I have not yet come out to my family 1

The following is a comment that a reader “Asher” made on my “being rejected by your family for being gay” blog entry. I found it extremely honest and real.

This is an issue that is very close to my heart and one that I can partially relate to. I came out to my close friends not so long ago, and although they did not understand it at first (they said I was so straight looking and acting – granted, it had been my closet mechanism), and so do not completely believe that I’m not going through a phase, they have been supportive and even set me up on dates sometimes. However I have not yet come out to my family; that is going to be a steep mountain to climb.

I believe coming out is basically in stages. How one defines as being out is objective, in relation to the circle that they consider close and also in relation to whom they would consider “someone they would not come out to”. While it was liberating to be out to my friends, who are very close, I feel I am not yet completely out because my family, who are part of my circle of close loved ones, still have no idea. and the reason for this is because I’m completely terrified of what their reaction will be. I certainly am aware of their views on homosexuality, which makes it very difficult to broach the subject. My family has had very little contact with anyone who might even be gay, and they actively avoid LGBT people. They protect their world and societal views this way. Gay life and culture is so far flung from their daily experience or interaction that me coming out to them would be the equivalent of pulling out an inter-galactic alien life form out of my pocket and introducing it as my long lost twin. It just seems that impossible.

What hurts the most about this inability to come out is the distance that is created by my secrecy. I feel I am growing further and further from my family and that they are losing out on my anecdotes and experiences that I would otherwise share with them – my adult life is evolving without their knowledge or input and that hurts deeply as it feels that I am alienating them.

I feel like such a coward for not telling them, and then I counter those emotions by telling myself that my relationship with them has never been easy and has always been fraught with so much secrecy and shielding of the truth. I begin to feel that my inability to be honest with them is the product of a life-long bargaining sort of relationship with them.

I live far away from most of my family, so I feel that the distance shields me from any unexpected situations where I might be outed unintentionally, but the emotional distance created by this hidden secret is frightening for me. I feel its insidious.

But I have hope that soon (and it needs to be very soon) I will sum up the necessary courage to be open with them. I just fear that it might just be the last interaction I have with them.

Share your thoughts on the above post!

One thought on “I have not yet come out to my family

  • Lovelife

    I am not sure which place you are right now and may what I am going to say may be irrelevant at this time but I must say it.

    Perhaps if you look at life from a spiritual point of view, much of it may start to make sense?

    And what I mean by that is that everyone in and around our lives is here to play a game and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is as serious as we may feel that it is. NOTHING.

    So, in this game of life, our ultimate goal is authenticity. If we do not live up to that goal, there is no divine power that creates “Hell” for us to be put in so that we can burn, we send ourselves there.

    We send ourselves there because of “guilt”: We knew ourselves to be more than what we became and yet we did not rise to that occasion. That is failing to be a hug to someone when it would have made you feel good to give it.

    But it is never GOD/DIVINE who says that we are “less than”, it is always us. This is the hell of the soul that the Bible speaks of- it is a very unique and personal experience.

    So, in as far as coming out to your parents is concerned, one thing you should ask yourself is; is this an act towards self-authentication or am I looking for external validation?

    Rejection from other people is inevitable. It hurts…absolutely. no one will be sensitive enough to agree and align with what is going on with you internally. They will look at the external and judge from that point of view. This you must know and learn to be indifferent to. No matter what the world thinks.

    For the time being, work on the internal part of yourself. If you don’t feel “brave”, don’t push yourself. But also, do not limit yourself by hiding in fear of being “discovered”.Learn to trust your feelings and be as safe as you need to be until that courage is found. And , trust me, it will be FOUND.

    There are moments In life, “holy” moments that happen suddenly and can change/alter how we come about making a decision that we thought we could never make.

    Moments of pure strength that describe when a heavily battered woman finally leaves her spouse. A teenage girl tells her parents of an abortion she had. A married woman who reveals the true paternity of her kids to her husband etc. These moments always happen in life and make us rise up and really follow that path to authenticity.

    Look out for them, stay alert of them. For the time being, build a support base filled with knowledgeable and assertive gay people who understand your personality.

    Your friends may mean well by setting you up on dates but being gay is more than just getting romance, you need to understand who you are to yourself first. Gay friends and support help a great deal I tell ya.

    Good luck.