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09-04-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
RFarmer
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Coming Out

Hey guys.

I'm not sure how to write this, so it will all make sense, but I'll try. Also, sorry for it being long.

I come from a relatively conservative-christian family. I've got a brother who has gone rogue, and so all the familial expectations have been left to me. I am also a homosexual. I struggle with the idea, because I share many of the beliefs of my family, and it has taken me a long time to come to terms with it. I always had the idea of rotting in hell burned into my mind, and was it was always practiced in my church that homosexuality was a choice. I know perfectly well it is NOT a choice. I also don't firmly believe that we can take an old book for truth, because it was written by men. I lastly don't believe that anyone can judge someone for sexuality, when it really is a trivial issue, and there isn't anything morally wrong with it. (Other than "unnatural". But I've got an ass piercing, so why would I care?)


ANYWAYS, I've been away with my family for a week now. The intense bonding, and lack of sleep, and prednisone, and cacophony of attractive men gave me a desire to come out to my parents. I wanted to wait until I got back, so I could figure out how to do it. But now that I'm back, I'm well rested, and life has returned to normal, and I don't really feel the courage to do it anymore. But, I want to, because I know it would quell a great amount of emotional unrest I feel. I'm just not motivated anymore.

I have to deal with this. It's been a major source of depression for me for years. I start uni on tuesday, and don't want to miss the opportunity to meet someone because I was afraid the world would find out.

Advice?
09-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
Crohn's 35
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Hey Ben, that is great! I know so many and you are right it is NOT a choice, but people who don't understand will choose to be against it, and that is their perogative. I know so many (like over 30 years ago) alot has committed suicide and never left a note because even in death they didnt want their parents to know.

That is old school now, I think more people are aware of it today. As for your parents they should love you unconditionally. Because it is not a phyical disability where it is self explanatory, people are more afraid of what others might think.

YOU are a human being and they should treat you as such. Being in a religious family , that is a double whammy. I would tell your parents, either way you are going to suffer emotionally and never have a happy life. You have to do what is right for you, so you can enjoy the life you deserve, some day your prince will come. Hang in there ok? Let us know what you decide...hugs.
09-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #3
Misty-Eyed
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Ben, wow you've been through a lot! How supportive do you think your family will be? I can't really talk from experience other than stories I've heard of when my aunt came out. I think it traumatised her more than anyone else. She had problems coming to terms with things but my dad said he just thought of her exactly the same as he did before and it didn't bother him in the slightest.

Also, I know a lesbian girl who won't come out to her family because they are VERY conservative and she knows they'll cut her off when they find out so she wants to be financially stable if/when it happens. I feel so bad for her. Hopefully it won't be that bad.

I think maybe it's one of things you have to bite the bullet and just do. I really hope your family are supportive about it. Hopefully it'll feel like a massive weight has been lifted off your shoulders afterwards.

Plus this burning in hell business for something you have no control over? I don't believe it. God is love, no? Being gay does NOT make you a bad person and certainly not hell worthy.

Good luck. I hope you have an AMAZING time at uni. Let us know how it goes
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09-04-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
rygon
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Hmm difficult question that one. What is the worst your parents could do if they knew? If its chucking you out of the home then where would you stay? If its disowning you then you could say that its there problem and you would be better off without them, but could you cope with that?

On the other hand its really eating you up and that will have a big impact on your crohns, and I think you will feel much better in yourself if you did (both physically and mentally).

Or if you are moving away to go to uni, just date loads of hot guys and im sure you will drunken txt your parents soon enough about how good it is
09-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
RFarmer
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Thanks for the replies guys

I doubt they'd disown me. I've been trying to convince them to disown my brother for a while, and they go with the "we'll love him no matter what" kinda stuff. I just don't really know how to deal with the emotional fallout. I try to avoid conflict, yet this would definitely bring about a lot of it. I mean, I've considered the idea that they'd stop buying my medication and paying for uni, but that's bulllshit. I don't think they'd ever do that.

