lost cause?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 6:30 PM GMT
    my parents and I have reached an impasse: I am their bisexual, irreligious son and they are my conservative, devoutly religious, southern baptist parents. We're tired of fighting and are at no more of an understanding than we were three months ago when I first came out. My questions to you all:

    At what point do I stop trying to change their opinion and just accept their intolerance? I know who I am and my prents know who they are and at this point there is little hope for a reasonable compromise so should I suppress my sexuality when I'm around them and live how I want when they aren't around or insist on fighting their unwillingness to overcome religious idealogy?

    Advice from anyone with conservative or religious parents would be much appreciated.

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    Apr 30, 2008 6:42 PM GMT
    Your parents have to come to terms that you, their son, is gay. Then your parents have to understand what it is to be gay. Right now, if they were to think of what a gay person looks like they probably would imagine a leather daddy, a drag queen, and Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. After they are ok with you, then they can see that gay people aren't the stereotypes the media spoon feeds us.

    Seeing you happy, healthy, and open is the best thing for them. But this wont happen over three months. Nope, you are in it for the long haul. Just don't expect them to stop being Conservative Baptists. Not every parent is PFLAG material.
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    Apr 30, 2008 6:49 PM GMT
    You may have to accept that your relationship with them has changed forever. They will have to come around to you, unfortunately they may think the opposite, being conservative Christians. Even Baptists that I get along with and who are fond of me think that being gay is a choice. I refuse to argue with them. It is like hitting your head against the bedroom wall a dozen times. At the end you have a very sore head but you have made no progress.

    Keep the communication lines open in case they do move a bit from their positions, but don't hold out for them to have a complete change of heart.
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    Apr 30, 2008 7:02 PM GMT
    Do your parents eat....

    Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. ....

    Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
    9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

    Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
    9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
    10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

    Tell your parents that they cant cherry-pick the Bible.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 30, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    I agree with the premise of what the others have said above.

    You set out the situation factually, you have talked to them (to a considerable extent, it sounds)... give it all time. DON'T predicate their acceptance on your willingness to treat them as the family members you love and cherish. Try and have some empathy for them
    (I didn't say sympathy...LOL, but empathy)... I believe that if they love you they will eventually accept you. Don't rub it in their faces, give them respect (and hopefully they will do the same for you).

    If it gets rough, back off a bit... don't force anything right now. Your efforts will pay off in the end.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    You need to be prepared to meet those religious challenges.

    This is a good book for learning about the Bible and how it was written. It is amazing how ignorant of the Bible Christians are.

    For example, we all know the story of the woman taken in adultery. That's the story with the famous line "Let him without sin cast the first stone." It wasn't part of the original gospel of John. None of the oldest Bibles still in existence has that story. It wasn't added until later. In fact, some scribes even added it into the Gospel of Luke. So, is it really part of the Bible? Can anyone just add anything to a gospel?

    Any of Bart Ehrman's books are good.

    misquoting.jpg

    Another good book is:

    themanjesusloved.jpg

    It examines the Gospel of John and Jesus' boyfriend, the beloved disciple. Very interest and well written. If Jesus had a boyfriend, why can the rest of us?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 7:22 PM GMT
    "At what point do I stop trying to change their opinion and just accept their intolerance? I know who I am and my prents know who they are and at this point there is little hope for a reasonable compromise so should I suppress my sexuality when I'm around them and live how I want when they aren't around or insist on fighting their unwillingness to overcome religious idealogy?"

    If you look at your parents opinion as being "intolerance" then you'll always have some grudge against them for not marching in a pride parade as some other parents may.

    If your parents know who you are and you know who you are life can be good. You should never fight with someone over religous or political beliefs, especially your parents, because those two things are very very personal to people.

    You've come out to your parents and that's great, unfortunately it has not turned out the way you wanted it too, but you still have them in your life regardless.

    My advice is that in order to preserve what you have with them chill out when you are around them and when your not let loose. I kinda do the same with my parents.

    It's important for you to know that while they don't accept you being gay, they still accept you as their son and that in itself say's a lot.

    Hopefully at some point in time, they'll grow to understand. I will say this, as my parents have aged, their beliefs and views on things have changed because I think as you get older, you come to realize, "it is what it is"
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Apr 30, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    There came a point in my life, at 35, that I had to decide whether or not I wanted to have any relationship at all with my parents, as we had not spoken since I came out freshman year and was kicked out on my ass, my ears ringing with "I have no son. My son is dead." If the relationship was going to be repaired, I was going to have to be the one to do it, since my father was not about to change his stripes.

    I reached out and we reconnected, but my sexuality NEVER came up ever again. We had some sort of silent agreement to not talk about my personal life. Dad died last May, and this summer my Mom is coming up to meet my husband. I love my Mom!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 9:45 PM GMT
    Eventually, your folks might come around. How long did it take you to come to terms with your sexuality? It might take them a little longer.

    Mine still don't get it, or necessarily want to, and I simply stopped trying to make them accept my being gay. Instead, I just don't talk about it. When my mother mentioned that we don't really talk and I seem distant lately, I truthfully responded that it wasn't by design, but by default. They didn't want to hear about who I was dating, how happy I am in my relationship, what my boyfriend and I did last weekend, etc...so other than work (boring) and going out with friends (wait...the bf is usually there, too), that doesn't leave us a lot to talk about regarding my life. When I explained it that way, that got them thinking a bit. Not saying things are great now, but they realize that by not wanting to know something so fundamental about me, they're missing out on a lot of who I am.

    Hopefully, your parents will come around. It might just take time - three months is no time at all for such things.
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    Apr 30, 2008 9:51 PM GMT
    Patience. Even though it sucks.

