coming out to an extremely religious family...

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    Mar 08, 2012 7:19 AM GMT
    so, my family is your typical conservative, christian family. but on steroids. i grew up in an orthodox christian church with christian friends, and being gay isnt only "wrong", its simply not an option (or so it seems to me). love my family and friends to death, but i kno for a fact that many of my relationships will change if i come out to some of them. i DO want to come out to my family eventually, but more sooner than later. i just dont kno how to go about it. ive only been able to come out to a few friends in college who are alot more understanding. that said, any advice from people that come from really religious backgrounds on how they were able to tell their family? and be honest with how they responded. don't care how extreme, i just needa kno what im possibly in for
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    Dont.
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    make sure that you are self supporting before you tell them in case they react very badly. You need to be able to walk away and keep living. They will calm down, but if you are still dependant the cooling off period will be horrible.
  • hagerstowncat...

    Posts: 122

    Mar 08, 2012 4:16 PM GMT
    I didn't really come out, my family found out by accident by seeing me and my boyfriend at the time kissing. My father is a southern baptist minister so you know that went over really well. The responds... my family and I didn't talk for years then one year I showed up at Christmas with my partner at the time, needless to say it was extremely awkward but slowly after that we began talking again. Now we are close again however the "gay thing" as they call it is not to be discussed.

    if you tell them or not is your decision but be prepared for the worse then when the worse doesn't happen (hopefully) then it won't seem so bad.
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:19 PM GMT
    GonzoTheGreat saidmake sure that you are self supporting before you tell them in case they react very badly. You need to be able to walk away and keep living. They will calm down, but if you are still dependant the cooling off period will be horrible.

    This.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Mar 08, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    Your best predictor is to recall how your family has reacted to other events. Anybody get pregnant out of wedlock, carry on with an unacceptable relationship, get arrested? Usually high on such groups' agendas are condemnation and forgiveness. The forgiveness only comes after much contrition. I'd say it sounds like you are in a bad spot.

    The advice to get away and be freestanding is good. You are going to have to be because there will probably not be much in the way of support after your announcement. Rather than come out to a crowd, I would consider talking to the one or two people in your family to whom you are closest, maybe even asking them to keep quiet for at least a while as they get used to the idea.

    You could do something else by way of shock to acclimate your family to your nature, like become an Episcopalian. That just about sent my mother over the edge.
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:26 PM GMT
    I come from a Muslim family and it was not a pleasant experience. My Dad basically said that "if I had a gay son I'd have him killed".

    So my way of dealing with it was just to cut off the Arabic side of my family, since they'd never be accepting. So when I got my own place I just cut all contact with them and haven't spoken to any of them in about 5 years.

    My sister tells me my Dad misses me and keeps asking how I am but I'm not ready/willing to deal with that man yet.

    Luckily the English side of my family were all very supportive and accepting. Even my Tunisian brother in law is cool with it !

    My advice is if you can salvage things then do but if it means constant judgement from your family purely because of their faith and who you choose to love, then fuck em !
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:36 PM GMT
    The more you delay, you're just postponing the inevitable. Ask yourself if there's a point in waiting 10 more years only for them to have the same reaction 10 years down the road.

    Everyone will have to go through their struggle on when the time is right, but some times there is no right time.

    It helps some people to have a boyfriend or partner to be an anchor in their life while they are going through the pain of possible rejection.
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:39 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidThe more you delay, you're just postponing the inevitable. Ask yourself if there's a point in waiting 10 more years only for them to have the same reaction 10 years down the road.

    Everyone will have to go through their struggle on when the time is right, but some times there is no right time.

    It helps some people to have a boyfriend or partner to be an anchor in their life while they are going through the pain of possible rejection.


    ive never even had a boyfriend lol im really new to all of this, so its already scary as it is. i kno i should wait on telling family for at least until im more comfortable with it myself, but i rely on them for everything. and im still pretty close to them, so its hard to just distance myself like that. =/
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Mar 08, 2012 4:40 PM GMT
    GonzoTheGreat saidmake sure that you are self supporting before you tell them in case they react very badly. You need to be able to walk away and keep living. They will calm down, but if you are still dependant the cooling off period will be horrible.


    This is great advice and I will also add that you should make sure you have a close friend available to process the events with, who DOES know you're gay. Sometimes people surprise you, but be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Good luck and hugs to you.

    I will also add that it wouldn't hurt if you wait to tell them until you have a boyfriend so you have someone to lean on.
  • Hothouse

    Posts: 2204

    Mar 08, 2012 4:49 PM GMT
    My heart goes out to you - I completely understand what you're going through and struggling with.
    I came from a very conservative christian family. At 20 I tried to come out to them, I was dealing with accepting myself and made the attempt to explain it to them and open up - but I was pre-empted with the "no son of mine...it will NOT be accepted" lecture. I retreated back into the closet, as far as family was concerned. There were many years of a strained relationship with my parents, and I should have come out completely to them when I tried and faced the consequence, but I didn't.
    My father has now passed on, and I think he was ok with it, my mom is still around, and we just don't talk about "it." My sister is great and very accepting - my brother is "don't ask, don't tell."
    My life with my family is far from how I would like it to be, but that is a result of my decision to not involve them in my personal life. I would not recommend taking my approach, but it seems too late for me to change it.
    So, if you decide to tell them, don't back down or retreat - it may be messy and you may be estranged from them, but you will feel better about it.
    If you don't tell them, then be prepared to always have a wall between you regarding your sexuality. I'm sure in time they will figure it out and deal with it by accepting or rejecting, but I think it's better to get it out in the open and be done with it.
    The thing is, do it when you're really ready to, and be prepared to have your mind fucked up and be heartbroken, it's just a sad reality for many gay men.
    (At one point my mom said she'd rather I was dead then to tell her I was gay - live with that all your life. I love her dearly, but things will never - NEVER - be the same.)
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    Mar 08, 2012 4:55 PM GMT
    sure if your independent and don't care about your family or close to them then by all means who gives a shit what they think, but in your case your close to them and the community as well. I say do not make your life a living hell, the world is not ready, there are prejudices like there were before for the black community, I see it no different. Live your life or move away when you can.
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    Mar 08, 2012 5:06 PM GMT
    GonzoTheGreat saidmake sure that you are self supporting before you tell them in case they react very badly. You need to be able to walk away and keep living. They will calm down, but if you are still dependant the cooling off period will be horrible.

    Agreed. Sometimes, though Right is on our side, the Authority is held by the other side. This is roughly analogous to telling your employer something that he really doesn't want to hear, that could get you fired on the spot. Most people would remain silent until they are in a position to walk away from that income.

    No need for you to sacrifice yourself on the altar of gay full disclosure. Look after Numero Uno first, and if that requires you to play the double-agent for a time, so be it. The cause & fault is really theirs, not yours.

    Given your description of the situation, I would put a few more years and miles between you and them before you try to tell them. When you are in a place where they cannot hurt you materially. The emotional part is more problematic.
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    Mar 08, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    I'm pastors kid, so I know exactly what you are going through. The best thing is to just be honest and firm about the matter. Don't be shocked when they suddenly think that all of your morals have changed. It's stupid, but people tend to tie unrelated things together when they don't understand. Some of your friends may leave but it's for the best. They are not they ones you need around you anyway. I'm here to talk if you need to.

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    Mar 08, 2012 6:50 PM GMT
    thanks for the advice everyone, i really appreciate it. its good to know others are going through similar issues and i have people to reach out to.