My parents know Pt. 2

  • TallSoCal

    Posts: 321

    Jul 07, 2008 11:12 AM GMT
    So, I thought I'd give you guys an update on that talk my dad wanted to have. It's been 8 days since we had our talk the first time, and it went pretty badly this time. I apologize because it sounds like I'm bitching, but this is what happened.

    He said he wanted to talk to me before I left the house, so before I headed out (trying to leave at about 10:30pm), I go to his office where he is to get it over with. He asks how I'm doing, of course and if anything is new. Making small talk....He asked if my beliefs on gay marriages have changed and if I still had my desires for men, and I told him yes. At this point, I don't have any reason to lie, but he started to get personal by asking me if I'm sexually active and that in order to "overcome this demon spirit", I'd have to confess and bring everything to the light.

    As you can probably guess, my frustration grew because I told him countless times that I didn't want to talk about it and that he doesn't listen. He did the whole "we love you regardless" speech, and he said he's only trying to help and help me find the right path. I told him I didn't ask for his help, and he got mad at me and said that I close myself off and put up walls every time he tries to talk to me. You see why, though?

    He kept calling me immature for not being a man and having a conversation with him, and he kept asking rhetorical questions. He said that I need to go out and live on my own if I don't want to live by the standard of the household. He made me pray again and he prayed for me, and when I left, I honestly felt more confused than I've even been about my faith and my homosexuality.

    I can't change, but I think to myself, "if God doesn't make mistakes, and I'm perfect in HIS image, why should I have to? Is my life a bunch of contradictions?" I broke down a little when he finally let me leave 2 hours later. I'm back to where I was when I first found out about myself. =(
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    Jul 07, 2008 11:45 AM GMT
    Oooh, I hate the whole "we love you regardless speech."

    Odd how we get told our whole lives that homosexuality is shameful, and yet they expect us to be able to talk about it opennly with them. For what it's worth, I came out to my folks a year ago, and am still unable to openly talk to them about it.

    I found that coming out may cause you to re-evaluate your faith, but, at least in my case, it made my faith grow stronger. I was no longer willing to accept other people's interpretations of what God was all about, and decided to find out for myself--through reading the bible with fresh eyes, prayer, meditation, and reading numerous authors that believe that the bible is not anti-gay (if you need any references, I'm happy to provide them).

    The only thing that got me through this is realizing that being gay is one of the challenges that God has given me in this life. More importantly, thought, my homosexuality is a challenge that has been given to my family, and I should not deny them that challenge.

    Be well. Things will improve, even if it seems unlikely.
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    Jul 07, 2008 3:49 PM GMT
    Not to complain, but I'd love to get the "we love you regardless speech."

    Pretty sure mine would be more like "I want the money back from all those years of feeding and raising you."

    Awe, keep yourself together, know that you'll get through this. What's up to you is where you stand when you get through this.
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    Jul 07, 2008 4:01 PM GMT
    Hopefully your Dad will with time come to realize that sexual orientation is an integral part of who you are. It is not a "Demon Spirit" or a passing phase, or a choice.

    Some straight people have a hard time understanding that gays go through many of the same experiences as straights when it comes to sexual attractions. The only difference is the gender.

    Hopefully Aweamazing you will be able to get out on your own in the not too distant future, it must be very stressful at times dealing with your situation.

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    Jul 07, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear that you are in such a bad situation but you have a couple of things to consider in the very near future. Your dad is, unfortunately, correct in saying he can enforce his own rules in his own house (sorry, southern upbringing) and it sounds like he is choosing the time-honored tradition of using religion to victimize you. The surest, though maybe also hardest, way to make your point is to follow his advice and move out. Then you can deal with him on equal footing as an adult.
    I truly hope he changes his opinions but it will likely not happen soon.
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    Jul 07, 2008 4:38 PM GMT
    i had a similar experience with my dad
    he is a missionarey
    i,m anything but
    we hadnt talked for years as he was busy doing his thing in the jungle of south america
    while i traveled and worked around the globe
    anyway i finally settle down and he visits
    while i,m living with my bf at the time
    he got very shook up
    but has been working on it since
    the accepting
    after all he knows he cant change me but that wont stop him from trying

    in due time your parent will learn that we are humans just like every-one else
    there,s nothing wrong with us

    for you it could be a tough time untill they see you are what they raised you to be
    a normal adult
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    Jul 07, 2008 5:20 PM GMT
    Hi there,
    I grew up in a very religious household as well (Granddad was a Baptist minister) so I hear where your dad is coming from but you have to be strong and remember, this isn't about your dad, it's about you.

    It sounds like he's trying really hard to reach out but doesn't realize that his attempts are being tainted by judgement. And religion has nothing to do with the other. You're gay and believe it or not, God still loves you. No matter what he says. Perhaps it's the QUALITY of man your dad fears you'll become (because, Lord knows, it's not like there are a bunch of quality role models out there for us to follow). And I'm sure all he sees are the negative stereotypes.

