Coming out to Christian parents
Hi, first time visitor and I just introduced myself on the hello page - Y'all seem like very nice and reasonable people and I'm wondering if you can help me out with some opinions / insights / your own experiences.
I'm not a Christian but my parents are. They raised me in the church and I know, although we don't talk about it much, that my not being a Christian is a great source of distress to them. I am a lesbian and am seriously considering coming out to my parents. I am 29 years old, I have been in a very happy relationship with a woman for 6 years, and I plan to be in that same relationship for the rest of my life. I am secure in my sexuality. I am out to pretty much everyone in my life including one of my brothers (also not a Christian) but I live some distance away from my parents which has made it relatively easy up to now to keep my sexuality a secret from them. And when I say 'easy', I mean logistically, not emotionally.
If I come out to them, they will not understand. They will be hurt, upset, every other negative emotion you can think of. They are firmly of the conservative evangelical persuasion and I do not want to get into a discussion with them about the rights and wrongs of homosexuality as reflected in the Bible, etc. (they would robustly refute pretty much all of the reasoning on this website I'm afraid!). I want to tell them because I have become increasingly aware of the distance between us that my deception is exacerbating. Although I am 99.9 per cent sure it will be a train wreck, I want to give them the option to know and accept me as I am. Also, I already live with my partner but we may take things even further this coming year by buying a house together, and these things get increasingly difficult to explain away as simply the product of a close friendship!
My questions are these:
Am I just being selfish by wanting to tell them? Would we all be better off, and would they be happier, not knowing? Does anyone out there regret coming out to members of their family? Is there anything at all I can do to make it easier on them if I do?
Any comments would be appreciated, I'm really struggling with this and I don't want to mess up either way!
(Anyone who can offer up any prayers, that would be great too - I may not believe in God but He is my parents' counsellor, protector and sovereign Lord so I figure He should have a part to play somewhere in this... if that makes any kind of sense at all...)
Thanks for your time,