Coming Out... Q & A
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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By KJ (Admin) on Monday, November 01, 1999 - 09:53 pm: Edit

If someone just coming out asked you the best way to tell your parents that you are gay, what advice would you give?

Do you want to know the answer to that yourself?

Do you have any advice for those considering opening the closet door?

Talk about it here!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Tommy on Saturday, December 18, 1999 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Buy space on a billboard that they drive by on the way to work saying "Mom, I'm gay! Love Tommy"

No really, don't do that.

I wrote my parents a letter cause I didn't want to have to deal with any yelling or drama. I explained that's the way I am, and they could accept me or leave me.
They wrote me back a note saying - "Yeah, we know you're gay. No problem."
I was floored! It worked out better than I thought it would.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Cameron32 on Tuesday, December 21, 1999 - 12:29 pm: Edit

The letter thing is a good idea Tommy! Better than waiting until mom stays awake all night to hear you come through the door and confront you about your sexuality. That's what happened to me. But all is well now.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Bendog on Thursday, December 23, 1999 - 07:45 am: Edit

Wether you use a billboard, letter, e-mail, or direct confrontation, coming out to Mom is an important piece of work that probably needs to be done by most people. Both of my parents died before I had a chance to tell them about myself, and I will always miss the closure (negative or positive) that it would have brought in my life.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Typicalvampire on Saturday, January 08, 2000 - 11:41 am: Edit

My mother still thinks that my lesbianism is a symptom of being fat and depressed! She really does! Every Christmas I have to endure it, "Heather, if you just went on Metabolife and maybe prozac, you'd lose some weight and meet a nice fella." I'm 26 now. This has been going on since my sophomore year of college.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Bendog on Sunday, January 09, 2000 - 04:39 pm: Edit

Wow! What a way to spend the holiday! If you have to interact with these negative people, maybe you could get them off balance and agree with some of the advice. Tell them you plan to get in excellent shape ( whatever that means for your weight), your feeling positive and energized and you know you'll meet the right person for you - whoever she may be.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Mikey on Tuesday, January 11, 2000 - 11:10 am: Edit

Sounds like Mom is in serious denial!
That is probably just what she has to do to deal with it in her head. As time wears on, it will (I hope) slowly sink in that her child is a lesbian.
Then, someday, she'll see your new girlfriend and think, "Oh dear, she's a nice girl."

In a perfect world........;)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Ricksdad on Wednesday, January 19, 2000 - 08:26 pm: Edit

Our family was lucky when our son came out to us. We already suspected he was gay and made our peace with it. I think he was disappointed that we didn't faint or anything. His grandparents were cool about it, too. Grandma started sending him clippings about how to please a man --- cut from Cosmopolitan --- and kept mentioning friends of hers who had sons she thought were gay. After a while, he complained that his family was full of alien beings from Liberalville. But what were we supposed to do? He is what he is. My wife and I told him we still expected grandchildren --- how he would get them for us was his problem.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Cameron32 on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 01:23 pm: Edit

We need more people like you in the world "Ricksdad". I am lucky to have an understanding and accepting family too!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Ricksdad on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 10:29 pm: Edit

Thanks, Cameron I've been fortunate to know a lot of gay amd lesbian people in my life prior to my son coming out. I'm constantly amazed at the homophobes if people would just take time to get to know each other ... but that would be a perfect world, wouldn't it? What I worry about are these young kids who don't have a family support system and are afraid to talk about who they are.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Comtessa on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 06:48 pm: Edit

Here's two cents from a "young kid!"

I am fortunate to also have very accepting and loving parents. They were very upset when I told them, but they have accepted my sexuality as only a part of me. Their biggest worries were grandchildren ("But do bisexuals get married?") and homophobic attacks. My father asked me to send him titles of books he could read to help him understand!

I was really fortunate that my family was so understanding! However, a small coming-out tip to anyone who is interested... Don't come out to your family in a moving vehicle!!! :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Ricksdad on Thursday, February 03, 2000 - 09:27 pm: Edit

Wow --- your parents are really cool. You ARE fortunate! What book titles did you send your dad?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Comtessa on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 06:02 pm: Edit

I brought home a bunch of PFLAG brochures and fanned them out on the dining room table. I found a fantastic book called Bi Any Other Name, which I think I'll be sending them... when I'm done with it! :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Ricksdad on Monday, February 07, 2000 - 08:10 pm: Edit

I've involved in PFLAG, too. I made my first public presentation on it last week at our county's Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS board). Since they fund a lot of counseling agencies, I figured they might be interested in hearing about a group that acts as support for families. The board, for the most part was open to the idea and asked for brochures. I think it's important that people know PFLAG is out there and that it's a mainstream organization. The more we can reclaim the center of the socio-political spectrum, the more progress we can make toward the goal of everyone just living and letting live.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Jaguar on Tuesday, February 08, 2000 - 08:16 am: Edit

I wrote my mom a letter after she asked me to set aside some time one evening so we "could talk." Since she wouldn't reveal about what, I guessed and wrote her a letter that I had on the table under a book. Once she came out with this long sentece with no breaths in between of, "I think you're gay and I need you to know that that's okay and if you're not, that's okay too, but I just want you to know either way that I love you," I took out my letter and gave it to her.

