Came out...How to help your parents through it??? HELP!!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 10:29 AM GMT
    Hey there guys

    Kinda scared to be starting a forum, seeing as the norm is to attack the guy who creates it.

    Please be gentle, also, english second language...

    I came out to my mother about a year ago, she kept it between us, I am guessing she felt shy about it and also hoping that I would change and go back to girls.

    However I did not and recently came out to my step-father, grandmother and older brother. I felt more comfortable with them, as I worried about hurting my mother a bit more when I came out to her. However, when I started to tell them, she got up and left the conversation, saying she wants nothing to with these kinds of conversations. That hurt me, but I pressed on anyways as I really wanted them to know.

    Being gay is not as accepted as, let's say Germany. So it was a shock to them and also I guess I am comfortable with only liking guys and not being very flamboyant, thus I am guessing they had no clue.

    We as a family are religious and being a christian is as big of a part of me as being gay is a part of me. To be honest I am still struggling with some things, but I have made peace with myself and truly believe that you can be both.

    I love my parents and they do love me and although we live far apart I will always want them to be part of my life. I pray for them to find peace in their hearts.

    I guess my problem is, they went to see a priest and he came to the conclusion that it is wrong... I was happy they did it, to just talk with someone about what they are feeling. A part of me hoped that he would give them the peace that they needed, but it seems that the reverse occurred and they are forming prayer groups.

    I pray for understanding and they pray for change....

    I do not want to attack my parents with bible verses and even less do I want to cut them out of my life. I am also in a long distance relationship and would love to have my parents supporting me and also meet him one day.

    I guess I am asking, how do one go about keeping your family together, not lose faith in what you believe in and also...

    Is there any way to get over this and trying to help them without starting a war and in your guys experience is this a common occurrence??

    Please, if you have any advice (and not attack my belief system)... Help a guy outicon_smile.gif



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 12:34 PM GMT
    It's not uncommon for your family and friends to go in the closet once you've come out.

    http://pflagsouthafrica.org/website/

    I've been with my my guy nearly 15 years and my mother just recently didn't refer to him as my "roommate".
    I just live my life, stopped living their idea of what my life should be a long, long time ago.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 1:39 PM GMT
    ant0n said... they pray for change.... not lose faith in what you believe in ...

    your belief system should be and is a changing thing






    ant0n said... So it was a shock to them and also I guess I am comfortable with only liking guys and not being very flamboyant, thus I am guessing they had no clue ...

    Parents, after living with their son for 20years or so should know if he is gay. Them not knowing says there is a lot of denial going on. so whatever you do is largely a wast of time.







    ant0n said... and being a christian is as big of a part of me as being gay is a part of me. To be honest I am still struggling with some things, but I have made peace with myself and truly believe that you can be both ...

    there are gay affirming churches. You should be careful not to associate with an organization where you have to live two lives. Dont goto a Sunday service unless you can hold hands with your partner in church.







    ant0n said... how do one go about keeping your family together ...

    bad for you but you will have to give it some time. Set your expectations very low. Concentrate on YOUR life and keep an open channel to your family.







    ant0n said... they went to see a priest and he came to the conclusion that it is wrong... A part of me hoped that he would give them the peace that they needed, but it seems that the reverse occurred and they are forming prayer groups ...

    prayer groups come and go. You be the constant one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 1:54 PM GMT
    Hi! Take some time and look into LGBT-supportive "affirming churches" where you live. You can do the scouting on behalf of your family. Seeing as your faith is highly important to you and your loved ones, there's no church whose leaders should be holding you and your family hostage, or compelling your family to choose between you and them, due to your sexuality.

    http://www.deogloria.org/content/lgbti-churches-south-africa

    http://mg.co.za/article/2013-04-19-00-holy-trinity-this-church-welcomes-homosexuals

    Also, reach out and keep in touch with family members about your life, even the most mundane things (your new bike; that job promotion; what you did to relax over the weekend; your friends). Treat them as though they were "friends" in your real-life Facebook page. Keeping them feeling connected to you helps them feel more comfortable sharing their personal pride about you with others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 2:08 PM GMT
    Loving someone and not meeting their standards or expectations is kinda like double edged sword. I know it's difficult and time consuming to maintain the balance.
    All I can suggest is...be rational, love them but never bow to their demands and expectations.

