How did your parents take the news?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 10, 2008 2:59 PM GMT
    For those of you who came out to your family, how did they take it?

    Ive been out to my parents for about 3 years now. We are close again after a big fallout but I think they are still in denial. We dont talk about it much. My mom still sends random bible verses and asks about women I used to be friends with.

    Also wondering if anyone had any advice on how to maybe warm them up to the idea. I think the reason they are most upset is i put a blow torch to their white picket fence picture of my future.
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    Nov 10, 2008 3:12 PM GMT
    My parents took it very well considering that they were born in the 1920s when homosexuality was definitely the "love that dare not speak its' name." There biggest concern was my health (not getting HIV). I think it helped that neither was particularly religious.

    It was much more difficult to tell them I was HIV+, and much more upsetting for them. My mom was so upset she talked to several friends and her brother. So within a week the number of people that knew I was gay exploded in numbers. Some treated me differently after that, but that did not bother me.

    They accepted my partner whole-heartedly. A matter of fact he may be my Mom's favourite in-law!

    In terms of getting your parents to accept you more, that is something that will take time. If they are very religious it could take them longer than otherwise. I find that if you have a stable long-term relationship they seem to warm up quicker. Most parents want their children to be happy, and often that happiness is equated to being in a stable relationship with someone they like.
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    Nov 10, 2008 3:24 PM GMT
    My mother is insanely Catholic. She a a member of a lay, Franciscan order and is cheating on her husband with Christ. She took it very hard and it took a few years for things to get back to normal. What did it for her was meeting this guy I was dating. Finally, she could put a face to my sexuality. The stereotypes of leather daddy and pedophile just couldn't compete with an actual human being. As my sexuality became less abstract the easier it became to accept.

    My dad on the other hand nearly beat up a guy for saying bad things about gay people a few months after I came out. It took him about a week to go from mildly homophobic to PFLAG father of the year.
  • RITS

    Posts: 156

    Nov 10, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    Told my parents my senior year of highschool.

    When I told my mom she started crying and ran out of the house. Turns out she came back from Macy's with over $2,000 of clothing. Guess she needed to do some shopping?

    Dad was surprisingly ok with it. He just said " I still love you" and thats all I have ever spoken of it with my dad..

    And if any of you are looking for a made for TV moment..... Was at a party with some of my friends and was in line waiting for the bathroom..... Sister comes out of the bathroom and just stares at me.... She is straight just has lots of gay friends....I told her right then and their since I was drunk lol
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    Nov 10, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidMy mother is insanely Catholic. She a a member of a lay, Franciscan order and is cheating on her husband with Christ. She took it very hard and it took a few years for things to get back to normal. What did it for her was meeting this guy I was dating. Finally, she could put a face to my sexuality. The stereotypes of leather daddy and pedophile just couldn't compete with an actual human being. As my sexuality became less abstract the easier it became to accept.

    My dad on the other hand nearly beat up a guy for saying bad things about gay people a few months after I came out. It took him about a week to go from mildly homophobic to PFLAG father of the year.


    That is definitely bucking the trend MZ. Usually the mother is the one that takes it well (my Mom's comment was, "the only thing I regret is that I will not have grandkids with brown eyes".). I have an internet friend who came out at 21. He found it difficult because his father, brother and brother-in-law are all Southern Baptist ministers! That is what you call a very bad combination.
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    Nov 10, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidMy mother is insanely Catholic. She a a member of a lay, Franciscan order and is cheating on her husband with Christ. She took it very hard and it took a few years for things to get back to normal. What did it for her was meeting this guy I was dating. Finally, she could put a face to my sexuality. The stereotypes of leather daddy and pedophile just couldn't compete with an actual human being. As my sexuality became less abstract the easier it became to accept.

    My dad on the other hand nearly beat up a guy for saying bad things about gay people a few months after I came out. It took him about a week to go from mildly homophobic to PFLAG father of the year.



    Yea iv been thinking about introducing them to some of my friends. It would be Hella awkward. My parents originally blew up for religious reasons (i even had my own exorcism...) but these days i more get the feeling they think im going to get positive, or just not give them grandchildren.

    Im just so tired of my mom giving out my email to her coworkers trying to hook me up.. "heres my sons email! hes deployed and needs a young woman to write to him" uhhk.
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    Nov 10, 2008 5:20 PM GMT
    they made jokes. appropriate, and semi-funny, jokes. and they still do. it's nice sometimes, other times they just need to realize, they make lame jokes.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 10, 2008 5:37 PM GMT
    My Mom was sad for a while ....

    she called my younger brother ....
    ... and he said Yeah? and that means what?
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    Nov 10, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    Bjorn203 saidYea iv been thinking about introducing them to some of my friends. It would be Hella awkward. My parents originally blew up for religious reasons (i even had my own exorcism...) but these days i more get the feeling they think im going to get positive, or just not give them grandchildren.