Then, we both cried and hugged and marveled at how long my mom really knew and giggled about the goofy guys I tried hard to date in high school and had one of our best talks ever.

Talking with her first, helped get me ready to talk with my dad and my very homophobic older brother. Now some twenty years later, I can report that my entire extended family counts me as the family pink sheep, the only lesbian in the bunch (I'm still checking everyone out--you know the odds).

Being out is so much easier but I'm a firm believer that each person has to make that decision in their own time and when it feels safest. As wonderful as my family has been, I know of just as many families that haven't been there for their queer kid. If that happens, the hardest thing is trying hard not to let that further harm your self-esteem, but just surround your self with people that love you as you are, just in case.

And remember, it probably took you a long time to deal with being gay or coming out to yourself. We need to not expect our families to be instantly okay the moment we tell them. Just like we needed time, they might too.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Dykemom on Wednesday, March 01, 2000 - 05:59 pm: Edit

My parents and each of my siblings thought I was gay and told me so in round-about ways before I admitted it myself. When I finally DID come out, Mom cried and prayed all night (no exaggeration--ALL NIGHT), my siblings were SERIOUSLY angry with me (including my gay brother, who took it the worst), and Dad completely shut down with me emotionally, meaning that he would chat with me and we'd do father-daughter stuff, but he never asked about any of my parters or anything else that had an impact on my life emotionally and/or politically.

That was about 8 years ago, and now Dad and I sometimes talk about real things, and Mom LOVES my partner and gets teary at the fact that her little baby has grown up (my partner and I have three kids), and my siblings are all pretty dern cool. Sometimes my sister will say stupid things like how I'm more man than our gay brother, but I've come to accept her--as she accepts me.

My best advice for coming out is to do it when you are emotionally ready. Expect your family/friends to be stunned, at the very least--they may get loud and say some hurtful things. YOU may get loud and say some hurtful things. It's also possible that the evening may end in a big bear hug and lots of newly-found respect all around. Or, as in my case, you'll have a little of both.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Tommy on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 03:25 pm: Edit

Who hasn't gone through all the shit at school?
People who are very well closeted, no doubt.
I look back on my high school days, when I had a girlfriend, when I wondered as I fell asleep at night why I felt so attracted to the guys I hung out with...
The nights I would just pray "please God, don't let me be gay. I don't want to be a prancing fairy in a dress with a limp wrist and high heels. I don't want to be made fun of and cast out of society like some kind of freak."

Then what did I do? I went to scool everyday, with my girlfriend (or so I thought she was), and hung out with the same people who yelled slurs and beat up the people who they thought were gay.

I look back and I'm not only ashamed, but angry at myself. It's one of the main reasons I try like hell to make everyone feel comfortable - no matter what they are. I can't make up to those people I harrassed in school, but I can teach my nephews and little cousins not to do it.
It helps me.....

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 04:55 pm: Edit

I think all, or at least most of us, who graduated
from high school pre 1990's were guilty of the same thing; Hanging out with the "cool" crowd,
verbally bashing "gays", staying well-closeted.
I don't think we should be ashamed, but, rather
teach others that it is inappropriate to make fun
of people who are different than we. Sure, I feel
guilty for making fun of gay people when I was in
high school, but, things were different then. I
have learned, after coming out of the closet, that
tolerance is one of the most important virtues in
life. If I practice what I preach, I think I'll
be o.k.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Comtessa on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Last week I had the good fortune to meet some wonderful students and educators at the GLSEN awards dinner; people who are working to make our schools safer for ALL of their students.

North Olmstead's decision to change the handbook, while not the original intent of the discussion, is still an incredible victory in my eyes. In four years of high school, I never heard the word "gay" in a positive context. Not once. Not from teachers, not from students, NOT EVEN from any of my friends-- 50% of whom came out after graduation. The fact that Spectrum exists is a true testament to the courage of those students and their wonderful advisor, Mrs. Heara. I graduated high school two years ago, and was desperate to leave so that I could finally be myself. I hope for a day when our gay youth can finally ENJOY their high school years instead of just surviving them.

