I Came Out To My Parents

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2008 2:35 AM GMT
    Some of you guys saw my other post about my mom suspecting that I'm gay. Well after reading the advice and talking to several friends, I got the courage to come out to my parents. They both did not take it very well. They were both so very upset and disappointed in me. I told them on Tuesday.

    A couple days have gone by and things are getting a little better. It's so tough right now knowing how my parents are so disappointed and sad about what I had to tell them. It was very tense yesterday as well but it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be.

    Today is a little better. Both my parents are speaking a little bit more to me which is good. I was afraid that they'd hate me for life or disown me. It seems they are trying to come to terms about this.

    As for me, I'm feeling pretty strange right now. My mood is going up and down because their sadness affects me so much. I know that I did nothing wrong but it doesn't change the fact that seeing my parents hurt makes me feel terrible.

    For those of you who came out, how did you help your parents deal? I think my parents will be ok but if there's something that can help them along that'd be great.

    I'd prefer an educational DVD about homosexuality over books on it since both my parents are not versed in reading English. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Jul 25, 2008 2:55 AM GMT
    As cool as my parents are, neither of which are homophobic (I've never heard anything remotely phobic come out of their mouths), when I came out it was a hard time for us. My Mother really didn't want to accept it, she thought I was being influenced by my gay friends. It took some time, but they came around. It started slowly, it took about a week for us to speak normally to each other, but it took much much longer for them to be totally comfortable and accepting.

    My best advice: give them time. Let them process the information, and let them come to you with their questions. I didn't push the issue on them, I let me come to me when they were ready, bit by bit, slowly understanding what being gay meant for me and my life, and what it means for our family.

    Your parents love you, and they'll come around. It just takes time.
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    Jul 25, 2008 3:03 AM GMT
    Congratulations. Hopefully I will be brave enough to come out to my parents.
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    Jul 25, 2008 3:16 AM GMT
    Congrats! I am really glad you finally came out to your folks. I know it was really hard and living with the hurt isn't easy, but in the long run things will be much, much better.

    I am particularly close with my mother and coming out to her was terrible. She is deeply Catholic and has a Catholic view of life and family. Knowing I wouldn't have a wife or kids or a traditional family was very tough for her. She thought I would spend the rest of my life alone. She said "I don't want you to die alone", referencing AIDS probably. Our relationship was strained for a few years.

    Now though she is fantastic. She calls my boyfriend to talk more often that she calls me. She tries to convince me to still give her grandchildren, even if that means adoption.

    So, things are rough now. But give it time, remain open to communication, and show them your support.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16415

    Jul 25, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    Congrats on taking the effort and for the guts! I think its great. You will remember the effort you made for the rest of your life.

    You should be proud of youself and make an effort to dispell the "disappointment" card. You were open and honest with your parents and showed courage, self respect, sincerity and a steadfast behavior I applaud.
    Continue to show that caring and respect for your parents by your actions. I think they will realize who you really are and what a gem they have for a son.
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    Jul 25, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    I came out to my parents a couple of years ago and initially, it was an awkward situation. I was terrified of would their response would be, but I too am lucky to have very understanding parents. They did however, still need some time to absorb and understand how this would effect us both personally and as a family.

    It sounds like your folks care for you a great deal, you will be fine.

    ShawnTX is right, give them their space. Time will heal.
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    Jul 25, 2008 12:28 PM GMT
    I agree with HndsmKansan.
    Just give them time to adapt to the news and the full acceptance of something they probably already knew but didn't want to admit to themselves based on their own biases. With time, you will be able to show them that you are still YOU and still a good person, etc. and they will come around. They may not totally accept it as much as you would like, but they are entitled to their beliefs just as much as you are entitled to your life. It's your life...live it. Nothing is more sad than someone trying to live someone else's life and being so subject to the dictates of someone else's "mindset" that they neglect their own special identity. You have freed yourself from those chains...now fly with it.
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    Jul 25, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    Congratulations. I think it's great that you've chosen to live your life proudly and openly with your family.

    I agree that they should be give time to adjust, don't push the issue. The best thing you can do is show them how happy you are with your life choices. There is nothing that makes a parent more happy than to know their children are truly satisfied and well adjusted.

    I told my whole family (6 siblings) some time ago. Some took it well at first and others did not. I gave them their space and now they all come to me for advice on life. Go figure...

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    Jul 25, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    hats off to you for taking that step dude! i know i'm proud of you.

    it's normal to have the ups and downs. it comes with the territory. Like previous posters have said, time is much needed at this point. it's still fresh, so, silence is going to be common. You did not do anything wrong, and don't feel bad that your parents are hurt. You are not responsible for their hurt.

    i came out to mine 3 summers ago, and things have been much better since. i promise ya it gets better. i certainly feel for you, since my heritage is Filipino. and between the strict catholicism, the culture's skewed view/treatment of GLBTs, and the machismo, it was a challenge. the tension is no longer there, but it's going in the right direction i think.

    they'll eventually come to you with questions about how, and why and maybe religion is needed to change you, whatever. stay grounded and strong, they may even use sentiments like, "do it for me." to appeal to your soft side. answer the questions honestly, and squelch any preconceived notions they have about being gay. it's better that the answers come from YOU, instead of being misinformed by generalizations.

    and of course, we're all here to help. message me if you'd like, and as always, we're all just a post or message away.