I just don't know how to approach the subject. I want as few casualties as possible :P

It is really eating me up. Especially because I don't fully know how I feel about it. Not moving away sadly D: Doesn't matter though: I don't really like gay guys (lol, how fortunate, right?), and I'm pretty Muslim when it comes to alcohol.
09-04-2011, 09:53 AM   #6
Grumbletum
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Hello Ben :-) Well done on coming out to us. Maybe you could consider it a practice run for telling the folks? There's going to be pain either way, love: which one ( telling or not telling ) is going to cause the least? Particularly to you as it's bound to affect your health.
Do you think they have any idea? It maybe that they'll be glad that you're being honest with them. ( I almost said straight!! Lol. Big, big hugs xxx
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09-04-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
RFarmer
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lulz @ Helen. I'm not sure. I try to not be totally flamboyant: I find that annoying and totally unattractive. But, I am more feminine than most. HOWEVER, they make jokes all the time about which girl I'm going to marry, who I should be dating, etc. Either they're really oblivious, they really are trying to reject the idea, or they're just trying to bug me.
09-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
archie
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Sometimes you can get yourself worked into such a state over what ifs etc but in reality it might not be as bad. One way or other you do not want to live the rest of your life without them knowing, they will know at some stage so better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.

As a parent myself the one thing of utmost importance is your child's health and everything after that is just not important. Hey sure we all make decisions our parents don't like but it's your life and you have to live it the way you want. They will get used to the idea eventually and you will be able to breath a sigh of relief.

Just try and work out how, where and when to tell them. From what you say they sound like decent people and if they are as christian as you say they will love you regardless. Good luck and I hope you tell them very soon.
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09-04-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
colleeny beany
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As a fellow queer, just a couple of points:

1. Jesus never said anything against homosexuality. Never ever. Leviticus did, but Leviticus said a lot of things. And probably wasn't a very nice guy.
2. You don't have to tell your parents. Not unless you want to, and not until you want to.
3. If you do come out and it doesn't go well, PFLAG offers resources and counselling for parents who don't know how to react. Maybe go to family things armed with a PFLAG pamphlet in case you come out (sometimes it happens during an argument or slips out unexpectedly).

That said, how do your parents react to gay people when they meet them, or when the subject is raised? Not all conservative christians hate gays, even if their pastor says they should. Maybe take them to a quiet gay-owned cafe or bring a lesbian friend over for tea (get the friend's permission to be a test subject first).

Good luck, whether you do or don't.
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09-04-2011, 12:29 PM   #10
Astra
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Hiya Ben

As a Mum I love my son unconditionally. If I thought he was unhappy, sad, depressed about something or struggling with college, etc I'd be so relieved if it was cos he was gay! Being gay won't change the way I feel about him.
And can I just say, I bet you a pound to a penny of shit that they already know!
Mums know their sons like the back of their hand!
I wish you good luck Ben and remember we love you just the way you are!
xxx
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09-04-2011, 01:39 PM   #11
KWalker
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There's nothing wrong with being gay at all! Some of my closest friends are gay. It doesn't change anything, we each have our own interests, and we also share insterests. Its YOUR life, why let anyone else change it?
09-04-2011, 02:42 PM   #12
DustyKat
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I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this turmoil with your family Ben...

If you know that they won't disown you or cut you off financially then perhaps the day before you leave for college is the time? I don't know.

Do you think there is even an inkling that may suspect something? I know you spoke of their talking of girls you should marry etc but perhaps that is just their way of keeping things normal, IYKWIM, or waiting for you to say it's never going to happen.

Do other people sense that you are gay? If so then maybe deep down they do too.

My daughter has two gay friends that she went through school with. We live is a small rural town so not exactly the most tolerate type of community when it comes to homosexuality. That said the guy comes from a very narrow minded family that has very definite ideas about what a bloke is and how they should behave, they are not religious though. I always thought it was such a shame that he had to have the parents he did as I did not think they would be accepting in any way, shape or form. I was wrong, thank goodness, and nothing has changed since he told them he was gay.

