how did your family/friends react to you coming out?

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    Jan 01, 2008 7:29 PM GMT
    self-explanatory question...
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    Jan 01, 2008 8:38 PM GMT
    I came out in '77. Everybody was fine with it. My mom was excessively fine with it. She had members of the family call me to tell me they were fine with it. She even told me my grandmother was fine with it and she was dead! ... icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 01, 2008 9:57 PM GMT
    I came out in '79 to my father first. I was going through a bad time having broken up with my first boyfriend. My father new there was something going on with me. He asked me if I thought I was gay. I said, "Oh, I am, but that's not the problem." I don't think he heard a word I said for the next five minutes. Then he just said "It's OK, just don't tell your mother." I didn't for 2 years. When I did, she cried for a day. I've only seen her cry maybe 4 times in my entire life. She eventually got past it. My brother could care less although he was less than approving. My sister, whom I'm close with, was disappointed that she wouldn't have any nephews from me.
    On the whole, even with the difficulties of the time, I still think it was the best thing to do as it was so freeing. It seems such a non-issue to most kids today.
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    Jan 01, 2008 10:02 PM GMT
    No one cared. My sister was a little weird at first, but not for long.

    I came out officially when I got divorced. Then my ex-wife came out. Whee!
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    Jan 01, 2008 10:03 PM GMT
    I was so happy that they were loving and supportive. I wasn't counting on it at all.
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    Jan 01, 2008 10:11 PM GMT
    I just started coming out to people in the last few days. The friends I've told so far are all really cool with it, which is great! But I'm a little worried about some of my more conservative Christian friends... And I have no idea what I'm going to do when about telling my family...
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    Jan 01, 2008 10:58 PM GMT
    my christian friends were cool with it, but they were all liberal anyway. I had a nazarene friend and a catholic friend that rejected me, but no loss.

    My mom told me to get testosterone injections. I'm just waiting for my grandparents to die. ;)
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    Jan 01, 2008 11:18 PM GMT
    sickothesame saidI'm just waiting for my grandparents to die.

    Nice. Reminds me of that joke about a couple, he's 96, she's 95. They go in front of a judge in divorce court, and he says. "Why divorce now? At your age?"

    The woman says, "Well, judge, we decided to stay together for the sake of the children. We wanted to wait until they were dead."
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    Jan 02, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    My mom started the conversation by asking me if my roommate (and boyfriend) was gay. Did he bring home girls? No. Did he bring home guys? He better not be. Err, No. After two hours of this dance, she said: "You would tell me if you were gay, right?"

    I had previously decided that if she asked me again I would tell her the truth (she asked me once at 17, 6 years before I came out, and one other time but also long before I was ready to admit it to myself, let alone anyone else).

    So I said I would, and then she popped the question. Making sure she was ready (or perhaps looking for an out for myself), I asked her if she really wanted to know. She said "yes", and so did I... and then we really started talking.

    Mom's a social worker, so she wouldn't have had any problem with anyone else in the world being gay. But her baby boy (her favorite)? The one who was good with children (and she couldn't wait to have kids of his own)? That was difficult for her. Pretty much as I expected.

    I had no idea how dad, the absent minded hard science professor who for all I know had never even heard of homosexuality, would react. We were pretty distant at the time. Mom told him that night and I haven't yet heard the story of that conversation. I just know feeling very awkward coming home for dinner later in the week.

    Sometimes scientists look for easy and formulaic answers, and as it turned out dad thought I could be "fixed". So I went to see a pscyhologist with both parents (one chosen by mom, based on a recommendation from her supervisor). After about 2 hours, he turned to my parents and said something like: "well, Leeron doesn't seem to have any issues with being gay, do you?" (What can I say, I had a good coming out class and support group). Dad mentioned something about getting me "fixed" and the psychologist pretty much ruled that out.

    My dad and I are much closer these days, and while my parents weren't thrilled with my boyfriend back then, they now accept Matt as a member of the family.

    My brother is a different story (no, we don't have time for that right now. Let's just say that he spent too much time in California, the land of fruits & nuts, and since I'm the fruit he wasn't left with any other option). I actually told him at a good time. Before he found Jesus (remember, we're Jewish) but after he and his wife got divorced (which is when he learned that not everything is "perfect" and according to plan). Nonetheless, I opted not to tell him while we were driving up the coastal highway, lest he make an imperfect move with the steering wheel....

    Coming out to my sister should have been easy, but every time I tried to steer the conversation toward that she'd change the subject... trying not to make things uncomfortable for me. So, yeah, she pretty much already knew and is just fine with it.