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    Jul 25, 2008 8:02 PM GMT
    My dad didn't take it very well when I came out either. But it wasn't long before he came to terms with things, and was fine. My advice is to carry on like business as usual.. give them space.. but don't be afraid to interact with them.

    The biggest thing for me was showing my dad that this.. 'NEW' information he had about me, didn't change the kind of person I was. I didn't magically wake up one morning and start wearing dresses and skipping around in front of the whole neighborhood.
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:04 PM GMT
    Just as it took you a long time to come-out to your parents, it will take your parents time to accept the fact that you are gay. You can't expect complete acceptance overnight - it will take time but eventually they will come around.
  • joggerva

    Posts: 731

    Jul 25, 2008 8:05 PM GMT
    Congratulations on coming out to your parents. I don't have any advice on literature/DVDs as I'm sure the PFLAG information I handed my parents swiftly ended up in the trash.

    However, my advice is to remain honest and open to their questions and concerns (of course, reasonably open). Give them time; however, do not expect certain milestones to be met at particular times or even at all. That sentiment is unusually pessimistic coming from me, but with parents who do not/refuse not to understand your sexuality, you must appreciate what you do have and not spend too much time hoping for what you don't have.
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:06 PM GMT
    Shawn gave the best advice ever.... Give Them Time! Just be yourself like nothing happened. You haven't changed.Be as normal as possible and things will be normal, with a twist
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:11 PM GMT
    I did a quick search and found this page, specific to AA/API:


    This is probably a good start for finding resources so that you have them on hand when you think your parents are ready for the next step.

    Edited to add:

    And here's something even more specific: http://www.gayasianchristians.org/

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    Jul 25, 2008 8:17 PM GMT
    I'll echo what else has been said here. You also have to think that while you've been processing this for a very long time, they've just had a couple days. Just like you were lost about what to do, so are they at this moment. I'd agree that you just need to give them time and show them you are the same loving son you've always been. They just have more information.

    An added issue here is (if your profile is correct) that you've got a boyfriend. This puts things more concretely for some parents in a good way. If they see that he's nice and treats you well and you're happy together, that might have an impact (good or bad.) Only you will know how to get that data across, but I would say that you need to give them some chill time and go slowly. My parents weren't thrilled and it took some time and a few tears, but they really came around.
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:30 PM GMT
    I wish I could help you.

    The fact that your parents are a little sad right now is normal. They are probably of a certain age and culture where they are considering the limits and constraints, struggles and prejudice, they perceive you will have to face. They are also having to come to terms with the realization that they didn't know you as well as they thought they did - added to the thought (guilt?) that you felt you had to hide yourself from them for a long time.

    Give them time and space, but be there to talk to them. Suggest that they might meet some PFLAG parents.

    Unfortunately my parents disowned me when I told them, and I have only recently reconciled (read: we talk to each other once a month and on holidays) with my father (my mother died) in the last couple of years; mainly through the influence of his new wife.

    Congratulations, and good luck!
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    Jul 25, 2008 11:41 PM GMT
    My parents still haven't come to terms with it. Before I went to San Francisco this past weekend, my parents gave me a little talk about how uncomfortable they were with me going because of "what the city stands for". They got over that cause they let me go, but over all, they still think I'm being possessed by a "demon spirit". lol

    Some advice some of the guys on here gave me was to just give it time. Your parents will act like children throwing a tantrum, and you just have to wait it out. My parents are still being babies about it, but they know I'm still me regardless. You've done your part by going to them and letting them know. It's up to them now.
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    Jul 26, 2008 3:50 AM GMT
    So it's been about 3 days since I came out to them. Yesterday and today thing have gotten back closer to normal. My parents are talking now, and interacting with me. The tension is a lot less now and we're starting to resume the regular routines.

    Now I'm concerned that they are accepting this too fast. I would imagine that it would take weeks or more for things to get back to normal but it's only been a few days for me and things are almost back to normal. Are my parents in some sort of denial or maybe they really are trying to accept me and resume their normal routine as best they can?

    I talked to a few friends and they said to wait before I bring the subject up again. Since this news is still very new, they said, "Don't pick at a scab that just started to heal."

    I probably will talk to my parents about this again next week or in a couple of weeks just to be sure that they are actually trying to understand that I'm gay and it's normal rather than pretending that it never happened.