    Consider yourself lucky that your parents didn't kick you out on your ass. Appreciate what you've got and work from there. Things will work out in time.
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    Apr 30, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidYour parents have to come to terms that you, their son, is gay. Then your parents have to understand what it is to be gay. Right now, if they were to think of what a gay person looks like they probably would imagine a leather daddy, a drag queen, and Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. After they are ok with you, then they can see that gay people aren't the stereotypes the media spoon feeds us.

    Seeing you happy, healthy, and open is the best thing for them. But this wont happen over three months. Nope, you are in it for the long haul. Just don't expect them to stop being Conservative Baptists. Not every parent is PFLAG material.


    Truly nice words!

    But...... His parents "do not" have to come to term with his sexuality. Nor do they need an understanding of homosexuality. You can lead a horse to water. But You can not make it drink.

    But He is their son. They created him. Do they want him in their life, or not. Just as his parents don't have to accept homosexuality. he does not have to accept religion, nor understand it.

    matey. Just get on with your life. You are not going to change, nor are they. Don't punish them by bringing some freak home, as a boyfriend. Show them the love, they are not showing you.

    Both of my sperm donor, and vessel, hated homosexuality. I never cared about that. I don't seek acceptance, nor do I need it to be whole. But it was my right to divorce them.
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    Apr 30, 2008 11:03 PM GMT
    It's early days yet. Give it some time it has only been three months. Some parents need more time to come around, especially the convervative christian types. Don't let it get to you. I can imagine the wounds of your parents are still very fresh so arguing with them on the issue won't help the situation.

    Your parents obviously still love you so that's a plus. Try to introduce the gay life to them slowly while avoiding the confrontation it brings but not suppress it too much so that they slip into denial.

    If I were in your position I would say, "I'm gay. Accept it or not I don't really care. When you are ready I will be more than willing to discuss the gay life style with you. Either way it's here to stay" End of discussion.

    Give it time. 3 months is short.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 11:17 PM GMT
    Cut them some slack. They're in a sort of mourning.
    Just let them know you love them.
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    Apr 30, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    Reading these comments makes me realize how lucky I was with the way my family reacted. My mom's biggest upset was realizing should would never have brown-eyed grandkids! My were especially happy with the partner I chose. When when we visited her in the senior's apartment complex, she introduced my partner to her friends as her son-in-law. Very cute.

    I am an optimist with these situations. Most parents will eventually come around, especially when they see their son or daughter happily settled with a loving partner.
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    Apr 30, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    John43620 saidCut them some slack. They're in a sort of mourning.
    Just let them know you love them.


    Piss on all that. Run them around by the noses. Study the errors of their beliefs (see above) and then, if they open their mouths, let 'em have it. They are totally in the wrong and have no right to be behaving that way. They are just the personification of society's bigotry.
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    Apr 30, 2008 11:36 PM GMT
    Caslon saidDo your parents eat....

    Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. ....

    Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
    9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

    Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
    9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
    10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

    Tell your parents that they cant cherry-pick the Bible.


    As usual, CASLON hits the nail on the head! I say go to the local grocery and bring home a bag of each of the previously mentioned seafood, and serve with some lemon butter and cocktaoil sauce and then nail them with their hipocrasy of selectively "cherry-picking" the bible....garnish with nice greens and a big pink feather boa! Or maybe pick up some other activity or "trait" that you know will absolutely send them over the edge and force them to pick the one that they can live with...which of course will be you being Bi... give them the lesser of two evils in their mind and they will be happy to have a bi son...if that doesn't work fuck'm. Be yourself and don't lie to save anyone's "feelings".....
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    May 01, 2008 12:25 AM GMT
    Ryan,

    My advice is to back off a bit. I can't speak to the religious/conservative relationship, but my sister and I were at an impasse for a few years. During that time I has frustrated by it, and initially I'd push back and probably shoved it in her face. I finally gave up. I had to deal with my own bitteness for a while, but I got over it. Then something interesting happened. My sister had some experiences that made her evaluate things in her life and she was finally able to bridge the gap with me. Since then we've had a complete turnaround. We've had a few ups and downs, but they've been pretty minor.

    If your parents love you, then you have to believe they'll come around. Give them some space. The way I used to look at is that it took 23 years, in my case, for me to come to terms with my being gay. I couldn't expect immediate conversions from other people. That it might take some people close to me time to process. Throwing it in their faces puts them on the defensive. I suggest giving up trying to actively convert them to your side of the argument. Live your life by example. Be the best person you can be. If your parents are smart and observant they'll see that you're still the same valued person you were before. If not, it's their issue. Meanwhile, you can spend that time surrounding yourself with people who love and support you unconditionally, not to replace your parents, but as a support base for what's missing.

    Sorry if this is a bit free flowing. Hope it makes sense to you.

    Good luck.

  • May 01, 2008 5:33 AM GMT
    Caslon saidDo your parents eat....

    Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. ....


    This was also considered "Old Law" by Christians and as such was ousted by the first coming of Christ. Hence most Jews still follow it but not Christians.
    Christians tend to ignore large parts of their own religion when it suits them anyway.




    The best advice i can give from personal experience is just let them believe how they will. To utter a horrible cliche (but a great truth): "To thine own self be true," its better to live your way and be happy with yourself than cater to the facist beliefs of those around you.

    My parents are both excruciatingly religious and neither "approve of my lifestyle choice." Zealots will be zealots whether you are staight or the queeniest-lisp-sporting-crotch-grabbing-manskank alive.

    EricLA saidThrowing it in their faces puts them on the defensive. I suggest giving up trying to actively convert them to your side of the argument. Live your life by example. Be the best person you can be. If your parents are smart and observant they'll see that you're still the same valued person you were before. If not, it's their issue.