Coming Out Advice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cslewis, May 13, 2006.

  1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #1
    I know that the 'my mom looked through my mobile phone' thread is similar to this, but I was curious if you guys could lend a bit of advice. I kind of... slipped up... in front of a very close female friend. To make a long story short, she now knows... well... about me. She's very religious and nice, and she seems to be taking the news okay, but she seemed almost skeptical that I was being serious. Apparently my facade was good enough to fool enough people... although many friends have suspected I'm gay for a long time.

    Now I'm in a quandry, though. She says that she doesn't care that I'm gay, but she's really distant and acting odd. I've occasionally heard her say the usual crap... that being gay is unnatural, that we shouldn't raise kids, that I have a mental illness.

    How do I help explain to her that I'm the same kid she grew up with, that I'm not any different than I ever was, and that her one-year-younger-than-us brother is fine sleeping in the same room with me at sleepovers :)rolleyes: :mad: ). Most importantly, how do I keep her mouth shut until I'm comfortable with coming out all the way?

    What do you guys suggest I do in the next few months?
     
  2. IanF0729 macrumors regular

    IanF0729

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    #2
    You're not going to be able to say anything to anyone to convince them that you're the same person.

    The only thing I was able to do with a few of my more socially conservative friends was to show them that I was the same person, by really, just being myself. If they're friends, then they will stick around.

    She may be distant now, but perhaps she's just trying to make sense of what's going on, especially if she doesn't have any other gay friends. The fact that she said it doesn't matter indicates to me that she at least wants to make an effort.

    As for having her keep her mouth shut, good luck. All you can really do is ask her to not tell anyone anything until you're ready to tell people yourself. Generally, though, people suck at keeping secrets.

    All you can do is be yourself. Who knows, maybe this experience with your friend will help you tell more people and you can drop the façade all together!

    Good luck!
     
  3. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    Feb 2, 2006
    #3
    I know I've seen you post pics in the member's thread, you said you were 15 right? or around?

    It depends on you what you should do. If you are comfortable with it, then you should say something about it. If your relationship with your parents would be damaged, then I would hold off on it for a while.

    Although, I recommend doing it during the summer so you don't have to think about it all day in while school is going on.


    On the other hand, if you are stuck at home 24/7 during the summer, it probably wouldn't be good to be around an angry mom/dad. Then again, it all depends on them/ you. Tell us more if you don't mind.
     
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #4
    Ok, toughy. It sounds like most of your immediate concerns revolve around this one girl. If that's the case then her reaction so far is encouraging, but acknowledge that it may well have come as a bit of a shock to her and that she'll most likely need some time to get used to the idea. She knows you're the same person you always were really, I'm pretty sure you don't need to tell her that, but try and give it time. You will probably never be able to change her beliefs, but I would hope that her beliefs will not interfere with your ongoing friendship.

    One thing you will have to mention, though, is that you only want her to know for the immediate future. I think that's a very reasonable request and I'm sure she'll understand. Are you sure you don't want to embrace the moment and 'come out' on a bigger scale? Perhaps the time just isn't right, I don't know.

    Edit: Pipped by Peyton, and with some good advice too. He's right, more information would be helpful - if that's possible and you don't mind.
    Edit: D'oh, and IanF0729. I blame this BT keyboard ;)
     
  5. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #5
    Well, yes, I'm 15. I'm a quiet, studious kid in one life and a carfree, outgoing guy in another.

    I live in a socially repressive little town, with a decidedly not gay-friendly attitude. I go to a school where half the kids are fake hicks who dress in flannel and fly confederate flags. This does not make for a school full of out gay kids: in fact, out of about 500, there's only one, Dan, an überfemme senior.

    My friends aren't too bad, I hang out mostly with the preppy/'smart'/musical crowd. Some of my classmates suspect that I'm gay and are very vocal about their position 'to'rds people like me', but as I'm not out it hasn't been a real problem.