The other friend is female and comes from a very conservative and religious family. She faced a double dilemma when she turned 18. At that milestone they are expected to vow their commitment to the religion and failure to do so results in being cast out by your family and the religious community. As it was she left school early and started working, in hindsight I see this was to have financial independence before turning 18. The night before her 18th birthday she left without saying a word about her religion or her sexuality. Her parents would have known the following day about her religious choice but it was a couple of months later that she contacted them and told them about her sexuality. They have made amends and her parents have accepted both her religious choices and the fact she is gay.

I know this is hard for you Ben, is there ever a right time to tell them? I guess not but maybe some times are more right than others. I hope you can find that time soon Ben for the sake of your health and happiness.

As others have said, use us as a sounding board if it helps. We will be here for you hun.

Good luck! Thinking of you and wishing you nothing but the best.

Dusty. xxx
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09-04-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
RFarmer
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Wow guys! Thanks for all the replies XOXO

Pertaining to the religious stuff: I kinda have the same idea as Colleeny and Entchen. I took a course on world religions, and it taught me a lot of things that most Christians don't even know about their own religion. To me, the Bible is not some divine work. It's got some wisdom, but so does every other religious text. I'm not going to be fool hardy and assume that I know how G-d feels about homosexuality. BUT, people are starving in Africa, while people who claim to follow Jesus sit around on piles of money. I read somewhere that 1% of the combined wealth of american church goers would lift the one billion most poor people in the world out of poverty. I think G-d has more issue with this, than with the fact that I'm Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve.?

I think I'm going to do it. I just don't know how.... I have a couple options:


1) Write a letter, leave the house. Saves me the chance of getting emotional and screwing up what I want to say. Can write in exactly how I feel, and manipulate my parent's somewhat. Explain that my secret is killing me, emotionally.

2) Sit down and talk. More personable. TERRIFYING. Chance of screwing up, or getting into a fight. But, parents might resent me if I write it in a letter. Also, gets the awkwardness over with immediately.

3) Let myself become horrendously emotional over the next week, until I break down and cry in front of them. Wastes time, would be difficult, and not so fun. BUT, I can manipulate them a little better.


Any other suggestions?
09-04-2011, 03:42 PM   #14
archie
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Do all 3 have the letter written cos writing it down will let you explain it to a t, then just use it as a back up plan if speaking to them face to face becomes tricky. You know your parents best so I suppose you have to respect them. How would you like to be told about something important should reflect on how you choose to tell them. I really do wish you all the best you will be fine, they too will be fine
09-04-2011, 06:11 PM   #15
RFarmer
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Archie: I thought about that too. But, I don't think I'd be able to read it right in front of them. ahhhhh. Someone do it for me! lolol...

Colleeny: I forgot to answer your question. My parents don't necessarily hate gays. My mom thinks they're weird. My dad doesn't talk about them. They don't avoid them per se, but homosexuals do not cross their paths. I think it would be worst on my dad. He's got so much hope riding on me.
09-04-2011, 06:25 PM   #16
colleeny beany
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If you find yourself too embarrassed or scared to have the talk in person, you could have a note sealed in an envelope and give it to your parents and just say, "I want to talk to you about something, but I'm nervous, so please read this and then we can talk when I get back." Then go out for a walk or have a friend take you for coffee and give them half an hour with it.
09-04-2011, 08:54 PM   #17
RFarmer
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Colleeny: That is probably what I'll do. Thanks for the advice I'll give an update once I get the balls to do it, and then once it's over.
09-04-2011, 10:55 PM   #18
glum chump
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Hey Ben:

Every parent is meant to be as kind and loving as Pen, Joan, Archie and Dusty. And some parents, unfortunately, are not. Or, they may be kind and loving, but still have a tough time coming to terms with their son being gay.

You said that your dad might have a harder time with your being gay. Is it possible to talk to your mom first, and then your dad later? Is there anyone in your immediate or extended family that you could strategize with in terms of how best to approach/talk to your parents?