    I think all of my (mostly distant) relatives know and are good with it, too. At cousin's wedding a few years back, there was no issue with Matt and I dancing together. Even my Republican [Goldwater style] uncle can't stop telling me how much he likes Matt.

    Assuming that you're asking because you're about to come out to your family... hope things work out as well for you as they have for me.
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    Jan 02, 2008 1:37 AM GMT
    well so far the one person i've told has taken it pretty well. in fact. he's mooching more rides than ever. he says he's relieved because he was always worried that girls he was hitting on were more interested in me and cuz i would flirt with them he used to hate it. so he's happy that that's not actually an issue anymore.
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    Jan 02, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    I did my whole thing just before Christmas. My mom was like "Yeah, I know. We love you. Wanna see what I bought on QVC?"

    Yeah, it was obviously not a big deal. Two days later at a family party my parents pulled me aside and said if it would make me feel better they can yell, or kick me out of the family. LOL. So everything is cool
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    Jan 02, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    I came out late, after many girlfriends and confusing mixed messages. My family was supportive, but I have an older gay sister, so some of this was familiar territory. (for the record, my mom cried a lot too, but now she LOVES my boyfriend, who did all her holiday decorations, including the tree... which just goes to show that you have no idea how it will all work out!)
    my friends probably suspected -- for a while I tried to sort out my feelings, but i'm too handsome to be single for long, a fact which was brought to my attention repeatedly. altogether the "coming out" experience was better than i could have hoped for and i remember feeling SO grateful for my life and the people around me.
    good luck to you!
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    Jan 02, 2008 3:55 AM GMT
    Don't know yet.....but I'll let you know when it happens. 2008...might be a new year for a lot of things.
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    Jan 02, 2008 4:01 AM GMT
    I came out to my family late also. I have been married and had kids so if there was speculation it was usually dismissed probably by the phrase "but hes married". haha we all know that doesn't mean anything.

    Anyway, came out to my mom, she had religion issues, kept sending me notes about what the bible says and sent me a copy of the "passion of the christ". Im for real.

    She told my dad...he is an ex-marine and we never had much of a relationship anyway. It was around his bday and my bf and I were going to go to the party but my mom said it wasn't a good I got mad told her to tell him he wasnt welcome in my house either.

    My dad and I didn't talk for about a year, that was about a year ago and now he has come around and hugs my bf, tells him he loves him. We even went out there for dinner the other day and Christmas dinner together.

    Things have a way of working out. My 3 kids have all been great about it, but kids these days are more accepting I think.

    I am sure my parents still dont "agree" with it but they know I mean what I say when I say accept me for me and my bf/husband or I wont be a part of your life.

    I have went to long and worked to hard to be who I am...I will not pretend to be anything else to make everyone else happy anymore!

    No one else should either.
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    Jan 02, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    My experience was probably not typical...

    I was from a deeply conservative, religious, family in Georgia. I had always been the small town star jock in HS and College. A medium fish in a very SMALL pond.

    I didn't come out until after the Army in the early 90's.

    My family and most of my old friends did not handle it all that well.

    My parents and sisters disowned me and would not speak to me for over a decade (sisters still won't speak to me to this day). The only family that were ok with it were a couple of my cousins. My one sister does speak to me - but only in order to tell me that she prays for my soul daily, and will pray for me as I burn in hells fires (yes, really).

    Most of my hometown friends thought I had been corrupted somehow while I was up in Boston.

    After I got married a couple years ago I took Iain home and spent one Christmas trying to make peace with the family and my friends. I managed a tentative reconciliation with my father. I believe it was some old friends - or my sisters husband - who flattened the tires of our rental car, smashed all the windows, spray painted 'fag' all over the side of the car; and then later took a shot at Iain. (GA State Patrol: "You know kids these days; when did you say you were leaving?")


    On the positive side...

    My closest friends have stuck by me, and told me that it didn't matter to them. Almost all of my friends in N England ditto. My cousins were fantastic.

    I even keep in touch with a couple of the guys I used to play ball with (a suprising number of whom also turned out to be gay); and my old Fraternity brothers turned out to be equally supportive.

    To most people I know or meet in N America and W Europe it doesn't seem to matter much.