    My parents never really mention gay people. The only true experience I've had to see their opinions was when they read thorugh my AIM logs and found some convos with some kids my age about the issue. I was in trouble, and they were disgusted by me, so I denied my sexuality for hours until I finally convinced them that I was straight. Having a dad bark 'Is this what you really want?' doesn't make you too eager to share who you really are, so I kept the whole blowup under control by lying like crazy.

    Is that good so far? :D
     
  6. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I don't know any real good advice, beyond hanging in there for the next 3 years and then getting the F*$% out of there and going to some liberal college in the big city, and don't go out of your way to talk to her if she isn't accepting.

    EDIT: What kind of parent reads through your AIM logs? That's ********. Set a password for your account and use encryption from now on, since obviously they want to be all over your busniess. That ticks me off more than anything else, when parents don't respect privacy
     
  7. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    #7
    WOW. Some dads don't like this because it makes them feel like they something about them must be gay if something from them is gay. So its a strike to some egos. And also a hint that he's not so secure in his own sexuality... not to scare you, but seems like he isn't.

    I would hold off knowing what I know. Let them find out another way, or wait until you can live on your own and the yelling doesn't happen every night.

    I don't know... that's my .02
     
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #8
    Yeah ok, after reading that I think a nice chat with the girl where you leave knowing that your sexuality is held in confidence would be wise...

    Hell, I'm a whimp, I'd totally backtrack and say I had sex with 10 different girls the other night!

    Whatever happens, try not to worry. Worrying really is the spawn of Satan and I'm sure many of us here have wasted hours, days, weeks and months over things that really didn't warrant it. Grab that carefree side of you by the horns and whistle 'whatever will be, will be'.
     
  9. IanF0729 macrumors regular

    IanF0729

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    #9
    Some of the most conservative people I know are only that way because of their parents. When I came out to my conservative friends, they were actually quite open to it.

    I respect that you live in a small, hick town and that's bound to be a little frightening. I live in a large metropolitan area with over 1,000,000 people in it, but San Antonio has its share of Confederate flag waving people as well, and as long as you don't interject your life on to them the majority will do the same for you.

    If your friends couldn't respect the fact that you are gay then can you really call them friends?

    I realized I was gay at around 12 and didn't come out for another 6 years, so I know it can take time, but it's always good to give people a little credit. Relying on stereotypes alone is never a good thing.

    Like I said, maybe your experience with this first friend will be heartening more than anything else.

    I know I still beat myself up for being too afraid to come out when I knew. Instead I repressed all of those feelings and pretended.

    Note: I find it ironic that I am typing this as I watch an episode of Queer as Folk where someone gets bashed in the head because of their sexuality.
     
  10. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    Feb 2, 2006
    #10
    LOL, I would do the same thing, cover my tracks, then when the time was right, tell my closest friends.

    Better yet, start acting like you are seriously crazy, tell your parents you need to see a psychologist, and there you have a confidential place where you can spill all this.... ;)
     
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #11
    Now that really is genius! Everyone in the 'States has a shrink, right? :p
     
  12. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    #12
    haha, I think you've become one of my favorite MR-ers in the span of 24 hours :D



    edit: I do not have a shrink. although, some may think I need one ;)
     
  13. IanF0729 macrumors regular

    IanF0729

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    #13
    I don't. I refuse to ever go to one. :p
     
  14. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    sunny los angeles
    #14
    Good luck :(
    I still haven't told my parents. Pretty much all of my friends know though, and this be California and land of the liberal hippies, so I don't have much advice :(

    BTW, either don't log your conversations, or hide them well. There's some issues going around if your parents go to your AIM logs before they ask you.
     
  15. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #15
    I'll offer some advice, being often called a "fag" and plenty of people think I'm gay... Plus, I have two close friends who are. And I'm 16.

