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I Finally Came Out To My Parents (the Lesbian Thing, Not The Religion One.)


shirono
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This is just copy and paste from my blog This title intentionally left blank

 

On New Year's Eve I finally decided that enough was enough, I was going to start this year with a clean slate and as a part of that, I came out to my parents.

 

There were several reactions I could have gotten...most of them were not so good when I imagined them. I psyched myself out for the absolute worst reaction possible; among the things involved where yelling, thrown objects and being disowned. By psyching myself up this way I did two things...A.) Took a year or so off my life through stress and high blood pressure and B.) Made any other reaction seem like a cake walk as long as my imagined reaction didn't occur.

 

I use this same strategy when getting a piercing. I imaging gushing blood, ear lobes being yanked off, etc. The actually piercing is a walk in the park after that.

 

Regardless of how unlikely my scenario was, I still expected SOME reaction from my parents.

 

I basically got none...

 

My dad just said "alright" very quietly. I'm fairly certain he had already guessed and he has never really been one to judge me. It was my mother's reaction that I was really fixated on and it was one that was just...a lot less than expected.

 

She looked at me and said "Okay" or "alright" I can't remember which and then she made a face like she had just smelled something disgusting.

 

That was it.

 

For someone who had been agonizing over this particular moment in time for YEARS...well, it was just downright anti-climactic. I'm not sure what I would have preferred...but something a little less like "Oh...great, the milk has gone sour. Can we still use it for baking?" would have been nice. Screaming, throwing things, hugging, crying...all show a bit of comprehension.

 

However, I figured 'they need time to process, give them a week or two and then they will react.'

 

I was wrong.

 

It's been nearly two weeks since my statement and my mom (and dad, though if I had the guts to bring it up he would probably discuss it) has fallen back on her old standby of "if we don't talk about it, we can pretend it never happened." It's what she did when my brother said he was an Atheist. She is very very very good at ignoring things that make her unhappy.

 

In an effort to test the waters today I brought up the girl I'm dating. It was all in very general terms, I just mentioned something about a conversation we had had when she was over at my place. I said "I had a date the other night and she said..."

 

No response...thus proving my mother's strategy for this situation.

 

I predict that 10 years in the future when I am, hopefully, married (civil unionized, whatever). I'll come home for Christmas with my wife in tow and my mother will introduce us to people as "This is my daughter, Meredith, and her friend..."

 

Yes, mother, my friend...who I live together with...have married and (possibly) have children with. Yes, we are just friends.

 

The sad thing is...I'll let her get away with it. It's better than rocking the boat.

 

One last thing.

 

It's worth mentioning that both my mom and dad have gone out of their way to tell me they love me, call me and hug me a lot more often in the last couple of weeks. Not sure if they are reassuring me or themselves at this point...

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This is the reaction that most people dream of receiving.

 

You are ahead by a long way.

 

It was good that they emphasised that they love you. They must really love you and want to preserve their relationship with you.

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This is the reaction that most people dream of receiving.

 

You are ahead by a long way.

 

It was good that they emphasised that they love you. They must really love you and want to preserve their relationship with you.

 

 

Yeah, I suppose. It just seems more like they are ignoring the issue than they are dealing with it. I don't really know why I'm looking for a stronger reaction.

 

Maybe it's because that reaction just doesn't justify all the pain and doubt I suffered for years because I wasn't sure how to tell them. I'm masochistically wishing they would fulfill my low expectations of them.

 

I'm so screwed up, lol.

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reading your post you fo seem to be disappointed about their reactions.

 

wondering what do you realistically expect your parents to react? fully embrace gay?

 

consider yourself good fortune for they really still do love you

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I wish I got that response in saying I was gay and atheist. I became satan's incarnate.

 

If I ever come out to my mom, maybe I'll tell her that I'm a gay atheist. After I tell her that I'm actually only an atheist, maybe she'll be relieved.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I wish I got that response in saying I was gay and atheist. I became satan's incarnate.

 

If I ever come out to my mom, maybe I'll tell her that I'm a gay atheist. After I tell her that I'm actually only an atheist, maybe she'll be relieved.

I told her I was an atheist first. It came out that I was gay, because if I had said no, I doubted anyone would believe me. I stood my ground though and didn't go back into the closet, so I'm out.

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I wish I got that response in saying I was gay and atheist. I became satan's incarnate.

 

If I ever come out to my mom, maybe I'll tell her that I'm a gay atheist. After I tell her that I'm actually only an atheist, maybe she'll be relieved.