Just a couple of things I'll add to what everyone else has said: first, make sure you tell them at a time where there are very few distractions (no TV, nobody expected to come over immediately after you tell them, etc.). Also try to do something that will help YOU calm down before you tell them. Obviously, they're going to have a reaction---the better head/heart space you're in, the easier it might feel/be for you. And be ready and okay for them to have a reaction. You've known you're gay for a while---your parents might have had an inkling, or this might be Day One for them and they're going to have some emotions around it. If the emotions are toxic, hostile, or in any way abusive, be prepared to leave and get some distance. So have access to transportation and potentially a place to sleep overnight. Time and distance can be helpful.

Anyways, that's my two cents. One last thing: there's free counselling available on Canadian campuses. You might want to check them out when you get to school and hook up with a counsellor.

Good luck and keep (emotionally) safe.

Kismet
09-05-2011, 02:34 AM   #19
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Go for it, Ben. I think you are going to feel such massive relief when you have told them, that it will equip you well to deal with the emotional consequences.
We're with you all the way, my little gay pirate
09-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #20
RFarmer
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Hey glum. I've considered getting the aid of a relative, but I don't really have any relatives that would work. My grandparents are more conservative than my parents. Any aunts or uncles are crazy. The operation is on hold anyways: a gay friend of mine wants to "talk" before I come out :S

Aww Helen. I love you I wonder if D would get mad if I changed my user title to "Gay Pirate Monitor" XD
09-05-2011, 10:30 AM   #21
Tigerpants44
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Well my lovely! You took the 1st step by posting it to all your Crohnie's on here! Big pat on the back for that show of bravery young man.

I have a somewhat biased few of gays because most of my friends are gay and the majority have been through what you're going through right now. Most come from strict religious backgrounds and keeping the secret for so long messed a few up.

If you can be honest with yourself about who you are, you can be brave enough to talk to your folks. They will take time to digest it and will need help to talk about their feelings too. Maybe checking out support groups for parents and getting a few numbers for them would let them see how concerned you are about how they will deal with the news as well as finding support for yourself.

Its not going to be easy but it may just be easier than your imagination is allowing you to see.

My friend who is in his forties wouldn't tell his parents because they are at an age he thought the news would kill them (literally). He finally built up the courage after a few whiskies and blurted it out. His mum said, do you think I'm daft, i've known since you were in nursery school and his dad did exactly what he normally does and said nothing. His relationship with both parents have improved and he feels at peace that he has told them who he truly is and he now takes his boyfriend round for a sunday roast every week.

Be brave, be honest and be you..........we all love you for you, not what you do in the bedroom darling! lol
09-05-2011, 10:44 AM   #22
RFarmer
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AHAHAH thanks tiger <3
09-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #23
beth
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What they all said! If your folks can't accept you for who you are, they really don't deserve you.

It's not easy telling parents about these sorts of things, and finding the right time... well don't worry, jump in and blurt it out if needs be. You'll be a lot happier and can concentrate on the rest of your Life.
I feel sorry for people who go through life never thinking about who they are, how they live their Life, what it means, etc. They never really Live, I feel.

Good luck!
09-05-2011, 12:38 PM   #24
Misty-Eyed
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[QUOTE=beth;341976]
I feel sorry for people who go through life never thinking about who they are, how they live their Life, what it means, etc. They never really Live, I feel./QUOTE]

Such people tend to be the ones that spend all their time judging other people on who they are and how they live!

Ditto with everyone else though. It sounds like your parents will love you no matter what so go for it!
09-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #25
kllyeve
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I told both my kids when they got to puberty about the birds and the bees and that sometimes people are attracted to the same sex not the opposite sex. People are born who they are and that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual.

I would hope that they felt secure enough in my love for them to tell me if they were gay.
09-06-2011, 07:17 AM   #26
Jessica
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Ben, you're an awesome guy. This sucks!

I had a friend in college that was a lesbian. She was going through the same thing that you are. Well, I'm sure not exactly the same. But she came from a religious family that she was close with. And wanted to tell them, but was really affraid of the backlash. She went to church and youth group, and still worried that it wasn't enough.

