My coming out disaster

  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Mar 19, 2013 12:11 AM GMT
    The time finally came. I built enough confidence. I was talking to my parents about my "friend" then mentioned that since they might someday meet him, they should know this guy was my boyfriend. Since I come from an extremely religious family, I kind of knew what their reaction would be. Dad was surprisingly supportive. He's still kind of on the fence. Mom, well that's a different story. She immediately hit me with every scripture she knew. She refused to hear anything I tried to say and condemned me to hell. Then, while defending me, dad got into a huge argument with mom. Ok, what have I just done...

    They recommended I tell our church pastor. Since I knew word would get around, and since I'm a church musician (was), I figured I'd better be the one to let the cat out of the bag. He didn't say much, other than this doesn't change how he feels about me as a person and said "you know what our church believes", and I was promptly dismissed from my music position of 20 years.

    3 Weeks later and Mom is still on my case with the bible. It's getting frustrating to see her and causing family division. Maybe I should have let everyone live in their delusional world instead of thinking about myself.

    So maybe some of my bro's here have a similar history and can throw a few encouraging words my way. Thanks guys.
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    Mar 19, 2013 12:12 AM GMT
    Fuck religion. It will only make you suicidal.
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    Mar 19, 2013 12:59 AM GMT
    Come to San Francisco. Accept The City as it is and it will accept you as you are.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Mar 19, 2013 1:00 AM GMT
    According to your profile, you're FORTY ONE YEARS OLD, for heaven sakes. YOU are the only one in charge of your life.

    As for your ignorant (not stupid) mother, YOU CAN'T BE what she wants you to be.

    So, tell her that, then threaten her.
    I'm serious.
    Tell her that if she wants you to come over to see her, she has to shut up about her religion.

    As for the church, they obviously didn't love you, unconditionally.
    If you still want church, find another one that openly embraces gay people.

    Hugs.
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    Mar 19, 2013 1:10 AM GMT
    Sorry to read about this. She may get over it with time. I think parents naturally have guilt to deal with at these times. Her peers may help her get over it, that was a big help in my case. Try not to panic, and take it one day at a time, try not to overwhelm her. Good luck, and keep coming here for support.
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    Mar 19, 2013 1:19 AM GMT
    My mom gave me the "adam is supposed to be with eve, not with steve" line...but that was about it. she claims she's religious, but i think she's just stubborn lol.

    anyway, sucks you had a bad experience. mine wasn't as bad as that....mom cried a lot. (A LOT).

    but the irony that she now lives with me and the boyfriend kind of makes me chuckle every once in awhile.

    the bottom line though, of coming out, is that you're just telling people who are you. you aren't asking permission from anyone. if anything, you're giving people permission to be a part of your life. if people don't want to be a part of your life, then..well...don't let them be.
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    Mar 19, 2013 3:56 AM GMT
    somedaytoo said...Ok, what have I just done....Maybe I should have let everyone live in their delusional world instead of thinking about myself.


    All you have done is honored yourself, your boyfriend and your relationship. What would be God's problem with that?

    You've done nothing wrong in this regard. You did not even hurt them with the truth. It's not like you told your mother on her way out the door, "is that what you're wearing?" This is something they are doing to themselves. And this started way before you said anything. They've been beating themselves up for a long time. All you have done is given them the opportunity to find true salvation which has up until now eluded them. And the only way for their deliverance is to love you as you are. Just as you must love you as you are.

    Do you want them to have back their delusion which was more likely just denial or is it that you want to have your delusion back? To be loved for who you are not? Try to keep in mind how strong some religious beliefs are so that you do not too deeply blame your mom if she is unable to incorporate her long held beliefs with her new found reality.

    I hope for you both that your mother finds her way to her good senses and to her open heart.

    Congratulations to you on coming out to your parents.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Mar 19, 2013 4:05 AM GMT
    Invite her to your wedding and tell her you want to get married as soon as possible so you can start a family of your own. Tell her if she wants to get to know them, she needs to drop the religious hypocrisy. "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone."
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    Mar 19, 2013 6:21 AM GMT
    Last year, I came home after going through a crisis with my depression. I was extremely vulnerable and was basically looking for reasons to justify another potential suicide attempt.

    Not long after my return, I found out my three closest friends have been talking behind my back about how they felt I was committing great sin by doing "gay things" and how they knew we weren't going to be friends in a long-term. This destroyed me, particularly because I thought coming back home would mean finding myself in a refuge full of people who would support me.