  • liftordie

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    Jan 02, 2008 4:39 AM GMT
    when i told my parents my dad was like 'huh?? what??' as he continued to channel surf the tv. non issue with him. actually i found out years later that my younger brother outted me to my parents years before i fessed up!! i guess he is more in tuned than i thought. my mom, on the other hand, was pissed. to say they least. roman catholic italian moms blame themselves for everything. she has since gotten over it and wishes me well!! although i think she is still convinced it is a 'phase' lol like those ricky martin highlights in my hair back in '99 !!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Jan 02, 2008 5:40 AM GMT
    I came out in 96. Mom freaked out. She cried for 2 months straight. When I later came out to my step-dad, I had to leave the house. It didn't really go well. Mom later accepted both me and my partner. But it took years.

    With my friends, I guess I must have picked my friends well, b/c none of them cared. Every single one was supportive.
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    Jan 02, 2008 6:29 AM GMT
    I came out late in life, at age 36. I have 3 sons, their mom and I never were married, but we did live together, "common law"....although that is no longer "legal" in Ohio. I remember when I found her in bed with another man, and later that same month, found myself in bed with him too! (Long story....not here and now.)When she moved out she tried to take the boys and I stopped her. The courts agreed with me and made me custodial parent in joint custody.
    I formally came out shortly after all of the custody issues were settled, even though she tried to use it in the custody case, the judge was not interested in my "orientation" or "bedroom proclivities".
    First person I told was my psychologist and he actually tried to talk me out of it! Next was my sister...she didn't care and was fine with it. Two of her closest male friends were gay...she was good with it and further said she was not surpised and glad I finally figured it out! Next was my "born again" brother and sister-in-law. This was hard and strange to do. I was told all about the bible and it's various admonitions, etc and was told that they would pray for me to "be healed". I then asked them if god was perfect...."yes", Does god know everything that has, is or will happen?..."yes". Does god make "mistakes"?..."no" are we all part of god's plan?..."yes" what makes you so sure that I'm not exactly the way god made and want me to be?..GAY?...their response was silence and a stunned look on their faces. They came back a few moments later and said that "they were happy that I found my "true self in life" and were sure that I was a "god send" for them to see the diversity of his majesty"....Uh? OK...I guess??? we finished lunch and went our separate ways that day and my brother and sister-in-law have been 2 of my closest allies since then. Next I told my mom....MOm was great and just said she knew many years ago. I asked her why nobody ever bothered to let me in on the "secret" until after many thousands of dollars in therapy and much depression and unhappiness? She said I wasn't ready and had to make the discovery on my mom was good. Next was my best and closest friend in the world...some say that he should have been my brother. Bill,(Bubba) and I met as Fraternity brothers in 1981. I was staying over at his house in Brecksville, OH, one weekend in 1997. We were watching morning TV in our underwear, having coffee and breakfast. Some show came on and was about the gay community in Cleveland. To my suprise, he left it on that channel and it opened an opportunity for me to out myself...and it was a riot, because he outed himself to me at the same time! LOL!!!!!! We still laugh about how it happened.
    Four of my other fraternity brothers that I was closest to were also told by me. Two of them called me a "fucking lying faggot" and refused to talk to me, the other two were cool about it and very supportive. Sadly, the two that abandoned me , lived in NYC and were killed on 9/11. I have spoken with both of their widows and they both tell me how many times I came up in conversations they had before their deaths. And it was always positive and warm....
    Told my grandma...she was concerned for me, and just asked me to be sure before you make such an announcement....when I let her know that I was sure, she said it doesn't change a thing and she was good with it.
    In 2002 I went on a Caribbean cruise with a bunch of my cousins. In booking our rooms, they wanted to know if I would be bringing my GF? I just matter of fact said no, my BF(at the time) would be sharing my cabin. My cousins were great and very understanding...Apparently, my cousin's husband (who was in the Navy for many years) had invited several of his Navy buddies and their BOYFRIENDS/PARTNERS to cruise with us! It was a big ol'gay cruise! They were a BLAST! I learned that on of my other cousins, son was gay. He was 17 then.(He just got "married" in November 2007!) It was fun!
    The last ones to be told were my dad and step-mother. I did this directly in October of 2006, before they were heading back to Florida for the winter. My dad is kinda like "Archie Bunker". He was not real pleased with the news, but said "I am old enough to make my own rules and live my own life as I see fit". "You are a good man and a good son...nothing has changed that, always feel welcome to visit and bring your BF/partner when you come over"...My Dad told my step-mom and my step brothers and their spouses..what a suprising show of support from all of them..... We are all closer now than we were before! Coming out was a good thing for me!
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    Jan 02, 2008 7:04 AM GMT
    My father had already died, so non-issue there. My mother was very distressed - (this was 1977) - wondered what she'd done wrong, etc. - but her main reaction was not rejection, just worry that I would be alone, condemned to the kind of life that gay men had in the 1920's-1960's.