    People say that you'll go to hell, and they say/come up with a whole lot of different statements.
    People fear and worry of what might happen in the future and live an unhappy life in the present. But they have to realize that there's only one "TIME" and that is the present and rest all is a mere illusion. The most important thing in your life is what you're doing right now. Just love them, be strong, be fearless and try to make them understand(if necessary) and; don't keep any expectations neither good nor bad from your family, and leave the rest to the fate/god.

    Best regards.
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    Aug 26, 2014 2:10 PM GMT
    Well, what you did took a lot of courage so reach around and give yourself a pat on the back for that. Remember that oftentimes in life, doing the right thing doesn't necessarily get you support from others. But make no mistake....you did the right thing. You also did the most moral and loving thing. What they choose to do with that information is out of your hands and that's the hardest thing to let go of.

    Before I say what I'm about to say next, let me be clear....I am not "attacking" your religion. However, this is a good time to really look at the origins of the religion you and your family are involved in. Organized religion is almost always the root cause of hatred, ridicule, violence and wars. In fact, if it were not for this religion you're clinging to, your parents would most likely not be behaving this way.

    I'm not telling you to leave your faith, but it's time to educate yourself on where this religion originated from and who created it. And yes, MEN created it. A very good book I just finished reading is "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." It will help you to understand that Jesus was not the man he is portrayed to be in the Bible. It could even show you what a real Christian is supposed to act like (and it's not the way your family is acting right now.)
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    Aug 26, 2014 2:38 PM GMT
    Guys, thank you so much!!!

    I honestly take every piece of advice to heart. Thank you so much for the links also and I will definitely check it out tonight.

    I was a bit hesitant to make a post about this, but super glad I did...

    Thank You againicon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 26, 2014 6:37 PM GMT
    In time they will come to terms with it. Don't make it a big issue. After they realize all the prayers in the world won't change you, just as millions of gay Christians have already discovered and will discover, they will come to peace with it.

    They will either decide:

    (1) there is no god that answers prayers,

    (2) there is a god who is ok with you being gay and actually created you that way and doesn't want you to change no matter how many prayers are storming heaven, or

    (3) you are the spawn of Satan and are in need of an exorcism.

    Let's hope it is option 2.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Aug 26, 2014 6:40 PM GMT
    You haven't done anything wrong. However, I have a suggestion that might help.

    One of the reasons for negative reactions towards gay persons is the common believe that one chooses to be gay. Of course we know that that is not true. Once people understand that being gay is not a choice, their attitude tends to change. However, simply telling them that being gay is not a choice generally does not convince them. It may be that you had some difficulty accepting the fact that you are gay. If so, you can tell them about the struggles you had accepting yourself and that it would be damaging to go through life believing yourself to be defective, etc.

    If you continue to experience rejection and if that is distressing to you, if it is practical consider distancing yourself from those who are causing you distress. It is basically damaging to live in a hostile situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 7:09 PM GMT
    I have a better suggestion that worked for me.

    Tell your parents it is directly their fault that you are gay. Think of situations from your youth in which they were directly involved that you will say their actions either directly caused you to be gay or was an important contributing factor.

    For example, when I came out to my mom she cried and asked if it was anything she did. I reminded her of all the times she and my father fought and she emasculated him with her cutting remarks. I told her that she caused me to hate women and never want to have anything to do with them. There were other incidents I brought up to bolster my story. For days and weeks she was wracked with guilt and remorse. She treated my like a king, doted on me - there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for me. That was twenty years ago. I wonder if it's time to come clean? Hummmmm. Nah! I'm enjoying this waaaaaaaaaay too much.