    I would hold off a while longer. Parents tend to get upset, and try and dismiss the notion of you being gay. They might think it's "just a phase" and say you'll "come out of it" (pardon the pun).

    If you can wait longer, it might be the best way to go considering the social limitations you seem to be facing. On the other hand, if it will be a big relief to get the secret off your shoulders, you should go ahead with it. Good luck.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    Each experience is different. I tried to bring "out" best friend at an adult movie drive-in movie theater, never happened. :eek:

    This same best bud had other issues to deal with when his "best friends" from elementary school. JHS, and HS school all "turned out to be Gay". The best was like two years past HS, I was dating a guy and needed to see one of my best friends from HS. My date when I rolled up to my best friends house begged to stay in the car. :) The look on on both of their faces was priceless. :)

    Then another best friend I and I spent some time camping with each other. Because of storms and limited sleeping space (nothing happened between the the two of) we shared the same sleeping bag and and motel bed. But he freaked out when I came "out" to him. In this case I look at it as his problem.

    At the time I was trying to "come out"; I was dating a couple gals. Maybe it was a more innocent time. For there was "heavy petting"; but not much more. :eek:

    In the end you can only do what I did with my Mom. Just show here that you have much of the same values. I will go out on a big limb here. By popular definition at the age of 48- I an a virgin by popular definition. Meaning "straight sex". :eek:

    The point being is that I have had many that thought they could "save" me. Others that she and I thought we could over come my "past".

    In the end you have to be true to yourself. It may take 5, 10, 15. 20+ years. But in the end you have to happy with what life has given you.
     
  17. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #17
    First of all, I want you to know how lucky you are that you live in a time where you can "self recognize" your sexuality at your age - for most straight kids that is normal, buy gay kids tend to rationalize and be anything else but what they truly are until they have to.

    I don't mean that to sound like I'm trying to be your parent, I'm saying that coming from a time and place where I was unable to even act on my attraction to other guys (unless it was with my girlfriend Friendly Five Fingers) until I was in my late twenties. Being gay in the early 80s instantly meant you had AIDS and molested children when I was in junior high and high school. I know it may not seem any better now, but things are insanely better for a kid growing up gay NO ONE knew I was gay. I, like you, had very good camoflauge skills.

    I know it's hard, but there is no better time to stand up for yourself than now. Even though she's a close friend, I think you have every right to tell her that you shared a personal secret that you trust her with and that you want it to be between you two only until you are in a place where you are a little more confident in your new skin. As far as her religion - flat out tell her that you respect her fath, but that you do not appreciate hearing her views on the matter. That's nothing more than disrespectful to you, ands it is not her place to say (at least in front of you) whether you should have kids, whether you are unatural, etc - sorry, bud, that's just rude, and she needs to be called on it - no matter how hard that may be for you. The more you stand up for yourself now, the lesstherapy you'll need late - trust me. :) :p

    Do you judge her on her seuxal or romantic desires? Then she needs to get over it. That said, she may need some time to adjust. Over my life, I have had two friends totally alienate me due to my homosexuality - one very similar to yours - he never spoke to me again, but came to my place of work about three years ago and apologized, :eek: The other has his head so far up Jesus' ass that he's basically unhelpbable. One friend in 36 years of life. Not a bad ratio. You'll be fine. If she thinks that you are going to come onto her brother, than she needs a reality check.

    That's up to you, brother, but let me tell you, it's going to be difficult now, or three years from now - for you and your parents. You sound like you have a really nice family, and while I am sure it might be hard at first, don't lead the on if you can help it. I'd suggest writing down what you'd like to say to them in letter form. You don't have to give it to them, but it helps you to formulate your feelings on the matter.

    And hey - there are plenty of us here who have been through teh same thing. Use the Private Message option if you feel like you need any help.

    Good luck!
     
  18. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #18
    Disgusted by you, or by the thought of you polishing someone's pole? I told my parents that I dont' go around thinking about them having sex, and they sholdn't either, when that argument came up.

