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"I came out 2 years ago to my parents and at first they seemed cool with it but lately they have been making offensive comments and refusing to let me see my friends/date. I’m 18 and have a decent job and a really good friend offered a room in his house for cheap for me to live. My parents hate the idea and want me to stay home, but being at home make me super depressed, what should I say to them?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

I think the best way to handle this is to say you’re going to try living on your own to see what it’s like and to let them know you appreciate them. You appreciate that you have a home with them and you feel supported in knowing that if something happened you could come back home.

THAT is what I think you should say to them, HOWEVER, I want you to know that getting out of a home environment that doesn’t make you feel comfortable / safe / loved is very important to your mental and emotional health. If you have the ability and the resources to live in a place where you can be yourself and start to live the life you want to live, you should absolutely do it.

I think it’ll be scary and hard and you might get some flak from your parents, but I think that flak is worth the lifetime of of misunderstanding.

Besides, how much longer would they REALLY keep you there? 2 years? 4 years? That’s such a small difference for them to let go of, you know? You are making the right decision.

Kristin Says:

I agree with a couple of the sentiments that Dannielle has offered, but I have a thing or two I would like to add. Yes, I agree that you should get tf out of your house and move in with your friend. Yes, I agree that there is a positive way to talk to your family about this, without doors slamming and eyes rolling and spit flying…

However, I think your parents need and deserve to know what has pushed you to make this decision.

Let’s stop there for a moment: You should only speak to them once you have made the decision. This means you know how you are paying the first month or two of rent, it means you have a plan for when you are moving, it means you’ve discussed all the particulars with your friend/future roommate. Once that is all settled, then you sit down with your parents.

And yes, you should absolutely sit down with them. I would let them know, either in a note or an email or a conversation, that you want to have time to sit down and discuss some big life-things with them. This is a big deal for you and for them, and it is rooted in a place that needs a lot of attention for you to have a good relationship with them in the future, so it deserves a proper sit-down.

Cool, so now here we are at this sit-down talk. This is where you tell them that your friend has offered you a room, that you have prepared your rent and made arrangements, and that you love them very much, but you know that this is the best decision for you. That part Dannielle covered… but I don’t think you stop there. They need to know why you have made this decision. They need to know that their comments have hurt you, and that their restrictions have made your home environment extremely upsetting. You don’t have to say this in a way that makes them feel like the scum on the bottom of your shoe… in fact, you should speak to them as their child who is very hopeful that they will be able to grow, learn, and become a supportive force in your life.

I would give them This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, and I would also let them know about The Parents Project and PFLAG, and any other resources that you might have in your area. Tell them you love the person you are, and that you want to work to a place where they also love all of the pieces of that person.

Tell them you want to have weekly family dinners. Tell them that you will miss them and that you love them (it’s okay to hit this point a few times). Remain firm in your choice, because it is a very, very important choice to make. You are choosing support and positivity, and you are giving yourself the space to be yourself and your parents the space to learn and grow.

<3

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"Hey! I am TERRIFIED of growing up/ moving out. Is this normal???WHAT CAN I DOOOOOO????"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

oooh. The thing is, being terrified of the future and not knowing exactly how to navigate all that is ahead is a thing that does not disappear one day. There are always new things we have to experience and know nothing about.

You’ll get past moving out, you’ll do it and feel awesome and feel capable and feel so much better being on your own and making decisions for you. You’ll get past figuring out how to apply for an apartment and paying taxes and calling your building manager when your toilet overflows. You’ll figure out how to compare grocery store prices, and get past a broken heart. You’ll understand that google maps doesn’t know ANYTHING about short cuts, and someone will yell at you for parking in their spot, this will make you cry. Your bank will NOT warn you about over-drafting, and you WILL pay your electric bill late twice in a row. You will call your parents sobbing, you will ask to borrow money when you feel FAR TOO OLD to be borrowing money. Then you will lose your job, a job you LOVED, you’ll turn down hanging out with friends because you can’t afford it, you’ll take a job you hate, and you’ll get past it. You will get a flat tire in the middle of the night, you will get on the wrong train, you will be convinced you fell in love with someone on that train, you’ll know for certain you were on that wrong train for a reason, you’ll write a missed connection, you won’t get a response, you’ll feel defeated for weeks over this person you never even ACTUALLY interacted with, you’ll get past that, too.