    GUILT - LIFE'S SWEET REVENGE.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 7:13 PM GMT
    Barnes and noble has a whole section for this
  • vj2004t

    Posts: 203

    Aug 26, 2014 7:42 PM GMT
    Dude just because you are gay and a christian doesnt mean you throw your faith away. God judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. Men will always judge what they can see on the outside. Your not warped mentally just that is who you are.I went thru a lot of the same and came thru it and a lot of others did too on here. Stay strong dude....Val
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 8:40 PM GMT
    When you accept yourself you will be less concerned about what others think about you. This will naturally come about with time and it can be accelerated with meditation, therapy and a love interest that you really care about.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 9:03 PM GMT
    Congratulations on starting this journey with your family. I echo others who said that -- since your faith is an important part of who you are -- it is important to find a place where you can worship as your authentic self.

    I don't know where in SA you are but here is one. http://www.deogloriakzn.co.za/

    Here are some more resources to take a look at: Books, sermons, videos, etc.

    http://www.welcomingresources.org/comingout.xml

    This group works with congregations around the world to make them more inclusive.

    Hope that helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2014 10:45 PM GMT
    Question your religion. It obviously says that prayers will be answered. If prayer doesn't turn you straight, then your god lied.

    PS. Lots of unanswered prayers are why I don't believe in a god anymore. Going atheist was the most freeing experience I've ever felt.
  • Shenyu

    Posts: 47

    Aug 27, 2014 12:15 AM GMT
    I was exactly in your situation 2 years ago. I come from a conservative Christian Asian family.

    My advices to you:
    1. Have peace with yourself that being Gay is accepted by God. Don't be ashamed with it and give thanks to your situation.

    2. About parents, I said to them that being adult means that we are agree to disagree. If they can not accept them for who you are, it is not your problem. Their task is to love you unconditionally.

    3. I agree educating parents in this matter is crucial. It does take time and maybe not our role to do it. Let God deals with them separately. Keep praying and loving them. Give them assurance that you will change to an alien by coming out.

    4. Www.gaychristian101.com has thorough explanations that hopefully will help you.

    Peace be with you mate. Life must go on and this too shall pass.

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    Aug 27, 2014 12:37 AM GMT
    I am posting here, without reading the other posts..

    I think it is great that they saw a priest and he said "it is wrong".. which is exactly what your parents needed.
    Now they can spend their time convincing themselves that being gay is wrong...and that's hard work.
    First they know you.. and you seem like a good guy
    Next..they ll talk to other people and find out they have sons and daughters.. more worthwhile people
    Now they will begin to notice news.. about gay rights, gay pride, discrimination and criminal charges in African nations, and other human diversities, such as transsexuals. After all, it is hard to be closed off in our world today.

    Then they will meet other gays.. a guy serving them in a store, a hair dresser.. all people they would not have noticed before.. and slowly but surely will wonder, what's wrong with being gay.

    Perhaps, i m being optimistic.. but if you are looking at convincing them..just be your true normal self and give them a chance. Some things take time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2014 12:40 AM GMT
    There are a lot of gay-affirming Christian groups and churches that would probably be a good source of support and information for you. Obviously it's quite possible to be both gay and Christian, although there are probably aspects of the "scene" that you would have to turn away from.
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    Aug 27, 2014 12:47 AM GMT
    mtlswim saidI am posting here, without reading the other posts..

    I think it is great that they saw a priest and he said "it is wrong".. which is exactly what your parents needed.
    Now they can spend their time convincing themselves that being gay is wrong...and that's hard work.
    First they know you.. and you seem like a good guy
    Next..they ll talk to other people and find out they have sons and daughters.. more worthwhile people
    Now they will begin to notice news.. about gay rights, gay pride, discrimination and criminal charges in African nations, and other human diversities, such as transsexuals. After all, it is hard to be closed off in our world today.

    Then they will meet other gays.. a guy serving them in a store, a hair dresser.. all people they would not have noticed before.. and slowly but surely will wonder, what's wrong with being gay.

    Perhaps, i m being optimistic.. but if you are looking at convincing them..just be your true normal self and give them a chance. Some things take time.
    ive been out over 20 years. My family is very conservative/fundamentalist Christian. My mom and nephew are the only family members who speak to me, and mom still prays that I'll turn straight.

