coming out...

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    Jul 09, 2008 7:48 PM GMT
    ok i had a weird experience with my coming out. i cam out to my mom and dad about a year ago, and they didnt believe me.... so they put me in therapy... th therapy has helped the other problems that bothered me, but it didnt "cure" me of my gayness lol... im thinking of coming out again to them, but i dont want to go throught the whole ordeal again with the therapy and the denial.. blah blah blah... and im also scared that they will believe me this time and not want anything to do with me... my parents are very loving and understanding about almost everything, but i dont know how they would take this... again.... so if you have any advice or you just want to tell you own coming out story, feel free to share. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 09, 2008 7:57 PM GMT
    Good for you seeing a therapist and 'humoring' your parents. After a year, surely your therapist has a closer understanding of your relationship with the 'rents than any of us do...so what does he/she have to say about it?

    And you mention your parents' initial reaction to your coming out...but that was a year ago. What's their opinion on the matter been since then? Do they ask if you're still gay? If you've changed your mind? Or have they changed their minds at all?

    Enough questions? At any rate, good luck. When we're not busy bitching at each other, we're actually pretty good at listening and giving helpful advice around here. icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 09, 2008 7:58 PM GMT
    Your parents already know your gay man. There in denial. You told them and they put you in therapy. That is typical with some parents. Your a year older and wiser. If you tell them again they will have to believe you. If they doubt you again just say going to therapy helped you realize even more that you were gay.
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    Jul 09, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    well, considered bringing them in to therapy with you? a third party might help the discussion.
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    Jul 09, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    Are your therapy sessions over for good? Have your parents been discussing your 'outing' incident with you?

    Maybe you should re-address this issue only after you gain some sort of financial independence.
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:02 PM GMT
    zdrew...
    my therapist thinks that i can make the decision for myself... she doesnt think that i can choose how i feel or what attractions i have, but she says that i can choose to ignore them and try to go another path... shes not trying to make me straight or anything, shes leaving it to me to decide..

    my mom used to ask me if i was still gay about 3x a week and i finally exploded and told her to stop asking me cause i wasnt sure myself.... but i dont think they would shun me if i told them again.... hopefully
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:05 PM GMT
    closetsinger...
    no i still go to therapy to deal with other issues besides the gay one... with the same therapist.
    yeah i was thinking about the financial issue too, but i dont think they would cut me off...

    and jms...
    i have done a bunch of therapy sessions with each parent and both at the same time. but we addressed different things within out family. and i was thinking about having my therapist help me with the coming out thing
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:09 PM GMT
    Sorry, lookin...what I meant was this: does your therapist have any ideas on how you might best handle telling your parents, given their initial resistance.

    As for knowing/not knowing..don't feel like you have to decide once and for all, permanently. If you feel you need to tell your parents, you can calmly say that therapy has helped you settle some questions you had yourself. Self-discovery is a process, and it can't be rushed. Just be honest with them - say 'hey mum, pops, here's what I'm thinking right now.'

    Ultimately what matters most (for your own mental health as an individual, gay or otherwise) is that you be comfortable with whoever you are...even if you're not quite sure what your preferences are at this point.
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:15 PM GMT
    Tell your therapist to tell your parents that homosexuality is not a mental disease and stop worrying about that. You are gay. You will always be gay. Too much therapy can screw a person up. Get on with your own life.
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:35 PM GMT
    zdrew...
    no we havent rly discussed that again cause i already came out once and i havent seen her in a while... but when i do i will ask her
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    Jul 09, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    I agree with zdrew and jms84... My advice would be to bring your parents to therapy with you - and have it discussed there. The thing is therapists are in tough positions sometimes with things like this. They can't exactly take a right/wrong stance - but just mediate and call it like they see it.