Life is just trial and error. You fuck up, you learn from it, you move on, you do the best you can. Growing up is fucking hard and no one EVER says that… Although, I guess they also don’t tell us it’s hard, but we can do it.

Kristin Says:

Amen.

And yes, Anonymous, it is completely and totally and one million percent normal to be afraid of things that we don’t yet understand. It is one of the defining pieces of being a human being, in fact.

We all stumble through this life, sometimes feeling courage and other times feeling fear, and all the while learning how our own personal brain and heart manage those feelings, and how we can help them along as we face new things for the first time.

In six days, we have a book coming out. I have never written a book… nor have I been a part of a book release, or anything like it. My brain and heart are both excited for this big change, sure… but I am also terrified, and in a kind of daze where I may as well be walking into walls. I’ve had a couple anxiety attacks, even. Change is scary and hard, even when that change is the most incredible thing that has ever happened in your entire life.

So, yes, your feelings make sense.

As for what you might do with those feelings, I can only tell you what I have learned along the way… and that is to have a conversation with myself. I ask myself what is making me so scared. I look at that fear and really think about where it is coming from. That helps me accept it for what it is, even if the rumblings of being afraid are still present, and sometimes it actually helps make the fear go away. The other part is the leap. In six days, Dannielle and I will leap. When you move out, that will be one of your leaps. I have found that the fear is something that exists most strongly before the leap — once you put things in motion, you then start to know what the reality feels like, and so the fear goes away. In its place comes a new and fucking fantastic part of your life.

<3


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“I am living in an apartment with my significant other and want to end the relationship.
We share a room and my lease isn't up until the summer
Advice?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

OH GOD WHYYYYY. THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST.

One of my super closies (who I totally dated b/c that’s how lesbians do) had to go through this, i think, TWICE IF NOT MORE in her life. ##sheneverlearns …Also, I will prolly get in trouble for posting this BUT WHATEVS.

Basically it’s the worst thing in the world, but you can’t ignore it. You can’t just pretend everything is okay. If you dont wanna be with her, you don’t wanna be with her and if you try to fake it, you’re both going to be totes mizzy (totally miserable). If you have a solid friend crew and your girlf is a crazy, then talk to one or two of your friends and be like ‘whatshernuts is gonna kick me out and i’m gonna need a floor to crash on’ but if she’s a cool girl, maybe you could awkwardly live on the couch for a while.

Since you’re doing the breaking, i feel like you need to be the one who’s like ‘i will go somewhere else if i need to’…bc if you were like ‘i dont like you anymore, find somewhere else to live’…that would be so shitty… you know? SO MANY ELLIPSES. Anyway, you know what you need to do, it just sucks to do it. Sometimes things have to suck for a while.

Kristin Says:

Dannielle wasn’t referring to me earlier, but I have been in a similar position…TWICE.  The first time I was 21 and dumb as shit, and the second time I was 27 and a little less dumb as shit.  Accordingly, let me tell you what made the “little-less-dumb” experience slightly more bearable.

Prepare for the next few months in advance.  You do not want to be sharing the same bed with her for the next several months.  The best thing would be to line up a string of friends to stay with over the next few months; as hard as it is to be uprooted from your home, it’s nothing compared to sharing a bed with someone whose heart you have just broken.  Trust me.  (This is why it is a really good idea to make yourself lots of musician friends.  They go on tour, and you have a place to hide from the disaster that is your life.  You know?)

If you can figure out an alternative crash-pad, then sit her down and talk to her.  Explain to her the reasons why you can’t remain in the relationship, and that you have figured out some options so that you won’t have to be crying all over each other in bed every night until June.  It will still suck.  She will be hurt, and you will feel awful, but having the ability to get away from each other is necessary to heal.

If you can’t figure out another place to rest your head, then I would still talk to her.  The difference is that, rather than being like, “Yo, I can’t do this anymore. Boom. Singletown,” I would let her know that you are unhappy in the relationship and you aren’t sure that you want to remain living together after your lease is up.  Sleep on the couch as much as possible, and try to have compassion for her feelings while still being firm in your choices.  Don’t hook up with people until you are out of the apartment.  Be respectful, and remind yourself every day that you just have to make it through until the summer….and that you are now part of a very large club of lesbians who know understand where the term “living hell” originated.

I am not sure of the specifics of your relationship, but in case this applies…in the future, please abide by the following rule: DO NOT MOVE IN WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN DATING MORE THAN TWO YEARS OR ARE ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED.

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