    Long story short, I decided to cut off contact with them and move on with my life. Unfortunately, I am still in the transition phase and am still adjusting to the fact that I no longer have three friends that I did everything with whenever I returned home. As much as it upsets me to think that my friends (plus many other people) think "being gay" is an act of evil, I also need to accept the fact that these people grew up surrounded by these beliefs. We often overlook the challenge one may face when he/she is exposed to something that questions an important foundation of what he/she believed in for so long. Even if it may be the right thing to do, the fact is that changes do not come easily for anyone.

    With that said, I must also insist that you do not lose hope on your friends and family members (e.g. your mother) who have not accepted you as readily as you expected. My parents used to be huge homophobes who often compared being gay to being pedophiliac, and said AIDS was God's way of punishing gays for their evil lifestyle. Ever since I came out to them after my little crisis from last year, however, they have changed significantly. Yes, they are still uncomfortable about talking about gays, but they also realize that being gay is not equivalent to making a sinful choice after witnessing the pain I felt due to my bigoted friends. I also accept that they still need plenty of time to ease into the fact that I'm gay.

    Before I finish off, I want to tell you how much I respect you for coming out to your parents and your pastor. Your belief in that everyone deserves to know the truth is admirable - the world needs more honest, respectful people like you. That being the case, I am sure you can pull through this and am confident that you will soon have a happy ending to share with your own coming out story.

    Until then, take care and stay strong!
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    Mar 19, 2013 6:24 AM GMT
    Oh snap, they are going to pray the gay out of you!

    Your mom will come around sooner or later. Good for you!
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    Mar 19, 2013 6:29 AM GMT
    Sorry that happened this way. Might I recommend to join a church with more secular mind?

    My mom and mum's side have been relatively supportive.
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    Mar 19, 2013 6:33 AM GMT
    My experience has been that often times a gay man's parents usually "already knew" when their son came out to them. Well, let's just say in my case the last time I dated a female was so long ago, Bill Clinton wasn't even officially in office yet!

    Honestly, do you think your mother already knew but was just in complete denial?
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 19, 2013 7:11 AM GMT
    Religion always complicates things. Your mother may or may not have firmer convictions about those Bible passages than love for you. At least you get some support from your father. But if the two of them argue, that's not your fault.

    At 41 you're entitled to live your life for you, not for anyone else including your mother.

    At the same time, I assume this is something you've dealt with for years before coming out, you can't expect your mother to deal with all her emotions over a week or two, you do have to give her time.

    You may want read The Good Book by Rev, Gomes about how the Bible has wrongly been used to justify hatred of gays. Look him up. He was an interesting man. It may be a book you share with your mother.
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    Mar 19, 2013 7:11 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidCome to San Francisco. Accept The City as it is and it will accept you as you are.


    Thank gward we don't all have to move to San Fran for acceptance. Acceptance start from within, no matter where you live.
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    Mar 19, 2013 7:16 AM GMT
    Religion also states that you should love everyone. So, who's the bigger sinner?

  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Mar 19, 2013 7:27 AM GMT
    somedaytoo,
    When something is done out of love, like sharing who you really are to build a closer relationship with your family and your boyfriend, it's seldom the wrong thing to do. I think you were absolutely right to do it and I commend you for finding the courage after living with that secret for so long.
    When you say your mom is 'still on your case with the bible', I'm not sure to what extent you mean. It might merely come down to saying, "I have heard what you have to say. I am as familiar with the scripture as you are. I hope you have heard what I had to say. I think it's best for our relationship to drop the bible quoting." If she still isn't able to communicate with you on a level of mutual respect, then take the next steps of limiting contact with her. Of course it's painful, but so is being with her at present and you do have your own life to live. Seek solace in your boyfriend and enjoy what it means to be part of a couple.
    Wishing you the best!
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    Mar 19, 2013 7:39 AM GMT
    That's such bullshit... "I don't feel differently about you, buuuut gtfo and never come back!" My moms family did the same thing to me. I fucking hate when Christians say they still love you, but then say they won't support you and condemn you to hell. It's such hypocrisy. They use it to hide behind their bigotry while trying to save face for God.
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    Mar 19, 2013 10:06 AM GMT
    hey, well done in coming out to your parents and also getting the courage to let your Pastor know of it. The break from your 20 yrs post as a church musician may be hurting but just keep doing what you know how to do best, i.e. music for the Lord, even if it means not doing it with the church but alone with God.