    I had seen a therapist when I was young (Jr High - High School) because of my parents divorcing, the pig that my dad cheated on my mom with constantly trying to force herself into my life, and also kids torturing me about my sexual orientation when I hadn't even come out at that point. I was pretty much socially awkward, and frustrated, and had a lot of rage to deal with. And it helped a great deal.

    When I came out to my mom (8 years ago) she wanted me to go back and see my therapist (it had been a few years since I had seen him) thinking that it was just a phase and I needed to talk it out. I told her he wouldn't find anything wrong with me. In turn I told her that she needed to see him instead. She did, and things got better over time.

    I don't know your parents, but I'd hope that they wouldn't cut you off. Chances are if you don't feel they will, they probably won't. Just the same - I'd keep it in the back of your head and have a contingency plan just in case. Never hurts to be prepared.

    That being said.. when all is said and done I hope it works out well for you. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 09, 2008 9:09 PM GMT
    zdrew saidGood for you seeing a therapist and 'humoring' your parents. After a year, surely your therapist has a closer understanding of your relationship with the 'rents than any of us do...so what does he/she have to say about it?

    Not necessarily a good thing. Not if the therapist is a true believer and practitioner of conversion therapy and an adherent of the NARTH school of thinking about counseling young gays.
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    Jul 09, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidNot if the therapist is a true believer and practitioner of conversion therapy and an adherent of the NARTH school of thinking about counseling young gays.


    Good god. I was hoping such medieval thinking didn't exist in the medical community these days.
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    Jul 09, 2008 11:01 PM GMT
    zdrew said
    Good god. I was hoping such medieval thinking didn't exist in the medical community these days.

    Unfortunately it seems to be making quite a resurgence, along with those who credulously believe there are now "thousands of ex-gays" who have "left the lifestyle." Most of these people could probably use therapy themselves.
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    Jul 09, 2008 11:07 PM GMT
    Any therapist worth their money would have warned your parents that he/she cannot change your sexual orientation. If the therapist did not do that then I would question whether they were really qualified.

    I could have probably used a therapist at 18 for several issues, but who I wanted to have sex with was not one of them.

    I hope your parents come to accept you for who you are and stop wasting money on therapy!
  • MikePhilPerez

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    Jul 09, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    JBE60 saidAny therapist worth their money would have warned your parents that he/she cannot change your sexual orientation. If the therapist did not do that then I would question whether they were really qualified.

    I could have probably used a therapist at 18 for several issues, but who wanted to have sex with was not one of them.

    I hope your parents come to accept you for who you are and stop wasting money on therapy!



    JB is 100% correct. That therapist is not much of a therapist, in my opinion. But then, who is paying her icon_question.gif

    If she was doing her job, she would have made this clear to your parents the very first day they met her. It is your parents that need to be getting the therapy, not you. I don't mean that as an insult to you parents.

    Mike
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    Jul 10, 2008 1:16 PM GMT
    When I came out to my parents, they did the same thing, bud, where they went into this deep denial and put me through therapy; we started going to church too, which never happened in my family, ever, ever before.

    But after a year I told them I wouldn't go to therapy anymore. After that, we never really discussed my sexuality, and they kind of let it be. I walked on eggshells for a few years, and finally, last year, as I went to college, they let me know that they had accepted it.

    I came out in seventh grade....so they didn't "accept" it for about six years. They eventually came around, and I have a lot closer relationship to my parents, which is great.

    I'd say that your parents just might need a lot of time, like mine did. Sometimes waiting it out is a good option.

    Just my two cents.
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    Jul 10, 2008 10:30 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen said
    Not necessarily a good thing. Not if the therapist is a true believer and practitioner of conversion therapy and an adherent of the NARTH school of thinking about counseling young gays.


    she isnt
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    Jul 11, 2008 3:56 AM GMT
    lookin4personaltrainer> my therapist thinks that i can make the decision for myself... she doesnt think that i can choose how i feel or what attractions i have, but she says that i can choose to ignore them and try to go another path... shes not trying to make me straight or anything, shes leaving it to me to decide..