    A turning point was some years later when she visited me in West Hollywood. Seeing that I had friends, I lived an open and comfortable life, and was generally respectable (I did NOT take her to Spike after hours icon_twisted.gif ), she relaxed substantially.

    Years later when I found my birth parents, they were both OK with it - aided by the fact that I already had a half-brother who had been out and in a relationship for 35 years.

    As for friends - most were OK with it. Some more so than others. But prior to coming out, most of my friends were schoolmates - and we were destined to drift apart in most cases anyway. One, in particular, has remained a friend through all these years, and is very dear to me (and straight)....
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    Jan 02, 2008 8:05 AM GMT
    I came out at 21... my friends all said they knew already. My mom wanted to know if I'd lost my mind, then followed with "you're my son and you're the best thing that's come out of my marriage. I'll be damned if I'll turn my back on you." Then there were a million questions and I started educating her about being gay (it wasn't something she really knew anything about having grown up in the south in the 40s and 50s).

    I never told dad. For one, he was a southern baptist preacher and ultra conservative... it just wouldn't have been a good thing to do. For another thing, I didn't really care what he thought as I had already lost my respect for him by that point. And knowing that he would have put his gun to my head and pulled the trigger (not an exaggeration), I felt it wise to avoid telling him and preserve my life.

    Aunts, uncles, cousins, etc... they all in one way or another gave me major grief and I completely shut them out of my life. My brother and one of my sisters are also gay, so no big deal... my straight sister is very proud to have a gay brother and wonders why my brother and other sister are so boring. My grandparents were dead by that time, but grandmother would have been cool with it. She always said I was special and would see the world differently from everyone else... and she said that the day I was born...
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    Jan 02, 2008 9:30 AM GMT
    Well I came out to my parents one year and three days ago. And well Its been a long and hard journey. My mom first told me that "no your not gay.... your just confused" Then she would just cry, tell me I am ruining my life, choosing sex over family. Its a choice in her eyes. Ruining her life and stopping her from having any friends because she says she can't be around her friends because she doesn't want the conversation to come up. My dad said much of nothing because he does what my mom says.

    Then I got very sick for about six months and had a huge number of medical problems all in a row. And all that with what my mom is saying to me even while I'm in a hospital bed. Around June I thought things have just been getting worse that I though I was just going to die, of HIV...somehow, cancer, or another way because that is the only next step lower. I thought about suicide for a while but then I saw a light at the end of a tunnel I guess.

    Its been a long hard emotional journey. Its like I lived a lifetime in one year yet it seams just like yesterday. The pain is still there and things are trying to get better, but I know I will get through it
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    Jan 02, 2008 10:56 AM GMT
    icon_biggrin.gif coming out at 21 was just the right age for me i guess, not to long ago 2006 in the month of september i tole my sister that " i have something important to tell ya.... i am gay" and she was very supportive she said its ok no worries, i decided to tell mom and dad it was very hard for them to take it in, mom cried but later she came to me and said I LOVE YOU SON no matter who you are you are mt cutiepie i felt so free, some of my friends knew it earlier but they are all cool with it, guess what i have all straight friends, but they are cool but sometimes its hard coz they just pass out hetrosexual jokes and checks out hot girls often in fact very often, guess what i do .........
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    Jan 02, 2008 2:46 PM GMT
    sickothesame saidI'm just waiting for my grandparents to die. ;)

    Why? They already know!
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    Jan 02, 2008 2:57 PM GMT
    When I made my coming out in 1996, almost everybody cried...including me of course. Some knew because I guess there was a few signs, some didn't.
  • Alan95823

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    Jan 02, 2008 3:07 PM GMT
    I came out to my mom and stepdad in 1984.

    My mom's reactions were (in order):

    1. It's just a phase
    2. You had girlfriends, you can't be
    3. total silent treatment for 3 days
    4. "Do you want therapy?"
    5. "Was it something I did?"
    6. "Is it because your father's an alcoholic?"
    7. It's just a phase
    8. You might meet the right girl, so keep your options open
    9. I wish you'd find a nice boyfriend and settle down and be happy

    As soon as she was past #3, I knew it was going to be OK eventually. My grandmother's reaction was "well, that's nice. what, did you think I'd stop loving you after 18 years because of something silly like who turns you on?"

    I was luckier than a lot of my friends were.