    Yes, you're being optimistic. Religion is the cancer of human rights.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2014 1:58 AM GMT
    My mother's doctor told her that she would be devastated too if she were to find out one of her sons were gay. This is a medical professional. Was I hoping a more educated and empathetic answer would have been given? Of course, but unfortunately it wasn't.

    My suggestion is, be yourself. Be the you that you have always been. Be the same person they loved, have loved and have known. That's what I did. They eventually saw that I am the same person. I am not what the media and television portrays. I am not what their friends talked about or laughed about. I am not what they were told was wrong. I was their son, have always been their son and will always be their son. I was no different now than I was then.

    I didn't shove anything down their throats, or force any beliefs on them except one. I didn't have a choice and there is no other way I can be.


    I don't like posting often in public either, but I hope this, and others, have helped a little. Also, time. That will help.
  • 24hourguy

    Posts: 364

    Aug 27, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    Be patient with them and give time a chance to work. Be open to answering (appropriate) questions, and be comforting and loving -but firm when you need to be.

    I have a friend who finally came out to his parents at age 32, -but not under the best circumstances. He would get upset with his family for not being "on-board" with him right away. However, what he was failing to see was He had 30+ years to get used to this truth about himself,but he wouldn't give his family the time they needed to adjust to this new information.

    It takes time. In the meantime, live your life with dignity.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2014 3:13 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    mtlswim saidI am posting here, without reading the other posts..

    I think it is great that they saw a priest and he said "it is wrong".. which is exactly what your parents needed.
    Now they can spend their time convincing themselves that being gay is wrong...and that's hard work.
    First they know you.. and you seem like a good guy
    Next..they ll talk to other people and find out they have sons and daughters.. more worthwhile people
    Now they will begin to notice news.. about gay rights, gay pride, discrimination and criminal charges in African nations, and other human diversities, such as transsexuals. After all, it is hard to be closed off in our world today.

    Then they will meet other gays.. a guy serving them in a store, a hair dresser.. all people they would not have noticed before.. and slowly but surely will wonder, what's wrong with being gay.

    Perhaps, i m being optimistic.. but if you are looking at convincing them..just be your true normal self and give them a chance. Some things take time.
    ive been out over 20 years. My family is very conservative/fundamentalist Christian. My mom and nephew are the only family members who speak to me, and mom still prays that I'll turn straight.

    Yes, you're being optimistic. Religion is the cancer of human rights.


    I'm really sorry for what happened to you, but everybody's experience is not the same. My parents are also very religious, and they could not have been more gracious and supportive during my whole coming-out experience. Consider also the Methodist pastor who gave up his vocation (now conditionally reinstated) to witness the marriage of his gay son.
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    Aug 27, 2014 5:19 AM GMT
    Read through all comments and again thank you... The links were amazing to see and I am definitely gonna drive into town this weekend. Get my guts together and go to one of the churches.

    I think me absolutely not being educated and my knowledge being very personalized is also an issue. Reading through the posts, I am really learning a lot.

    The mails are really supportive as well, hehe, the guy suggesting throwing on some feathers and walking in a parade, then sending home some pictures.... LOL, let's give that one a few more yearsicon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Thank You!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2014 1:05 PM GMT
    Best of luck and please keep us posted.

    ant0n saidRead through all comments and again thank you... The links were amazing to see and I am definitely gonna drive into town this weekend. Get my guts together and go to one of the churches.

    I think me absolutely not being educated and my knowledge being very personalized is also an issue. Reading through the posts, I am really learning a lot.

    The mails are really supportive as well, hehe, the guy suggesting throwing on some feathers and walking in a parade, then sending home some pictures.... LOL, let's give that one a few more yearsicon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Thank You!!!!
  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Aug 27, 2014 2:54 PM GMT
    1st. There is nothing wrong with you. You're going through what many of us have faced. I also come from a religious background. Education is good, but don't force it on them.

    2nd. It takes time. You may not get them to understand your life right away. Be patient.

    3rd. Prepare yourself, They may still love you, but never accept your life as being proper (in their mind). I've come to realize that some of my family accept and love me, but still don't believe my lifestyle is proper. This is OK. Gay acceptance does not equal love, neither does the reverse.