View Full Version : A Family Situation
03-31-2008, 09:33 PM
Well, my weekend was a mixture of good and bad. The good part, as mentioned in another thread, was my first experience in drag over the weekend. Loooved it!
The bad part, I discovered today that my teenage niece is being made fun of because her classmates happened to recently see my facebook and that I openly identity as gay. She's beside herself apparently, my sister I'm sure isn't happy with me, and my mother gave me a big lecture about how I need to keep my sexuality to myself, for the sake of the family.
I also hate that I'm being made to feel as if I'm this horrible person who if he truly loved his family (and God!) would deny himself and his happiness and live a lie for the rest of his days. They have no idea what they're asking, yet my mom claimed she understands how I feel... I told her she most certainly doesn't. I told her she can believe what she wants to about glbt people and issues, but to please quit treating me as the family's "dirty secret."
So I've been really down and out today, and I've been wondering if maybe they're not right. I don't want to see anyone I care about get hurt because their uncle or cousin or whatever is gay.
What do I tell my 17-year-old niece who is now bearing the brunt of ridicule, something I've experienced far more times than I care to recount? We aren't really close. We've never talked about my sexual orientation. How do I make things right? Do you think the teasing will pass? I'm worried for her.
I have now made my profile private.
03-31-2008, 11:50 PM
Making the profile was going to be the first thing I suggested...
I'm very sorry that you're feeling this way!!
The only thing I would suggest.. and the thing that I would feel good about if I were in her situation, is if you just sat down with her-ask if you can have her over for coffee or something- and tell her that you are really sorry, because you never thought this would affect her life. You could tell her you can't hid, but that you will try to keep things online private.
:love: Wish I could do more to help.
04-01-2008, 01:40 AM
My sweet lovable Jeffery,
Just keep in mind how cherished you are when you let in the love of another. This "outing" is an example of how you are moving forward in your growth.
Growth is often painful, but you can't stop it.
When you were at the beginning of labor leading to your birth, your mother and yourself experienced great pain and distress. Even your father experienced intolerable worry and sympathy pains. Your birth potentially threatened your survival and your mother's as well. But there was no way to stop it, and the result???........The miracle that is you!
Today's pain was inevitable also, just like your birth. But even though the "emotional post partum soreness" may linger for while understand that it is not really different than that following your birth. And the miracle that is you, coming out and expressing the beauty and courage inside with your Beauty and blossoming outside, is not really different either!
If your mother were given the option, during the most excruciating part of labor, to cease it and make the birth stop, she might have been tempted to accept the offer. But that was not possible then, nor is it possible now.
No one, not even your mother or any members of your family are entitled for you to stifle your expression of life so that theirs can be more convenient.
You are not a second class human by God's design with fewer entitlements, regardless of who says that you are.
The problem is that members of your family have a fear. A fear of the judgement of small-minded people. Making requests and decisions based on fear always results in disaster for me, and I seriously doubt that it is different for anyone else. Fear causes mothers to act against their nature.
You are not the cause of nor are you responsible for their fears, and especially not for their disappointment. It's the contrast of your shining expression of inner beauty against their ugly fears that makes their shortcoming painfully apparent.
Let go of fear by by having faith that this pain you are feeling is a necessary step. The pain will fade. Have faith that you are destined for a vibrant life. And by breaking down these barriers to letting joy in, your shining being will break free.
We are your family. And brother, you are loved! I definitely want to see you at Short Mountain this May 1. There you will find love unconditional, a gathering of courageous beautiful people who express their inner beauty without restraint! Just bring yourself. The rest will happen of its own!
04-01-2008, 06:06 AM
After U-dog's words, I don't have a lot of profund insights to add. My thoughts are that you just need to be honest. Some people have a hard time with honesty, but in the long run it always works for the best. You need to be who you are.
"Coming out" to my mom was difficult, more for her than for me, but it was the right decision. Being in the closet wasn't healthy. When we love someone, they need to now who we are even if that knowledge is painful.
Oftentimes changes in relationships are painful, but they bring people closer. It is a risk to be honest, but without honesty we can never really connect fully with those people that God has given us to love. You owe it to the people you love to be open an honest with them.
I wouldn't worry about your teenage niece. The teasing will pass. Having a gay uncle is not that big of a deal. Almost everyone has a gay relative or two, so how much of a problem can it be? I would bet that it is not as much of a problem for her as you might suspect. My nieces have TWO gay uncles to deal with and they seem to be doing fine. :D
From a person who has spent the majority of his life in the closet I tell you. Don't let anyone pull you into the closet. God chose you to be who you are. The people who love you need to realize that.