 

My brother (jokingly) told me to tell them something really awful first, like "mom, dad...you know how I live across the street from a masonic temple? Yeah, I converted." Or "The Scientology church is in my neighborhood, I joined up. CONVERT!" and then be like "Just kidding, I'm actually a lesbian."

 

I decided that being flippant would not be a good idea...besides I was too nervous.

 

Babylonian Dream: I'm so sorry, that does suck. My mother's diatribes on gay people made me think that something similar might happen. I think she has just gotten used to disappointment. Two openly atheist kids and one youngest child who hates going to church on Sunday...I feel kind of bad for her. None of her kids turned out the way she wanted.

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My wife's gay best friend was so nervous about being gay he did the whole girlfriend in canada thing.

 

When he finnaly told my wife when they were seniors in high school, her reaction was "yeah, and?" she'd 'known' from day one.

 

His parents on the other hand.....

 

My guess is you might be causing some additional spiritual turmoil with them. If the truly believe gays are "EEEVVIILL" then you coming out would trigger a spritual crisis. How can we love her when what she does is wrong? So it could take sometime to work through that, if that is the case. Since I am totaly guessing here...well...advice...salt..ya know.

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... Two openly atheist kids and one youngest child who hates going to church on Sunday...I feel kind of bad for her. None of her kids turned out the way she wanted.

 

So her kids aren't bigoted fundies. Sounds like a good thing. :)

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... Two openly atheist kids and one youngest child who hates going to church on Sunday...I feel kind of bad for her. None of her kids turned out the way she wanted.

 

So her kids aren't bigoted fundies. Sounds like a good thing. :)

 

Well...yeah, from our point of view it's great. No disagreement there...I just know she feels a bit like a failure as a parent and that never feels good whether it's a rational feeling or not.

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Guest ephymeris
Two openly atheist kids and one youngest child who hates going to church on Sunday...I feel kind of bad for her. None of her kids turned out the way she wanted.

 

I have those twinges too, my brother is a drug addict loser and I'm the religious/political black sheep of the family and my mom has used the old "I'm a failure as a mom! What did I do wrong to have you turn out like this?" shit too. It's hard to internalize but I just keep reminding myself it's not my job to make my parents happy. Everyone has the right to be themselves, honestly and openly.

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I think lots of parents simply ignore, don't think about, and/or refuse to acknowledge decisions, beliefs, orientations, etc. that they strongly disagree with. My parents have taken much the same approach with my and my two brothers' atheism. I no longer beat around the bush with either parent when it comes to relationships, religion, politiks, and the like. As I've become more open (not confrontational- but not guarded either), their response has been to avoid the topic except for maybe a brief mention of what's going on with somebody at church or something like that. I don't think they'll ever directly ask me what my beliefs are, or even directly discuss the topic anymore. It's a 'don't ask/don't tell policy'... because I think they pretty much know what I (don't) believe, and they're afraid to ask for specifics. And I really don't feel the need to bring it up since they aren't bothering me about it.

 

On some level I wish that they could actually know and understand me... maybe I'd know and understand them better. But that was only fantasy. The wall was to high, as you can see. To me it looks like they live within their own sheltered and self-constructed reality. They're both getting older, and right now they're as sane and healthy as they're ever going to be (and neither is particularly sane or healthy as it is). At this point in their lives, I don't think it would do anybody any good to rock the boat. I guess I'm willing to settle for a superficial relationship with them- I think it's all they're really capable of considering our incompatible world views.

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On some level I wish that they could actually know and understand me... maybe I'd know and understand them better. But that was only fantasy. The wall was to high, as you can see. To me it looks like they live within their own sheltered and self-constructed reality. They're both getting older, and they're as sane and healthy as they're ever going to be. At this point in their lives, I don't think it would do anybody any good to rock the boat. I guess I'm willing to settle for a superficial relationship with them... I think it's all they're really capable of.

 

 

I feel this exact same way.

 

I'm not going to ignore the issue though, if it comes up in conversation then it comes up. I'm just relieved I no longer have to lie about it. If I end up in a serious relationship I'm going to introduce her the same way I would have if I was dating a guy. They can do with that what they will.

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None of her kids turned out the way she wanted.

 

Not to judge your mother, but she should be less concerned about how she wanted her kids to turn out, and more concerned about how they want to turn out.

 

Either way, I am glad you had the courage to come out to your parents. Their reaction may be disappointing but the point is you are openly living and owning who you actually are.