    Just find comfort in yourself and partner. Remember what Jesus told His disciples, that He will never leave them nor forsake them, He is doing the same for you just as He has been doing for ages.

    You did the right thing man icon_biggrin.gif
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Mar 19, 2013 10:32 AM GMT
    Dan Savage advises giving these kinds of parents one year to change - that is, to start treating you with the respect you're entitled to, welcoming your significant other into the home, etc. Be very clear with them them that it's a deadline, that you will cut them out of your life if they try to make you choose between their love and being who you really are.

    Other advice noted above, such as reading material you can give your mom, may also help, but only if she's willing to make the effort. She's entitled to a limited period of denial and freaking out, but you're an adult and she doesn't get to call the shots in anyone's life but her own anymore.

    By the way, if things don't work out with the boyfriend, you might want to think about moving. Putting some physical distance between yourself and your parents (and the church that dumped you after 20 years of service) might be incredibly healthy.
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    Mar 19, 2013 11:17 AM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidDan Savage advises giving these kinds of parents one year to change - that is, to start treating you with the respect you're entitled to, welcoming your significant other into the home, etc. Be very clear with them them that it's a deadline, that you will cut them out of your life if they try to make you choose between their love and being who you really are.

    Other advice noted above, such as reading material you can give your mom, may also help, but only if she's willing to make the effort. She's entitled to a limited period of denial and freaking out, but you're an adult and she doesn't get to call the shots in anyone's life but her own anymore.

    By the way, if things don't work out with the boyfriend, you might want to think about moving. Putting some physical distance between yourself and your parents (and the church that dumped you after 20 years of service) might be incredibly healthy.


    Good advice. Given your age, if it comes to the worst, you should not find it practically difficult to distance yourself from your parents (and the church). Of course they deserve time to adjust, but if they will not, then it is time for you to adjust your proximity to them.
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    Mar 19, 2013 11:32 AM GMT
    Congrats on coming out. Now people you know can't say they don't have a gay friend, relative or know someone gay at church. That is where the change starts. There is a major generational divide on this topic, just as there is on prejudice because of what has been taught. It isn't easy to cut off a relative, but if she begins to do that to you, you have to be prepared to do the same for your own sanity. Give her SOME time to come around. But realize that love doesn't mean you have to let a person bark at you without barking back hard.
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    Mar 19, 2013 11:50 AM GMT
    Tell her to shut the fuck up or you're going to cut her out of your life forever.
    If she doesn't, don't talk to her until she apologizes.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Mar 19, 2013 12:03 PM GMT
    Go to PFLAG's website and download the brochure "Answers to Parents’ Questions about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People."

    Here is the link:

    http://www.pflag.com/pdf/pf_bro_parents_eng09.pdf
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    Mar 19, 2013 12:15 PM GMT
    Congratulations.

    Quite simply put - you've chosen the the absolute best way forward - there are no lies, no secrets and no-one has any power over you

    Your father will continue to respect you as a person with the integrity to tell the truth and to be who you feel you must be.

    Your mother will eventually come to see that you havent' changed and youre the same person as before, she just knows you better.

    Lots of other things will change in your life, things always change in life.. sometimes good, sometimes not, but change is constant.

    Good luck - its gonna be a great ride. *HUGS*
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    Mar 19, 2013 1:13 PM GMT
    It's hard to offer sound advice when I don't know your relationship with your parents, extended family, and meaningful community (church, work, etc). From your message, I think I would recommend the following. If you sincerely mean it, you should tell your parents that you love them, and that for y'all to still be a meaningful family they are going to have to love you back. You should tell them that this might be a bit of a shock and take some time to digest, and you are happy to wait, but ultimately you have made your choice on how you're going to live your life, and thus they will either have to accept you while disagreeing with you or reject you while disagreeing with you.

    If you are going to force them to become supportive of gay rights as a condition of their acceptance of you, then this will probably not end well. If you are no longer Christian, then this will probably not end well. If you still are Christian, and if you allow them to love you even while disagreeing with you philosophically and with the life choices you make, then I think there is some hope for y'all to remain a happy family. Your mother is concerned for your salvation. She loves you.

    I hope that is helpful. A few of the posters above me deserve to be ignored since they are just placing themselves in your situation without considering that it is only you who are in your situation.

    P.S. From my experience and from other friends' stories, fathers tend to be more balanced in their reaction, whereas mothers tend to become either really supportive of you or really angry with you. It's a female instinct to be really protective of their sons, and this is her way of doing it. Give it time.