One reason you have to face this pressure now is because those of my generation hid in the closet and allowed homophobia to continue. It is your task and mine to help remove homophobia from our families and our society. It might not be painless, but it is the right thing to do. You owe it to those around you to be yourself. You would expect the same of them.
Well, I seem to have gotten into a sermon here. If I go on any longer, we will have to tae up a collection afterwards.
You're a great guy just as you are. Be yourself and people will love you.
Tu Amigo, Pablo
04-01-2008, 07:54 AM
You have gotten some great words here, from wise men who can speak to a portion of your present experience as being similar to yours. I send prayer and support to you, to your neice, and to your family who is struggling to understand, but not quite "there" yet. I am sure most of us can identify with that part.
Homophobia, as has been the topic of so many threads here, is most definitely at the root of so many of our challenges as we evolve in our sexual identity, and it seems no matter how "out" we are, we can always fall back to the self-hatred that homophobia causes in each one of us; even worse, it becomes serious self-doubt, and a level of self-loathing......
That does none of us any good, and creates a great deal of harm......
You are so loved and appreciated here, just as you are, right now today, on your journey toward greatness. I would hazard a guess that having your orientation openly stated on your MySpace was your way of coming out, just a bit. You would not have done that if you weren't ready. So, each step, each challenge that comes along due to those types of decisions are painful, as Scotty said, but necessary to future growth. People do take steps backwards, but encourage yourself NOT to do that. Keep moving, or stay still for awhile if that is what you need to do.
This could be an opportunity for connection, closer connection, between you and your neice. Feel certain and proud of who you are; hold yourself lovingly and look upon yourself with accepting, embracing eyes and an open heart. I really believe that the more deeply we love our selves, the more love that we receive from others, even those closest to us, that seem the least likely to openly support us.
Be well and peaceful...... I am sending you love and warm thoughts......:love:
04-01-2008, 09:16 AM
By others here is right on the money. You didn't cause this bump in the road for another person because of who you are. If your 17 year old niece had better friends- or at least one's less ignorant- the situation would be entirely different, perhaps even 'cool'. Wow.....gay uncle. That sort of thing.
Scotty is right and is Udog and Vanessa: you didn't cause this problem. And to be blunt: it is not your problem to solve. All you can do is love your niece and work at establishing a good connection with her: she is going to have to be the one to stand up for herself and for you. If she chooses comformity over her own wonderful uncle: she's making a big mistake that is going to bite her in the ass eventually.
There is the old saying: "When you come out of the closet everyone else goes in". And this is what you are dealing with.
You can run some interference (a gay man in the arts using a sports metaphor- will wonders never cease!), but you can only go so far. The other person has to be willing to pick up the ball- as it were.
Stand firm. And what you said to your mother was the right thing to say.
You are not a dirty secret. You are a Blessed Child of God.
Radiate that knoweldge yourself and you may be surprised at what happens.
04-01-2008, 11:44 AM
You've confirmed what I've suspected all along--this is not my fault. This is not my problem to fix, although I do feel I should talk to her, and I do hate to see her made fun of.
For my family to blame ME for the actions of some intolerant punks, that's sad. No one has the right to stifle my journey of self-discovery and acceptance. And I can't fix them any more than I can fix this situation. They have to deal with their issues, fears and prejudices on their own. But dammit, I'm a good person, not in spite of being gay, but because I am who I am. If my own blood relatives are too blind to realize that, then they are the ones with problems.
Thank you all for blessing me with your insights and your kind words! You've made my pain bearable today and I only hope to one day do the same for you! :love:
04-01-2008, 09:14 PM
I am sorry that your mom is being this way. I will say that at 17, your neice best be able to hold her own. My daughter is 16 and she gives as good as she gets. You bear NO responsibilty for her. She is almost an adult, and your sisiter shoud have raised her to speak her mind and be strong enough to 'deal'(as my teen says) with others ignorance.
I am glad you had a good 'in drag' weekend. Sometimes it is hard for us to be, well, us!
You are keeping your sexuality to yourself. Did you ask her is next time she touches her mate or her friends touch their mates are they keeping their sexuality to themsleves?
You need to be strong and lean on us here to help you through this time. You are being true to yourself and you need to remain that way for your own sanity. You rmom is being weak and taking the 'easy' way out by blaming you instead of dealing with her own and others in the family homophobia. Hopefully, she will learn to do that.
God Bless and Much Metta,
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