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On some level I wish that they could actually know and understand me... maybe I'd know and understand them better. But that was only fantasy. The wall was to high, as you can see. To me it looks like they live within their own sheltered and self-constructed reality. They're both getting older, and they're as sane and healthy as they're ever going to be. At this point in their lives, I don't think it would do anybody any good to rock the boat. I guess I'm willing to settle for a superficial relationship with them... I think it's all they're really capable of.

 

 

I feel this exact same way.

 

I'm not going to ignore the issue though, if it comes up in conversation then it comes up. I'm just relieved I no longer have to lie about it. If I end up in a serious relationship I'm going to introduce her the same way I would have if I was dating a guy. They can do with that what they will.

 

 

Your situation is more visible- it's gonna be awful hard for them to ignore their daughter's girlfriend. My dad in particular wasn't too happy about it when my girlfriend (now wife of 10 years) and I moved in together. But we were halfway across the country, so it was easy enough for them to avoid the topic until we got married a couple years later. Now they can just pretend that we're a Good Christian Husband & Wife. And since we haven't popped out any kids yet, taking the grandkids to church hasn't been an issue (although this has been an issue with my older brother's kid).

 

But if your parents are as good at avoiding confrontation as mine are, then they very well might refer to (and even think of) you and your girlfriend as "friends". I think that's actually fairly common among older and more conservative people. I knew a couple of gay guys who live in a town of 100 people way out in BFE, Kansas (for perspective, they're about 100 miles from the nearest Walmart, and the largest local employer BY FAR is the local telephone company). To anybody with half a brain, it was obvious that they were a couple- they'd lived together for 20+ years. But if Terry came up in conversation, old people (including my father-in-law) might mention 'his friend Gary' in passing, and nothing more was said about it. I actually think it was a pretty healthy approach considering these peoples' age and their rural location.

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On some level I wish that they could actually know and understand me... maybe I'd know and understand them better. But that was only fantasy. The wall was to high, as you can see. To me it looks like they live within their own sheltered and self-constructed reality. They're both getting older, and they're as sane and healthy as they're ever going to be. At this point in their lives, I don't think it would do anybody any good to rock the boat. I guess I'm willing to settle for a superficial relationship with them... I think it's all they're really capable of.

 

 

I feel this exact same way.

 

I'm not going to ignore the issue though, if it comes up in conversation then it comes up. I'm just relieved I no longer have to lie about it. If I end up in a serious relationship I'm going to introduce her the same way I would have if I was dating a guy. They can do with that what they will.

 

 

 

 

But if your parents are as good at avoiding confrontation as mine are, then they very well might refer to (and even think of) you and your girlfriend as "friends". I think that's actually fairly common among older and more conservative people. I knew a couple of gay guys who live in a town of 100 people way out in BFE, Kansas (for perspective, they're about 100 miles from the nearest Walmart, and the largest local employer BY FAR is the local telephone company). To anybody with half a brain, it was obvious that they were a couple- they'd lived together for 20+ years. But if Terry came up in conversation, old people (including my father-in-law) might mention 'his friend Gary' in passing, and nothing more was said about it. I actually think it was a pretty healthy approach considering these peoples' age and their rural location.

 

More healthy than going around disowning children all willy-nilly, that's for sure.

 

I think I could live with that approach on their part, honestly. It's better than nothing and forcing them to acknowledge what they don't want to think about will only make my mom push me away and she'll form a grudge...and my mother knows a thing or two about grudges...

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I've heard from other gay people (I'm gay too) who have had this reaction. I can understand how you could be disappointed with the anti-climactic feelings - after holding it in for so long, you almost need a catharsis. It sounds like it's a good sign though that they're going out of their way to hug you and tell you they love you more :)

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Guest I Love Dog

It's worth mentioning that both my mom and dad have gone out of their way to tell me they love me, call me and hug me a lot more often in the last couple of weeks. Not sure if they are reassuring me or themselves at this point...

 

That's the mark of true parental, unconditional love. You are lucky. Treasure them as I'm sure they treasure you.

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It's worth mentioning that both my mom and dad have gone out of their way to tell me they love me, call me and hug me a lot more often in the last couple of weeks. Not sure if they are reassuring me or themselves at this point...

 

That's the mark of true parental, unconditional love. You are lucky. Treasure them as I'm sure they treasure you.

 

I agree with doggie, they might not understand, or even like it, but they seem to love you.

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