    I suggest the next time he'd like to talk, ask him in a non-defensive way if he wants to talk "father & son" because that's who you are and it's not going to change. Also give him a choice. Once you're older, you could a. move out and never speak to him again or b. begin rebuilding your relationship so a much more positive and healthy environment can be created. There's really no need for you to stress and/or play into his drama (thus building up frustrations and anger in you which, in turn, helps the conversations turn into stalemates. He's opened that door by giving you those options. I wonder what he'd say if you were a thief, serial killer, or got a girl pregnant - would the "standards of the household" still apply?

    That crack he made about you being "immature and not being a man" - you can only have a conversation when both parties are able to LISTEN. He's not there yet because he's still drunk on the power of being the "leader of the house". If he was more of a father, he would've invited YOU to talk to HIM (perhaps because he was observing your struggle). Did he miss all those episodes of Bill Cosby???? LOL And for the record, you can still be a man AND be immature.

    You are a positive light. A beacon. A reflection of your mom & dad. You carry them within you and whatever strengths they have, you now have. God knows this and again, STILL loves you. I was lucky. Both my parents embraced their "black gay son" and now I've outlived them both. They left this earth knowing I was happy and I loved them. Your dad now has the same choice. Accept and love you or not. God already loves you. Your dad is the one with the challenge and must now ask God to help him find his way. I know that sounds rather harsh, but it is what it is. If God lives within each and every one of us, what's changed within you that your Dad can't love??

    Your life is what you make it and yes...God along with the love of family, extended family, and friends will help you along the way.

    Turn up the Kirk Franklin and be strong!!
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    Jul 07, 2008 5:48 PM GMT
    Keep your faith, ditch the religion. Only when I ditched the religion I was in (Catholicism,) along with its restrictive and contradictory dogma, was I able to heal my inner confusions, accept myself and move forward.

    Faith and belief can be beautiful things, but religion as interpreted by most humans seeks to enforce structure, stricture and code - which can be confusing at a time when you find yourself in existential conflict with that code/dogma.

    God isn't giving up on you even as your religion is seemingly rejecting you. But remember that your faith is of God. Your religion is not - MEN (flawed, self-serving creatures) created that.

    Good luck. Especially with your father, who it seems is indirectly dealing with the same conflict you are, though he's chosen to fall in line with his religion and not God's love for all things.
  • zi0nx5

    Posts: 27

    Jul 07, 2008 6:18 PM GMT
    RunintheCity saidKeep your faith, ditch the religion. Only when I ditched the religion I was in (Catholicism,) along with its restrictive and contradictory dogma, was I able to heal my inner confusions, accept myself and move forward.

    ...

    God isn't giving up on you even as your religion is seemingly rejecting you. But remember that your faith is of God. Your religion is not - MEN (flawed, self-serving creatures) created that.

    ... though he's chosen to fall in line with his religion and not God's love for all things.


    Well said.

    And don't be confused, that is one thing religion is set up to do––confuse us, then overwhelm us with rigid structure, then assimilate us to that rigid structure like there's no other option. Religion was originally a well-intended institution, but is now for all its vices not something that one should follow to the T. Faith is a whole different story, and one that's much more flexible. God is far more flexible then what's in that old ass Book.

    Take the Ten Commandments for example, and compare it to the American Constitution. Both documents are very flexible and they work without pervading a structure of intolerance for what's "out of the norm" relative to what the status quo majority tends to think.
  • TallSoCal

    Posts: 321

    Jul 07, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    YakkoSF saidI wonder what he'd say if you were a thief, serial killer, or got a girl pregnant - would the "standards of the household" still apply?


    To be honest, I don't know how he'd react to that. I'm sure they'd just be disappointed at first but would get over it quickly because I would still be able to follow the order of God and procreate. When my sister and I got our tattoos, they were disappointed that we didn't wait until we were out of their house, but that's all we heard about it. My sister moved out about 2 months ago, and she's pregnant, but they don't know yet. So, we'll see how they react when they find out.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 07, 2008 10:39 PM GMT
    "We love you regardless"

    I love that expression
    It's a disclaimer that can go with anything don't ya think?

    It's like the backstabbin' Christian woman thing your aunts would do when someone would leave the room
    "She just looks like she ate aisle 3 in Publix doncha think? Bless her heart."

    ... "I know son that you like rapin' cows and choppin' people up into little bits... But we love you regardless."

    The next time your Dad or someone plays emotional blackmail with you like that do me a favor
    ... chuck him around the shoulders and say...
    "Dad, I know that you're tryin to pressure me into a relationship that will probably end in divorce and make me hate you for forcing me into it, But hey!
    I love you regardless"
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    Jul 07, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    Awemazing saidI can't change, but I think to myself, "if God doesn't make mistakes, and I'm perfect in HIS image, why should I have to? Is my life a bunch of contradictions?"


    Funny you should mention this. One of my break-through moments was at home when I saw a needle point my mom had done that read, "I'm OK, God doesn't make junk." I told my mom about it, and the next time I came home, it was sitting in my bedroom. I wasn't really sure what to do with it, but it was a nice gesture, lol.