I know she told her brother first. She needed just one person to know up front. That way she could at least have someone in her corner before telling the parents. She wanted the support with her when she needed him, physically. Not just the support of her friends. I think he also kinda knew but never said anything. Do you have someone like this? Maybe a close family member that youre parents respect their opinion? This might help courage or something.

In the end, she told everyone. They all got upset at first, but I think it was because she held it from them for so long. Hurt about not being able to trust them or whatnot. She was able to get back to a somewhat normal life with them last I heard. I know she was still making long trips to visit them when she could (they lived in a different state than her for her collage). I lost track of her through the programs, but I know she's still living happy (thank you, fb).

I'm bisexual, but I don't need to tell my family right now. My sister knows, but that's it I think. I have a boyfriend.

I really wish you the best with this. Please keep us updated.
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09-06-2011, 11:31 AM   #27
LindaS
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Hi Ben. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you. However, remember that if you come out to your parents, their first reaction might not be the view they hold over the long term. I remember Cher had a hard time accepting Chastiy (now Chaz) at first, but now she supports him unconditionally.

I know it might be hard for me at first if my son ever came out to me, because it would mean some of the dreams that I've had for him over the years will be different. It doesn't mean I won't still love him, though.

I hope whatever you decide, it works out well for you and your family.
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09-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #28
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Hi Ben, I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier - haven't been feeling well so I'm not paying much attention to the forum.

It's important to have a plan in place for when you tell your parents.
Know what you want to tell them and how you want to go about it.
Have local support (if possible) or any support network at all that knows you're about to do it so that they can be there for you afterwards.
Be prepared that they may ask you questions like how you know, how this happened (some people still think it's learned or contagious I guess). They might get upset and say stupid things. Your mom may get sad about the potential lack of grandchildren, especially if you're an only child.
Try not to be too nervous (I know... easier said than done). Plan to tell them you love them. Try not to let anything said or done anger you. Keep a firm grasp on where your line is, and if things are going badly and the line gets crossed, you need to go and revisit the discussion at a later time.
It sounds like you have this covered, but it's not a terrible idea to be ready to spend the night somewhere else if someone is taking it badly and needs space.

I didn't live with my parents when I came out. Dad was sad and felt it was a cultivated lifestyle (not sure if he's still on that track or is willing to believe it's how you're born - he doesn't bring it up anymore.) My mother told me it was obnoxious and disgusting and she didn't want to hear any more. Soo.... she didn't hear any more until I met my Kelly, but that's a different story.

They both still love me. I still love them. I've discovered boundaries of communication that make life easier (not just about this, but about health and many other things). My mother can display an inappropriate level of emotion and stops talking to me briefly when I do things to upset her (like coming out), then she comes back like nothing ever happened :P

so you never know what'll happen, but its best to be prepared. and good luck
09-06-2011, 11:55 PM   #29
tiloah
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If you find yourself too embarrassed or scared to have the talk in person, you could have a note sealed in an envelope and give it to your parents and just say, "I want to talk to you about something, but I'm nervous, so please read this and then we can talk when I get back." Then go out for a walk or have a friend take you for coffee and give them half an hour with it.
I live near the airport so I stuck my letter in my mom's bag before she left. She called me right after she read it but I didn't answer!
09-07-2011, 06:48 PM   #30
xJillx
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Do you think there is even an inkling that may suspect something? I know you spoke of their talking of girls you should marry etc but perhaps that is just their way of keeping things normal, IYKWIM, or waiting for you to say it's never going to happen.

I think Dusty hit the nail on the head here. To be honest, Ben, I bet your family has an idea, and they are waiting for your move.

A very close friend of mine came out to me and our mutual friends about 3 years ago. We all responded, "It's about time." By no means was he flamboyantly gay; we just knew. It took him longer to tell his parents, because he feared their reaction. He, too, comes from a conservative, Catholic family (his father is actually a Deacon). But guess what? Their reaction was the same as ours. My friend was very happy to have that weight off of his shoulders. And we are happy that our friend can finally be himself!

Try not to fret so much, Ben. Your friends and family love you for you. Good luck!
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