    That said, you are a minor...and dependent on your parents. Proceed with caution.
     
  19. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #19
    OK. Firstly don't panic.

    Every gay boy or girl has a tendency to build up their coming out into a much bigger deal than it really is. The important thing is to just talk to this girl, as others above have advised. Be honest with her, but let her know you aren't ready for this to become public yet. Then just carry on as you have been doing, and don't dwell on it too much. When the time is right, you will know.

    As for your parents, it sounds like the cat is out of the bag already. Your father sounds like he's in denial, but he will have thought a few things through since that particular episode, so will be better prepared if your sexuality is confirmed from someone else. Once again, this is not something to panic over. Parents will sometimes heavily overreact at first, but in 99% of cases, they realise pretty quickly that you being happy is the best outcome.

    Lastly, always remember the line "Would you prefer it if I lied to you?" if it does come to a confrontation. That's a great one to get them thinking.

    Chill out, and don't do anything rash. This will work out for you.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #20
    Well said. I am lucky that the times have changed, for my break-up last year of 13+ years would have been harder without the love and support of my co-workers.

    Back in the early 80's I was out and proud. I was active in the Gay community as spokesperson at a Pride Event in DC that landed me on two of the leading news shows in DC. Ran a BBS called SAIN (STDs/AIDS Information Network) that got the attention of NBC4 and the Washington Post, and then CNN. But that did not fair well for work or with my Dad. Had some customers refuse to let me assist them, because I was one of "them". Co-workers would snicker and tell Gay jokes when I came around. Even leading to a pie in the face on my birthday one year. :eek: And according to my sister, my Dad was pissed off that his "******" son was dragging the family name through the mud.

    You would think that with all that I would have been a mess mentally. But what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger. :) I had already been through thoughts of suicide back in the mid to late 70's - and worked past those issues. I was enjoying my life as I saw fit to live it back then, and NOBODY was going to bring me down to their level.

    I was fortunate to have met a great group of friends. One was my inspiration during all of this. For he was the Gay subject of the Puzzle Palace book IIRC the name of the book correctly. He was able to keep his job, only after he was forced to come out to his parents and relatives.

    Times are different now for sure. With my coming out I lost contact with two of my best buddies from HS. They sort of freaked out, because we had camped out and did road trips with each other. One was really freaked out because of a trip to Nags Head when a freak storm hit - we had to abandon the camp site and get a motel room. The only room we could find was a queen bed room. So we shared that bed together. No, nothing happened - for I didn't know my Gay feelings at the time.

    Heck, he and I double dated many a times with our girlfriends. Including a raucous heavy petting session at a drive-in - with him and his GF in the back seat and me in the front seat with my GF. :eek: In the end he chose to look at only he shared a bed and a tent with a Gay man.

    My HS is setting up a 30 year class reunion, so your words hit hard. It will be interesting to see if my two buddies show up, and what happens if they do.


    Good advice. I am also available for PM's. The key I think that helped in my family, despite some of the doom and gloom I spoke of, was that I tried to show them that I was just as they had hoped for me in my romantic life. The only difference was that it was not with Josephine - but Joseph that I found love and happiness with.
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    Your post reminded me of a story that my Dad shared with me after we came to terms with each other. He was a US Marshal, and did a number of prisoner transports. For some reason he and his partner had to get a hotel room. Much like my story above, the room had only one bed. His partner offered to share that bed with my Dad, but my Dad refused and slept in a lounge chair instead.

    Very telling for me, about my Dad and his thoughts on male sexuality.
     
  22. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #22
    I just thought about this post a lot, Andy, as I was driving over to the Eastern Shore (Delaware) to try and find my nephew Jason, who my dad and I basically raised from birth as my sister was (and is) a total train wreck.

