that perhaps you can think of a way to ease them into it rather than drop a bomb when you do decide to come out.
The advice on developing a community of Gay Christians is VERY important to ground yourself in the truth that one can be gay and Christian so that you are not put in the position of having to feel like you have to choose between sexuality and Christianity.
03-30-2007, 05:59 PM
There is no easy or "correct" answer here, I don't think. I agree that you have to do it in your own time. I did not come out until both my parents had passed away (partially a conscious choice, which may or may not have been the best idea), so it was a matter of coming out to my siblings, and to my adopted children (which was the TOUGH part!).
Since most of my siblings (I have 4, and 1 other has passed) don't live nearby, I talked in person to the one who lives closest (and who I am emotionally closest to as well). Following that, with his advice, I came out to my other siblings in writing ... it seemed better than a phone call, and was far more practical than trying to make a car tour (the Come-Out-to-Your-Family Ride?). As it turned out, they recieved it tremendously well, even though they are all quite conservative, would have tended to be anti-gay, and never saw it coming! I'm glad I did it in writing, because it gave them some time to absorb the information and process it before having to respond to me. As I said to them, it took me 37 years to come to terms with my sexuality, I didn't expect them to do it instantly, either.
Anyway, it is one option. I do still have the letter I sent, and I'd be happy to share it with you if it would be helpful.
03-30-2007, 06:11 PM
I hope you get the main message here... you are loved and you are not alone.
I would wait until you are spiritually and emotionally ready for the worst case scenario. If you are grounded in peace and in the truth of God's love for you, you will then react to unkind and unloving words with compassion. You will be able to speak truth to fear. And... if you are grounded, you will not be as wounded if they lash out.
Check out www.familyacceptance.org ... it's a great site for you and for your parents, after they know.
03-31-2007, 05:49 PM
I too had to face coming out to a handful of very zealous fundamental christian family/friends. It was very difficult, especially coming out to my stepmother (my father was there but suffered a very disabling stroke several years ago and it's questionable exactly what he can understand). Anyway, it actually took me several months, but since I was in the process of changing my address (moving in with my partner), it was imperative that I inform her. She took it easier than I thought at first, but time and many discussions with another relative who no longers talks to me has made any progress VERY slow with her. The initial coming out was easier than the several months between that time and now.
The point is, when you do come out to others (especially your family), keep in mind they have a coming out process to. It will take time for them to go through all the emotions and steps in getting to acceptance. They may surprise you, but be ready for a significant length of time to get there. On the one hand coming out will feel like a huge burden is lifted off you and you can totally live free and be yourself. For me, this was worth any of the hurt, anguish and discomfort of the other effects. On the other, there may be hurt anguish and discomfort that you will have to deal with, between you and your family. Just be compassionate and understanding and loving, but you certainly don't have to take abuse.
Whatever you decide Scott, you will do in YOUR time in YOUR way. Yes, a vague conversation led to an opening where I could finally come out to my stepmom, which made it a lot easier. But then emotions got the better of me and I cried as I came out. Then she was compassionate. The time of coming out to her was brief. The months after were what has really affected me. I'm still grateful and happy that I took that opportunity, it was made living with myself and my partner a lot more joyful. But it's not easy.
I'm sure you've got some ideas already, but I did find reading and researching a lot (and finding these forums) to be especially helpful in this whole process. Books like Straight Parents Gay Children (which is an awesome book for your family to read whenever they are ready for that), articles, web searching - this will really help you get ideas on coming out. Also, perhaps there is a PFLAG chapter in your area, you can find some amazing support there.
Good luck Scott. You'll be fine, whichever your choices. I'm glad you are here and are sharing with us on the forums. Hope you stick around!! :D
03-31-2007, 11:49 PM
Love yourself, all of yourself, first. Make this emotional journey first before making the action journey.
You are a man with the soul of a man
You sexuality is your God-given Gift, Your Heart of inncocence.
Then maybe write a letter so you can compose what you want to say. That also gives them a chance to recover from the initial reaction. Tell them that you love them and that you are telling them because they are worthy of knowing who you really are. And they are worth the risk you are taking. :love:
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