    Im just so tired of my mom giving out my email to her coworkers trying to hook me up.. "heres my sons email! hes deployed and needs a young woman to write to him" uhhk.


    I don't know if it will work with your folks, I do know it worked wonders for mine. Heck, the guy I introduced them to was a complete looser and it helped them.

    You should have a chat with your mom. If she doesn't stop sending those emails out you are going to make a profile for her on a FemDom website.
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    Nov 10, 2008 7:07 PM GMT
    Dad passed away when I was quite young. Mom took it well. Granted, my younger brother had come out to her about a year earlier. (Though I'm bi.)She gave me the same speech she gave him. "As long as you are OK with it, so am I. But the same rules apply to you as your younger brother. If you don't think you can bring him home for Thanksgiving dinner, then don't bring him to your bed either."
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    Nov 10, 2008 7:08 PM GMT
    My dad......"What the hell.....your not a cock sucker are you?"

    My mom....."I just don't believe all the terrible things I heard about you".

    My Sisters......"Johnny, it's a sin you know that your not gay".

    My friends......"I thought you liked pussy".

    My former Bf....."Will you marry me now??"

    My God. "I have always loved you and will continue to love and accept you!"

    P.S. I did not have the luxury of outing myself. I was dragged out in the most awful way...but I am fine and I am even more successful.
  • swlaman82

    Posts: 83

    Nov 10, 2008 7:25 PM GMT
    I come from a very Catholic family. My entire family, from my grandparents on down, are very involved in many different aspects of the church.

    Mom cried and said "I'm not really surprised, be very careful and don't tell your grandparents because it will kill them."

    It took dad 2 days to type me an e-mail.

    After that, we do not talk about it. I was just told that when I go home, if I plan to stay in the house, I have to be alone.
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    Nov 10, 2008 7:26 PM GMT
    SurrealLife said
    That is definitely bucking the trend MZ. Usually the mother is the one that takes it well (my Mom's comment was, "the only thing I regret is that I will not have grandkids with brown eyes".).


    My Catholic parents were also trend buckers then. Dad didn't seem surprised or to care. (They are Catholic, Republican, and real life farmers - I expected fireworks and disownment!) He even enjoyed meeting and interrogating my bf I took to the farm. (Said bf was older than me, very city-fied, black, and, well, gorgeous in a way most country folk don't encounter.) Mom on the other hand has had the most issues. While 'ok' in terms relative to how I've seen/heard other Catholic moms react, her first question: Do you have AIDS? (Her youngest brother was gay and died of AIDS in the early 90s.) She does not like to discuss anything gay or my personal life. Which is fine, because I hate nosy family stuff anyway.

    Most of the rest of my extended family knows. Some are not cool with it but remain polite. My sister is a lesbian in a 9 yr relationship, so that helps.
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    Nov 10, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    I came out at 29 to a close-knit family. I told my parents that I needed to talk with them about something serious. My mom was shocked but not really surprised. My dad's reaction was classic..."You mean that's it? Christ, I thought you had cancer" So my coming out to my parents and family was easy compared to coming out to my wife (at the time) and son. I also came out to my entire extended family as well, as I wasn't gonna play the "hiding game" any more.

    So, 5 years later I'm left with parents who constantly bug me about bringing a boyfriend home (or getting one for that matter), an ex-wife and her family I'm still friends with, a 21 y/o son who keeps bugging me to take him to a gay bar, brothers who tease me and their wives who are jealous of the guys I date, a grandma who asks when I'm gonna find a good man and marry (I apparently need to send her to lobby in California), my other Jehova's Witness grandparents who accept me with open arms as long as I don't make out with a guy in their presence (totally ruined my master plan), and a 6 year old niece that's on a mission to find me a boyfriend (no seriously, she asks complete strangers in public...but at least she picks the hot ones).

    So needless to say, my family is insane, but I wouldn't trade 'em for anything.
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    Nov 10, 2008 8:00 PM GMT
    My parents really didn't care. Sounds kinda sad. They were concerned for my health and wanted to make sure I was making safe decisions. Now its just a big joke.

    For example. My sister was about 7 months pregnant at this time last year. We always have family dinner on Sundays. We were all at my parents house having dinner, sitting together at the dinner table when someone brought up the topic of whether or not my sister was going to breast feed. My mom spoke up and said that she didn't. I turned to my dad and said..."well now you know that you can blame mom!" Everyone started to crack up. It was really at the moment that I knew how amazing my family is.
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    Nov 10, 2008 8:09 PM GMT
    My dad died before I came out. My mom said, "ok" and that was about it.

