View Full Version : Hello, my name is Jen
09-15-2008, 12:47 AM
Hello, my name is Jen. I've been officially out for about two years now. I've known I was gay for longer than that. I didn't really accept the fact that I was gay until after I graduated college. It's sort of a funny/sad story. After I graduated college, my family and I went to San Francisco during pride. My parents said some fairly horrid things about the gay people we saw. I was angry by what they said. It was this and the fact that I had realized I developed feelings for a fellow female classmate that I really came to terms with my sexuality.
I hope to seek advice. Since I've come out to my parents, my lesbianism has become the elephant in the room with my parents. They tend to deny it. Not to long ago, my mother talked about Jerry Fallwell and Billy Graham. I explained my opinion of both men wasn't high because of their stance towards homosexuals. There was an awkward silence and my mother mentioned something to the affect of how homosexuality was clearly wrong. My question is, how do I approach my parents regarding this issue? Both of them are born again and of that generation that equates homosexuality with mental illness. They always go back to that Leviticus passage as a clear explanation of how God feels about gays. On a biblical level, I'm not sure of how to deal with it. On a personal level, I'm unsure of how to approach them. I'm afraid to. How can I create a dialogue.
09-15-2008, 07:04 AM
You have come to the right place. For help with the biblical/theological issues you should check out the "resources" tab above. "What the bible does and doesn't say about homosexualilty" is a good place to start. There are other good books as well that are listed there. have you read Mel White's book, "Stranger at the Gate" yet? All of us have found that book to be VERY helpful. It has saved many lives over the years since he wrote it. If you have a question about a PARTICULAR passage, there are those among us who can help you to think those through.
09-15-2008, 10:36 AM
Welcome to the forum.
What you write about regarding your parents is something I have dealt with myself. And while every situation is different, this is what I have learned in dealing with the issue of being gay, biblical matters and my parents/family.
Know that your can't change their minds. Only they can do that. And only if they are open to doing that. How to open up avenues for dialogue?
Oddly enough, sometimes the best thing to do is to be indirect, especially if you don't have a history of discussing things with your parents. You'll need to build on the communication that is already there.
So- what does this mean in real terms?
The more you are your own person and do not need your parents approval, the better things will be for you.
What did I do that helped me?
I turned things around. Being from a family where my parents never said "I love you", I started saying that to them. We don't talk about being gay very often, but my loving them had a huge impact over the years. And it did take years in my case. But we now have a relationship that we didn't have while I was growing up. And having them 'get' the whole issue is less important to me now. Do they 'get' it? As much as those who are of their generation can (my parents are in their 80's).
The methods of nonviolence can be a help to you here. I would suggest giving your parents the love and regard/acceptance you would want them to give to you. In the process, you will be giving to yourself what you want from them. And this will free you to be yourself and free them to be themselves. Good things can only come out of this.
When I first came out, I gave my parents books and literature. They rejected all that because they weren't ready, their hearts weren't open. That's what you have to work on. It's not facts that will help them, but love and connection. One practical thing that may help them is putting them in contact with those their own age who have gay kids and accept them. But this can be hard to do if your parents are conservative and closed minded. They won't want to meet anyone like that.
Again- love them. In the end, that is what we all want.
09-15-2008, 11:08 AM
You will no doubt soon encounter Zerbie. She is one of the friendliest people here, and I believe that she has had experiences similar to yours.
When you can, build up your support systems, the people that you are out to that care about you.
I'm sure that there is a PFLAG organization, or 2 or 3 in your area. Pasadena is part of the L.A. metro area, and there must be lots of them around. And come and talk with us anytime.
There is an excellent film/video out there called "For The Bible Tells Me So" that one of the PFLAG's is bound to have. Or a video rental. See it when you get the chance
Daniel has some very good, and well detailed advice, above
And remember, God loves you, we love you, and God STILL loves you.
Peace and Love, and Good Luck!, Bruce Chris
09-15-2008, 05:22 PM
I don't really know how to help you, but I wanted to send out a friendly welcome! You can learn a lot from the people here, we all can.... I really hope you stick around so we can all get to know you better.
Hope to get to know you better!
09-15-2008, 08:31 PM
One thing that has helped me with certain family is to understand that coming out is a process for them as well. It took me YEARS to finally open my heart wide enough to love myself as I am. I'm sure it will take them years to do the same. They may never accept who I am, then again, it may happen quicker than I realize.
Daniel says it all - just love them and make sure they know it. Somehow, the rest will fall into place no matter what happens in the future. Also, hold on strong to those who do love you for yourself, they are your biggest and best supporters and encouragers, and will be there when you just need a shoulder to cry on.
Welcome to the forums, where you will certainly find friends and cyber shoulders!
09-17-2008, 10:37 AM
Welcome to Soulforce, Jen. There are many great resources here that will help you. Daniel's advice about loving your folks is great. When my spouse found out that I was transgender, the first thing I said to her was that i love her,first and foremost. She accepts that I am transgender and so does my son. It'll take time but I pray :pray: that God will soften their hearts.
09-17-2008, 10:50 AM
I completely identify with you, Jen. I'm out to my parents only because my mom had suspicions about me and asked my sister, who called a "family meeting" to "get it all out in the open". This happened several years ago, and to this day I could count on one hand the times I have ever spoken of or referred to my sexuality to my parents or sister. They are completely loving and accepting of my girlfriend, and I have been able to close the gap between us considerably in the past couple of years. However, I would love to share some of this information about Homosexuality and the Bible with them, because they are conservative Christieans. Both my father and my brother-in-law are Holiness preachers, and for those of you who are acquainted with "Holiness", you know what that means for me! I fight feelings of concern and frustration over their "burden" for me and my spiritual condition. In their eyes, I'm "lost", and I hate that they feel that way! Even though I attend a wonderful Nazarene church and am closer to God than I've been in years, I know they still feel that I can't be a Christian and be with another woman. Their feeling about this, along with being raised that way, causes me to continually question my relationship with God, also. I feel that I either need to constantly pray for forgiveness, or else I become "blind to the truth" by reconciling my sexuality with my spirituality.
I said all of this to say that I'm with you, Jen! I'm glad we found this place for support, advice, guidance, and information.
09-17-2008, 02:31 PM
Welcome, Jen. :)
You've found a safe place here.
I wonder if perhaps you might just need more time developing your life on your own, without striving for the approval or even the understanding, of your parents. Not sure if this is correct, but I have the impression that you're still young and fairly fresh out of college. If you haven't been living away from them for very long, time may do a lot for you.
Otoh, if you've been on your own for a while and there is still such a distance between you and your parents, perhaps this *is* the time to more actively pursue a better communication with them and perhaps come to some kind of reconciliation. Can you improve the communication in other ways, on other issues besides this one? Develop more rapport with them before broaching this issue again?
If you decide you're ready to really pursue a deeper communication with your parents about being lesbian, then I would suggest building a 3D support network of friends and 'parent surrogates.' I would suggest contacting PFLAG - there are often some very parental, warm, friendly folk in local PFLAG chapters who will be there for you, and give you the parents' perspective on what coming out feels like.
Good luck with this! :) Keep us updated on how you're doing.
PS: Take a deep breath. You'll be *fine.* :):)
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