    From the time I was 13 to about 16, my sister was in jail for drug problems more times than I can remember, which meant that we (my dad and I) took care of and raised my nephew Jason from birth (diapers, baths, playtime, the works). I dont' begrudge Jason, but I do begrudge my sister for trashing my childhood - anyway.

    Jason has not been answering my calls through a friend of his, or letters from my step mother, and the fact that his friend was not answering any calls or returning messages was pissing me off, so I got in the car with the clothes of my late dad's that I had picked out for him to have and headed over there.

    I got to the last place he was staying and no answer at the door. On the way out of town, his friend Shaun called me finally and let me know that Jason had been in jail for 6 months. Needless to say, I cried the whole hour and a half drive home.

    The reason I say this is even though I am angry at Jason, disappointed in him and just overwhelmed with this chain of grief my sister has caused, I still love him like he was my own child. So while I was cussing, banging on the steering wheel and crying all the way home (and saying some pretty bad things about him) I don't love him ANY LESS - otherwise I wouldn't have been crying so much.

    I know going to jail and being gay are not comparable, but I guess I related to the grief some parents may feel when they are faced with the fact that their kids make adult choices or do things that they know will lead to a harder life for them (I know you didn't choose to be gay, but I hope you understand what I am getting at).

    I think your parents already have an idea, Andy, and you'd be the bigger guy to let them know. The wondering and guessing is only hurting them and you, and you sound like you have all the tools to educate them on what being gay is, and what being gay isn't. You do have to make the choice as to whether telling them endangers your safety, the roof over your head or other matters.

    This may be of help to you, and also explains what others feel when someone they love tell them they are gay: http://www.hrc.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Coming_Out/Get_Informed4/Coming_Out3/Index.htm

    In any event, I wish you the best of luck, and if you ever need to talk, you know where to get me.

    Hugs, Andy.

    Gary
     
  23. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #23
    Wow, everyone, thanks a ton for all of your support and advice. I really don't know where I'd be without you guys.

    As of right now, my parents aren't acting strange and haven't mentioned anything about the ordeal. We're doing ordinary goofy family stuff, which is always comforting in its own way. :)

    I think my parents were more upset with the whole 'somedayourlittleboywillhaveaboyfriendandwe won'thavegrandkidsandhisfuturewillbemessedup' rather than me being gay. They'll get used to it: my mom LOVES to shop and dine and do artsy stuff my lesbian great aunt, so I don't think they're homophobic.

    I just kind of freaked out yesterday. I'm cool with who I am and who I'm not, and anyone who doesn't respect who I am doesn't need to associate with me. Thanks a lot for showing me that. :D
     
  24. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #24
    I'm joining this thread a bit late, and I'm going to be brief.

    If your parents would do something drastic like take away college funding, disown you, etc. for your sexuality, then don't come out to them. Come out to them afterwards.

    It doesn't sound like your parents are like this though, it sounds like they aren't homophobic, but do want to have grandkids. My Mom is this way and it's something she got over very quickly. Plus, mention adoption to them, or surrogate mothering, etc to them.

    I was planning on coming out the day I graduated from high school but I got scared and couldn't find the strength to do it till about a month later. I did it during the middle of the night on a night after my parents had a huge argument. I wrote them a letter. I did not approach this letter from a "I'm gay, and here's what you should think of it" standpoint. I approached it from a "I care about you people, and I want to have the best relationship I can with you. Good relationships are built on honesty. Having said that - I'm gay."

    That worked out really well for me, the whole letter thing. I was too scared to do it face to face, so I had to buckle down and write the damn letter. I left it on my parent's desk that night and went to sleep, I was awoken the next morning with hugs from my Mom, Dad, and sister :D.

    e
     
  25. kildraik macrumors 6502a

    kildraik

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    Dallas, TX
    #25
    Thats exactly what I'm dealing with, but I'm going to have to live through it. I've already figured out life's gonna be a toughy, so i might as well look on the brighter side of things at the monet.:p :cool:
     

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