    Hang in there, things will work out!
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    Jul 07, 2008 11:58 PM GMT
    It's sad how some parents can put so much distance between themselves and their kids, and inflict so much unnecessary anguish, just because they place so much importance on authoritarianism and being obeyed.

    There is a whole generation of men (your father's generation) that grew up with the trite platitude "you live in my house, you live by my rules" and have taken it to heart. As if there's really any virtue in that kind of rigidity?

    And remember this, parents sometimes have a hard time in those transition years when their kids are becoming adults. For 18 or 20 years, they've been the parent, the authority figure. It's difficult to all of a sudden switch gears and interact with your kids as an adult peer.

    It can be difficult, if not impossible, for people to convince their parents to reexamine their long held beliefs. In your case, it doesn't sound like that's going to happen. But I would encourage you to try nonetheless. Don't withdraw. Have these conversations with your dad, but don't let yourself be intimidated.

    To better prepare you for these conversations, I would suggest you read A Letter to Louise. Or maybe even print it out and let your dad read it. It may give him a new perspective, opening his mind and softening his heart.

    Good luck.
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    Jul 08, 2008 12:44 AM GMT
    Awemazing saidbut he started to get personal by asking me if I'm sexually active and that in order to "overcome this demon spirit", I'd have to confess and bring everything to the light.


    Your dad sounds like a perv or he has issues of his own. Wanting you to "confess" everything. Is he trying to live out his own homosexual impulses vicariously thru you?
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    Jul 08, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    Get out of the house now...no matter what. Grow some balls
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    Jul 08, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    Awemazing,

    Warning: this is sobering.

    One day you will be older, and all the people who "disapprove" of you will be gone. Their friends will be gone, all of the members of your family in your parents' generation will be gone, and you will still be here, and will have many years of life left to you.

    Would you like to wake up one day at, say, age 50 and realize that you have deformed your life to please people who can no longer be pleased? That you let years of peace and pleasure slip away all because you wanted to make life easier for them and not you?

    It's a horrifying and lonely thought. Live your own life, and let them deal with what they have to deal with.
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    Jul 08, 2008 1:23 AM GMT
    jp just fucking nailed it
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    Jul 08, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    Awemazing, thank you for your post, and good luck, what you're going through sucks, but it is unfortunately still one of the things many of us have to deal with. Someone posted earlier that your father is right in the respect of "my house, my rules" (paraphrasing, here), which is true, but I also believe you are right in your assessment of "God don't make junk" (again, paraphrasing). That was the realization the caused my coming out, at age 25, 15 years ago. I had spent my entire life up to that point in agony of what I was, and hoping for some genie in a bottle or cure that would somehow "fix" me. I lived with the fear of what would happen if people "found out". I had grown up with a belief, a belief that was reinforced by friends, family and society, that I was the lowest of the low, I was less than a man and doomed in God's eyes, and all the other horseshit people try to lay on gays. I remember feeling growing up in my neighborhood that the worst thing you could say to somebody was to call them a faggot and mean it. It may have just been my perception, but I was the one who lived with it. Anyway, I was 25 years old, so far in the closet you couldn't see me with a flashlight, getting the "I was married when I was your age" speech from my dad on an increasingly regular basis, and home alone because all my friends were out with their girlfriends all the time. One night, home alone on a Friday, I had the epiphany that I'd been going about it all wrong. I knew I'd never chosen this. What I had never realized, or even looked at up to that point, was that there must be some reason for me to be the way I am. I may never know what that reason is, but if there is a God, and I choose to believe there is, I was acting completely contrary to whatever that God's will by trying to deny my homosexuality. I wish I could tell you that everything went smoothly from that point on, but yeah, I did lose friends, my father went on a two year drunk, and I had to find myself as a person all over again. It took a long time, but I can tell you that I came out the other end of a better and stronger person for it. Life is not supposed to be easy, if it was, we wouldn't evolve. You're on the right path, and you may take some bumps along the way. When I came out to my dad, I was prepared to lose him. I knew that the one fact of my life that would never change was my sexuality. The bright side is that after he processed and dealt with all his shit, and it was his shit, we grew closer to each other, and he was able to accept me. I had to accept myself first, but the rest came. And today, most of the people who are in my life aren't the same people who were there when I came out. My true friends stood with me. The rest up and went and fucked themselves. Stay strong and keep doing what you're doing and most important, live your life, because it is YOUR life. Sorry for the long winded post, and good luck.
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    Jul 08, 2008 3:06 AM GMT
    I know it is tough, but it will get better. I had the talk with my parents five years ago and was the best thing I ever did. My mom took it really hard but we have to realize that it took some of us 25+ years to understand it and accept it. It is hard for us to expect our family to grasp it in a few days. To some, they may never have considered their loved one being gay and haven't had time to comprehend all that it involves.

    Regarding your faith, I would recommend the below site. I know I spent years and years trying to read through the bible; whereas, this site may answer alot of your questions regarding your faith.

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian