I'm A PFLAG Mom

Posts Tagged "coming out"

Question from Anonymous

4. I don’t feel like I can even go to them anymore because it’s always my fault or it’s not a good time or they can’t handle that right now etc. I feel like I’m a nuisance when all I’m doing is living my life, finally. It got to the point where I had to do something about this as I was so unhappy and they saw that every day so I don’t understand why they can’t see that and try to accept it. They always said, no matter what, they would be there but they weren't. Sorry for ranting :/

this is the 4th of your 4-part question. For readers: he is 25, his parents have known he is trans since he was 9, but don’t appear to be accepting him as their son. He described parents in denial about his gender identity, that they  ignore it and change the subject if it comes up. They think it is a mental illness and are embarrassed to be seen with him in public (his interpretation of their motivation). He was suicidal before he was out as trans but is happy now. He wants a relationship with them even though they respond to his attempts at communication with yelling and storming out.

Ok- you want parents who accept and love you as you are. They might, but the are not showing it. They’ll be there no matter what but if being there means destroying your self-esteem, I’m not sure what good it really is. 

You want your parents to be in a place that they are not.

You can’t force them to be either. If you feel they are  toxic influences in your life right now, you may want to take a break from trying. Tell them what you’re doing and why. You need to be with people who appreciate your happiness and respect you as you are- and when they can get to that point, you will want to be around them more often.

They have the choice of accepting you or not. Tell them you will be waiting anxiously for that time so you can have a close relationship with them.

Question from Anonymous

How do you come out to your really religious parents and friends?

Mom, Dad, I’m gay.— something like that.

Religious people are people with strong beliefs in a higher power- SOME refuse to accept people who are different or they might follow rules that preclude loving  their queer children. It is not uncommon for parents closely aligned with sexual prejudice to move  from prejudice to acceptance when it is their own kid. 

I spoke to a woman in her 80s the other day. Nice Christian lady in in my small bible-belt town. She she had just seen me on the news talking about including gender identity the nondiscrimination policy where I work and told me that her granddaughter is “married to another girl”. She added that she doesn’t understand it but that would never keep her from loving her. It reminded me of how open people can be if you give them the chance. I would not have ever expected to have that conversation with that lady. 

As I told the last anon- communicate to them that you know God loves you as you are and want the same from them.

Question from Anonymous

So.. I am finding myself falling in love with a female. Granted, he is an FTM (female transgendered to male) but I just have no idea how I'm going to come out to my parents. They are pretty religious, and when I've tried coming out in the past, they respond with "oh well you're only feeling this was because you spend too much time on the internet" or "you need to go to church more". I still do believe/ have faith in god. 100%. I guess I just don't know what to do..

Hard to say because I don’t know your age, how long you’ve known him, and other things that could help. The main thing that jumps out to me is you calling him “a female”. If you see him as female and feel the need to come out as…as what? that is problematic. I don’t want to discourage you because it may just be that you aren’t clear on his identity or what words to use.

If you want to pursue a relationship with him, find out about his identity, preferred pronouns, name,and if he wants to be out or stealth.  Compared to a relationship with a cisguy,you have an added dimension of gender identity (and perhaps sexual orientation).  Ask yourself how you identify. Do you love him as the man he is or do you see him as a masculine woman? How does he see himself?

I know women who love transmen and identify as straight. They are women with men. Personally, I don’t think I would be happy if I were a transwoman and my partner identified as a gay man. Everyone has their own feeling so you need to find out his and explore yours.

Finally, being very religious isn’t an indication of them not respecting and accepting of your relationship with a transman or if you are pansexual. If they are very religious in a religion unaccepting of non-heterosexual, non-cisgender people, you may have to talk more about how you identify, that it isn’t going to change, you know God loves you as you are, and want them to love you as well. 

Question from Anonymous

I told my parents that i'm gay this year and while they didn't seem angry about it at all, there was a horribly long and awkward silence for a while and they seemed very shocked. Since then I've noticed that whenever me or my brother (who's also gay) bring up anything LGBT-related they're silent or try to change the subject. While I'm glad they aren't angry or upset I wish I could talk to them about things that affect me because of my sexuality without the uncomfortable silence. any advice?

They are hoping you’ll forget about it or it will just go away. Or, they don’t have any idea of how to support you or what to say or do. Either way- PFLAG could help. If you think you could get them to a meeting, go  to PFLAG.org to look for meetings in your area. If not, you can read and download tons of support information. As hard as this way is, NOT talking about it yet may be better than saying something they will regret later. It sounds to me as if you’ve given them enough time and it may be time for them to seek outside help. 

Hang in there.