I encourage anyone who has the opportunity of working with young people to talk about this subject. There will always be those who are in hysterics about "those how-mow-seck-shew-ulls" who are "converting" their children. Are we going to let them continue to scare us away from keeping our gay youth safe in the schools?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Wmrwhite on Friday, July 07, 2000 - 02:00 am: Edit

Most young people who "know" that they are gay want to have their parents "know" also. Just as some parents feel a guilt about having a gay child, so does the child feel a guilt about being a "gay" child to those same parents. So the ground level is really pretty even. The best way to let parents know is just that! Let them know. Probably by telling them out loud: "Mom," or "Dad," or "Mom & Dad, I'm gay. Not "I think I'm gay," or "I might be gay,"--just "I'm gay." There--you've said the words. (That really is the easy part) Now you have to be ready for body language--whatever shows. It is immediate and, quite often, unsettling. (Those few seconds is the hard part) You should begin (right now) to tell them why you're gay, how long you've known it, and why you are now telling them. Make sure that you do not blame them in any way and that you find no blame in yourself either. Tell them that you have found a personal acceptance level, that you very much want them to have one too. Be prepared to answer some of their questions but admit that you do not have any more awareness about your future than if you were straight. At a young age, you just do not know. Too many parents tend to present an entire platform of "Do you know" "Don't you realize," "Have you thought about ____," "What will X say?" "What are we...," and so on. This is both very natural and understandable. They are usually first concerned about you and then about themselves. Respond to the things with which you feel fairly comfortable. To the rest, admit that you do not yet know. Tell them that as you experience more things you will make decisions and come to terms with them. Say that you will always love them as parents, respect them as individuals, be their son or daughter, and that you both need and want their love, guidance, and support. Try to get as much of this accomplished in a fairly short timeframe and then say that you need some time to yourself and hope that they do also. Tell them that you would appreciate their bringing up the subject next time but that you will understand if they choose not to do so. Be disappointed but understanding. You have just made a tremendous stride in your progress of being a person who is gay. I hope your present and future contain much of what you would have in them. Make your decisions count positively for all those you care about.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Chrunemyr on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 - 01:11 pm: Edit

My family found out when I wrote a letter to the editor. Before that, Mom had told me that if I was gay, she wouldn't want to know about it (which told me she already had a pretty good idea).

Since then, I've come out to her two or three more times. She always somehow manages to forget it ever happened. I sometimes tell people I'm descended from Egyptian royalty because my Mom is the Queen of Denial.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Skierdi on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 - 05:49 pm: Edit

to 'chrunemyr' -- How funny!!! :) Keep on coming out to her - one day she'll acknowledge & accept!!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Chrunemyr on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 01:43 pm: Edit

I came out at work last night, sort of.

I haven't had time to do laundry over the last couple weeks, so all I had clean to wear was one of my gay T-shirts.

Nobody even noticed. How disappointing.

Or at least they pretended not to notice.

One thing I've discovered coming out is that you never know what to expect. The people you think will be most supportive turn out out to be idots, or they start off well but you never hear from them again. The people you think will be idiots wind up being supportive and becoming good friends.

Maybe I'm just not a very good judge of character.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Robert on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 11:24 pm: Edit

GAY ISSUES OVERLOOKED?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Bwaynef on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 02:50 pm: Edit

So, you're a male nurse, eh Robert? I think you may be the one who is overlooking gay issues. Of course, being a male in a traditionally female occupation doesn't necessarily mean you're, you know, gay, but your fellow republicans are not as open minded as the rest of us. So, come out of your closet already, sweetie. You won't have to hide what you do for a living among your fellow homosexuals, and once you admit you're one of us, you, you can associate with us openly and freely instead of posting messages like the one I just read.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Spykenij on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 10:30 am: Edit

I say judge for yourself. If you parents butt is so tight, they could back into a brick wall and suck a brick out, get in as good as you can with them before you unload this information on them. Always know that when a parent finds out, they should still love you, but it will be like they are moarning the death of the daughter or son they thought they had. There is a wonderful support group that I belonged to for over 4 years and that is PRYSM at the Gay and Lesbian Service Center of Cleveland. They can help anyone find the best way to come out. I say once you do open the closet door, make a bee line for a screw driver and hammer and take that door off the hinges. It was the best thing I ever did. I kicked that door off the hinges with my gender bender boots when I was exposed. Yes, exposed. Nothing like a mother's best friend to rat you out. I did however, out myself in 9th grade. It was hard, but I was sick of some stupid boy asking me EVERYDAY if I was gay, so I let them all know. I went to Parma High, which is not the most open-minded suburb. I even went to prom in a tux with my girlfriend at the time. Yeah for me, but you have to judge for yourself as to whether the people around you can handle it or not and if they can't, can you handle what gets thrown your way? People suck and the problem lies with them, not us. Be yourself and never backdown. We are the progress of our community and as soon as this country realizes that we're at least 10% of the whole population, maybe they'll realize how stupid they all have been for hurting us the ways that they do. Come out and represent. Don't make our community look bad or we'll always be in the same boat. Come out and let's all make a difference in this country for a lot of people, not just ourselves. Oh yeah, and ALWAYS practice safe-sex. Cheesy as it sounds, I'm sure you don't want to suffer the misery and shame that is an STD.


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