    I know that this is just the first baby step and it seems way too easy that they are coming to terms with this so quick. Did this happen with anyone else's parents?

    Thanks for all the replies.
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:00 AM GMT
    Right now go with the flow bro. Don't go pushn it. Give em time man. You get antsy about things you don't need to at this point. Chill to see if they bring it up but for now just take a big breath that you did the right thing for you. You showed some balls and told your parents you are gay. Dude be proud of yourself. It's all gonna work. I was raised by my dad. Officer in the Army. It was hard telling him the shit but even if it was hard as a man he respected my honesty. Call some fag center like in your area and ask about that dvd. Maybe they know but right now just relax. right on. Your going to make it dude.
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:17 AM GMT

    You are awesome for taking this step, and your relationship with your parents will eventually be so much stronger for it. Congrats.

    As to whether they are adjusting "too fast" or "too slow" or "just right" and which of those is "normal" or "denial" or whatever -- I say just chill, for now.

    There is no "normal" in these matters. We are all individuals and you shouldn't get all caught up in trying to place their behavior on some fictional normative scale and constantly adjust when they move off the mid-point. There is no such scale.

    One thing I never realized when I came out, is that it's not only a process for you (you will continue to change over the coming years in your confidence as a gay man), but it's also a process for your friends and family, and especially your parents.

    For example, right now, they are trying to normalize their behavior with you. This is great -- and shows that they are determined to deal with this in a positive way. Help them with this in being just who you always were, but now more happy and well-adjusted!

    At some point, you will be ready to talk about your gayness to more and more people, until, over the years, it will lose it's "very special" status, and just become a part of you. This will take time.

    Your parents are also starting on a similar journey, that will probably last years. At first, they won't talk about their gay son with anyone. Then, perhaps, they will share it when they learn that maybe one of their friends also has a gay son (this is exactly how my own parents "came out" about me). Then, at some point, they might reach the point where they can talk about their son's "partner", and then one day, they might even be able to say "my son's boyfriend." But all these steps will take time -- measured in months and years. Just like your own coming out will.

    You've taken the biggest step, but you're not done, by far. You set yourself and your parents on a journey to become truly comfortable with who you really are. It's a beautiful thing, and I'm very very proud of you. But don't rush it. But stop every now and then to recognize your progress (and your parents') over the coming years!

    Oh, and thanks! Thanks for taking an action that makes it that much easier for every other gay guy on the planet -- your personal step has world-wide impact when added to all the other "coming outs" icon_smile.gif

  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Jul 26, 2008 4:40 AM GMT
    Way to go, man. Especially both parents in one go-- that's a huge step. It's up to them to make the next one. If they haven't disowned you yet, they're probably not going to. So worst case scenario, they're trying to pretend it's a phase or a joke. If they start asking about girls, and all you have to do is remind them. More likely they're adjusting, so giving them the stuff Wraith linked will make sure that they get the truth and not demon stories when they go looking.

    They'll start to see soon that nothing's different. It'll take time. You have to have more patience with them than even with yourself, because their need to understand and accept it is less urgent than yours. They will get there and they will see your honesty for the sign of love that it is.
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:42 AM GMT
    iguanaSF had some good things to say. Just from my experience, my mother called me on the phone and cried for four days straight after telling them, and then everything was "fine". Even four years later when I had the big ceremony with 400 people, I wasn't sure if they were going to come. It was very touch and go. They still struggle with it if it's something about a Gay Pride parade or something, but if it's tangible like a partner, they're okay. They loved my ex.
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:50 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Oh, and thanks! Thanks for taking an action that makes it that much easier for every other gay guy on the planet -- your personal step has world-wide impact when added to all the other "coming outs" icon_smile.gif


    Wow, when you put it that way, makes me feel like a superhero or something! LOL
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    Jul 26, 2008 4:53 AM GMT
    Congratulations! Life will only get easier from here.

    My story is complicated, but cutting it very short, I told my Mum and then moved to Japan for a year. I emailed her about PFLAG. She wasn't too upset, that's just how the timing worked out.

    When I returned, she'd told Dad and my brother. They didn't care, my sister's since come out as a lesbian and life has just gone on.

    I really am pleased for you.
  • adriaan

    Posts: 27

    Jul 26, 2008 5:13 AM GMT
    It took me years to tell my parents that I'm gay.
    Wrote them each a letter(They are seperated!)

    My mother cried for like 3 days. But she is cool, I also gave her a book to read, wriiten by a mother of a lesbian daughter talking about her fears and questions.
    My mother reckoned the boked helped her alot.

    Said she will always love me for who I am and she will always be proud of me.

    My dad's reaction was: "What took you so long?" He in turn also came out to me. We are now even closer than ever.I just wish that I did not wait all those years to tell them, I am just happy that I can breath now!I can be myself!!

    I realize how lucky I am to have such wonderful understanding parents,not everybody is that lucky.