    Ultimately that's true, but what input is she providing to help you make that decision? For example, what's the percentage of "ex-gays" who are actually happy and stay on the "straight" path? (Who picked the therapist?)


    lookin4> i have done a bunch of therapy sessions with each parent and both at the same time. but we addressed different things within out family. and i was thinking about having my therapist help me with the coming out thing

    Good idea... provided that your therapist will support you with your parents.

    I first came out to my mom (MSW who wouldn't have a problem with anyone in else in the world being gay) who then told my dad (absent minded P-Chem prof who may have never previously heard of homosexuality). Mom wished it wasn't so but knew the ins and outs, but dad figured I could and should be "fixed" (more out of ignorance than animosity).

    So mom arranged for the 3 of us to have a session with a therapist (recommended by her supervisor). At the time I had already been out (and in a relationship) for a year and a half. I wish I had a video of the session, because everything came out perfectly. The therapist asked questions, and I answered. My parents asked questions, and I handled them as a Whitehouse press agent could only dream of doing (well, I did have a defensible position). After an hour, the therapist dropped the big question... to my parents: "so do you have any problems or questions with Leeron being gay"?

    That's when dad asked about "fixing" me, and the therapist said "not so much" and slowly but surely things got better. These days my partner Matt is an integral part of our family. He and my dad can talk for hours... sometimes I just leave them together and find something else to do. Like rustispassionate said, I have a much closer relationship with my family now that I don't have something to hide. (Just today a cousin made sure to say that Matt is also invited to her daughter's wedding.)

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    Jul 11, 2008 4:02 AM GMT
    jms84 saidwell, considered bringing them in to therapy with you? a third party might help the discussion.



    My thoughts exactly!!
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    Jul 11, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    Hey I wish you luck. I'm a little confused. Is the therapy to understand and accept your sexuality or is this general therapy with an on going emotional evaluation where cognitive exercises are applied to grow?

    Ok I think I figured this out. If I'm wrong just tell me. You are still in fear of telling your parents you are gay? Definitely address that with your therapist if you haven't already. The therapist should have been working on that all along.

    I suppose we could all tell you to own it and just tell them but I get the impression you are still at that level where parental rejection would destroy you. So how do you challenge that alleged rejection?

    Just a suggestion, but there really is something in challenging a parents turning their back on their own just based on sexuality. You might want to tell them when they reject you they reject a part of themselves. I think with your age that probably will sound risky to you.

    I think the key is forcing the hand of your therapist and laying it out there for some structured advice. Tell the therapist you still fear rejection over the gay issue. It is time for Mom and dad to also apply cognitive behavior to embrace who you are sexually beginning with a simple exercise of listing on one side why you being gay is so devastating and then on the other side listing why in the end it just will never matter. Then start working on bridging those two until they realize that honestly.... it's just not going to matter and the love they had for you the day they found out you were going to be is just as great and even greater.

    Hope that helps.
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    Jul 11, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    I myself never came out; per se. But I left the closet many, many years ago.

    I'm not sure if one understands the need to "come out'. I just got on with life, and did my own thing.

    Maybe we should make September coming out month. Where all us out homosexuals hold parties for those yet to come out We could call it the "Queer Prom." But not given by a school.....
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    Jul 11, 2008 4:22 AM GMT
    Therapy for whatever the reason is a good thing. You're going to therapy to deal with other issues, and doing so may enable you to more easily deal with coming out to your folks. Eventually, you will need to discuss this with your therapist and your parents.

    They probably sent you because "you were confused", "you had issues", "you had problems". Sounds like they have some issues. Avoidance issues. It sounds like they think that sending you to therapy is going to fix everything, but if you're still gay after the therapy sessions are done, then nothing has been fixed in their eyes. Your best bet may be to tell them again, that therapy has helped you to deal with a lot of different issues, but being gay is not an issue with you.