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"I recently came out to my christian parents and they were pretty ok but then they wanted me to not come out to any more people or date (I haven’t) for a year. I said yes, but I’m worried that it’s just temporary and it’s going to come back to bite me in the ass after the year is over! I just graduated high school and I still live at home. What should I do? I’m a guy, btw :)"

- Question submitted by Shel

Dannielle Says:

I think you’re right to be worried about the ass-biting. Part A: I really wanted to say ass-biting. Part B: I think it’s damaging to do the opposite of what you want to make someone else a tiny bit happy, ESPECIALLY WHEN their happiness isn’t even legit.

Your parents aren’t any more comfortable because you’re hiding who you are from some people, it just makes them feel like they have some semblance of control in the situation.

I think you should come out when you want and TO WHOM you want, regardless of your parents. You can’t just hide and push things in the back of your brain forever, ya know? You will, at some point, lose your mind trying to please your parents…who BTW have made a completely unreasonable request.

You should tell them you love them, respect them, and want to get to a place where you can all understand one another. You should follow that up with an explanation of why you feel staying “in the closet” isn’t helpful to anyone. Let them know your plans to come out and ask for their support.

Kristin Says:

Absolutely. This is not a livable solution for anyone involved.

What are your parents reasons for asking you to remain closeted and single? That is the first thing you should find out, if you don’t already know. Is it because they are concerned about your safety? Is it because they think this is a phase that you will grow out of? Is it because they don’t want to have to deal with the reality of your sexuality? These are all very different places to be coming from, and in order for you to handle the situation in the best way, you have to figure our their reasoning. You have to ask them why.

Once you know the why, the name of the game is reassure them and do you. If safety is their concern, talk to them about those fears, and explain your reasoning and your plan to both come out and remain safe and responsible in your actions. If they think this is a phase, explain that you know yourself better than anyone else can, and that right now this is who you are, period. Whether or not that changes is irrelevant to your happiness right now. If they don’t want to deal with the reality… well, you are going to have to explain to them that facing the reality of the situation is critical for their happiness, and yours.

Dannielle is right: you have to do the things you need to do. You can (and should) talk to them about these decisions, and try to keep that dialogue open… but you hiding yourself against your will is totally uncool. Parents don’t always know what’s best — even for themselves.

Talk to them, be as patient as possible, but ultimately be firm in the things you need for yourself.

<3

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