Question from Anonymous

My family is Mormon. I was raised in the Mormon church and I am finally accepting that I'm a lesbian. I don't know if I will be able to come out to my family and tell them. My cousin knows, and she's not judgmental at all. I'm afraid when I come out my family isn't going to talk to me anymore. And it makes me sad. What should I do?? Should I wait until leaving for college in the fall or until after I'm able to support myself better?

I know so many LGBT mormons- so many excommunicated mormons - and some gay mormon activists.

Hang onto your cousin, I’m happy to hear you have some family you know you can count on. 

I can’t tell you what your family will do. My hope is they will love as they love you now - and - that they won’t try to change you.

Waiting until college. If you do that, be prepared for them to blame college for turning you gay. Before you come out though, make sure you can support yourself through college. That could mean scholarships, grants, loans, etc. Don’t give up college and the promise of being able to support yourself plus having a career that makes you happy. 

Look up “mormon and gay” and you’ll find support groups out there.

Question from Anonymous

I'm afab and I've just come to the solid realization that I'm genderfluid-leaning-female. I'm afraid to voice this in a queer community because femme-genderfluid is preeeety close to plain old female, my assigned gender at birth, and I'm worried everyone will think I'm "not genderfluid enough" or just trying to be special. I think I'll just stay in the closet and hope this really is just a phase.

People have trouble understanding anything outside the strict gender binary. Queer people are no different unless they experience it themselves. 

There is no such thing as “genderfluid enough”. There is no standard for judging genderfluidity. 

If people think fem-genderfluid = cisfemale, they are wrong. That’s all, just wrong. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to convince them otherwise. Unless there is something unusual and odd about your queer community, it shouldn’t matter if you meet anyone’s genderfluid standards.

Question from Anonymous

Hi! I'd like to get your perspective on something as a parent. I have grown up in an abusive household, and now my involvement with my local PFLAG chapter is making me feel pressured to come out to them. I'm not sure how they would react. At the same time, I feel like if I stay closeted only to them (I'm out everywhere else) I'm not being a good representative of PFLAG. What are your thoughts?

You probably could guess that I am a BIG supporter of PFLAG.

You do NOT owe any group anything! Do not let ANYONE pressure you to come out when you are not ready. I believe that coming out is a highly personal issue and only YOU can know if you are ready -and want - to do it. A good representative of PFLAG helps people  find support when needed. That’s it, not to be out. Maybe they see something you’re missing but, from what you say here, I’m disappointed that a group, especially PFLAG, would put pressure on you.

Do you live with your parents? I would be very cautious around abusive people. That makes me uneasy. You don’t have to come out to your parents while you are in “reaching distance” of their abuse. If they are emotionally abusive, you may need to get counseling before you’re strong enough to deal with that. (trust me, I’m still working on that and I’m WAY grown up).

Perhaps you could tell them right out that you are uncomfortable about feeling pressured and you will come out to your parents, or not, in your own time…but you appreciate their concern for you. It does sound like they may feel close enough to you that they feel they could give you such advice. With abusive parents, it must be nice to have a PFLAG family. Though- if you come from an abusive home, you may be conditioned to obey adults, in which case, you feel you need to listen to these people. That makes sense- I hope you will seek counseling  to work out the crappy parts of your life sooner - rather than later.

coming out as bi

I have two annon. questions about coming out as bisexual. I will answer them together.

There is little you can do to convince someone that bisexuality is a real thing. I would suggest knowing that you know your sexuality and it doesn’t matter if someone doubts you. It must be hard, though, to be considered invisible. 

For parents not talking to their kids after they come out as bi- Try to keep the lines of potential communication open. Don’t burn your bridges. When you are independent, self-supporting, and if things are still just as bad, you might have to accept the fact that they aren’t going to be in your life. In that case, you create your own family…family of choice. You will probably end up doing that anyway. 

To make it easier…I really wish I had an answer for that.

Question from yornociam

I came out to my dad as bisexual 2 years ago when I was 16, and he pretty much said no you're not you're gay or straight, you'll decide later. Turns out I still like my gender and others! As a parent, how do you think I could reaffirm this? Also I haven't told my mom, so should I tell her before I go off to college or after? (I'm pretty sure she'll be ok with it, just a shock at first). Just answer from your perspective as a parent, even though it's different for everyone. Thanks!

I guess you could tell him that he may think you’re gay or straight but that just isn’t the case. Sounds like he’ll get used to it. 
I always suggest telling parents before you leave for college. If you wait till after, they will  blame college for ‘turning you gay’ or bi. Better for them to know it happened while you were living with them, not those crazy gay-making colleges! ;)