    My brother said, "Finally"

    So they're ok with it. In fact, my bf is helping plan my brother's wedding to save them some $.
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    Nov 10, 2008 8:32 PM GMT
    hockeytiger saidDad passed away when I was quite young. Mom took it well. Granted, my younger brother had come out to her about a year earlier. (Though I'm bi.)She gave me the same speech she gave him. "As long as you are OK with it, so am I. But the same rules apply to you as your younger brother. If you don't think you can bring him home for Thanksgiving dinner, then don't bring him to your bed either."


    AWW! I like that last line!

    I had to do it over the phone, being on different sides of the country at the time. I was 21, had surgery two weeks prior so I was in some pain, was crushing on a guy, and just plain tired and had finally accepted myself. I called my mother, knowing that I would say it at some point, but didn't think that was the time. She brought up my female best-friend at the time, asking if we were dating. I was frustrated that she thought that, and just said it: "Mother, you know the answer to that. I'm gay." She paused, cried, and said, "Yes I had an idea."

    She started to bring up past friends, curious if I dated them. None of them I had dated. She started guilt tripping me about not telling her earlier, telling me about dreams she had of my grandmother telling her I was gay [grandma knew when I was 8] and dreams that I was burning in hell, and then came the irony that would make this quite interesting for my younger brother.

    The weekend before, my brother had gone to a party at a friends house. When someone mentioned something about "fags" another friend mentioned that I was gay. My brother was so offended that he went upstairs to his friend's room and got a bat. The next thing you know, he had gone downstairs and started to beat the guys who had discussed it. He was drunk, so he didn't do too much damage. In any case, he's probably the most supportive. He knows I'm not mentally ill, that i'm not going to hell, and that he doesn't want anyone taking advantage of how loving I am. He even asks about the guys I've dated and has wanted to meet them.

    I still get e-mails and 2 o'clock in the morning phone calls from my mother and other family members informing me that I'm going to hell. It's sad really, because I've had to cut off my extended family to secure my own sanity. Overall, my own personal success and acceptance of myself are enough to override the difficulty of it. In general, I'm now 100% honest and as happy as can be about it all.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Nov 10, 2008 8:37 PM GMT
    My mother said "That's fine, we've got two ladies living next door and they're lovely people".

    My best man buddy said "Yeah, big deal. I'm going to the bar. Wanna beer?"

    And that was that. Couldn't have been less of an event.

    I feel so sorry for all the people on this site with fire and brimstone parents. The other thing I want to say to all the younger guys on this site is that most people do not spend 24 hours a day being horrified that you're gay. They just get on with their lives and think about themselves most of the time. Just like you.
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    Nov 10, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    My parents always knew I was gay. Yet their generation believed it was a phase I'd get over. I just wish they had told ME I was gay when I was young, because I was totally clueless.

    When I joined the Army at 20 during Vietnam, I later learned their greater fear wasn't my going into combat, but that my fellow soldiers would kill me for being gay. And when I finally did start dating a woman for the first time when I was 26, they contradictorily were worried I'd get married, which they had concluded wasn't for me.

    I learned most of this from my sister, in whom my parents confided about me privately, but they'd never address the issue with me. They were both old-fashioned in their understanding of homosexuality, and yet almost liberal in their acceptance of it in my case.

    Still, my late parents & I never discussed it once, and I try not to play "what-ifs" about it. Except I wish they had told me about myself, because I wasted a lot of years floundering in some kind of deep denial.
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    Nov 10, 2008 9:09 PM GMT
    My parents were like "yeah, we know". My mom said she figured it out because of all the shoes I buy. My sister said she figured it out because I had more skin care products than her! lol
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    Nov 10, 2008 9:14 PM GMT
    My Mother has issues with ti , but for her it's a really an abstract idea, I don't speak of my realtionships or prospects. My Father cried but they all know.... they just don't want to
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    Nov 10, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    josephmovie saidThey just get on with their lives and think about themselves most of the time. Just like you.


    How did you know I think of myself all the time... Are you thinking about me too?

    BTW I'm not self-centered but I just think everything is about me icon_razz.gif kidding
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    Nov 11, 2008 2:08 AM GMT
    Do you guys think it's easier to come out if you are dating someone or single? I've always thought I will tell the family when I have a boyfriend. But, the longer I go without, I'm wondering if I should just tell them.
  • DCEric

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    Nov 11, 2008 2:16 AM GMT
    I'm useless for advice. My parents were more OK with things than I was.
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    Nov 11, 2008 2:17 AM GMT
    You know I'm not sure I ever will to my parents. Both would be totally devastated. Though I think my dad knows. One time I came in late and he looked at me and said "about time! where've you been, the pride parade?" He said it as a joke, my mom didn't find it funny at all. My mother would prolly never speak to me again. Such a shame too.