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Author Topic: Scared about the future
Cian
Activist
Member # 44405

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I'm scared that I won't be able to deal with the possible discrimination and hate associated with my same-sex partnership. I'm worried that it'll affect my work environment (personally I want to be able to talk about my girlfriend like anyone else in a relationship, I'd prefer not having to be gender neutral about it but I feel like I have to make amends to avoid making people uncomfortable) and how my future neighbors might not like us and how both our families might reject us and how having children will be not only difficult but emotionally burdensome because some people could see us as being irresponsible for bringing a child into a same-sex parent family (I know that's not the case, but to know that my future child will likely be submitted to hardship simply because of us, it tears my heart apart. I really do want to have a child at some point but at the same time I'm scared.) And how we have to go to a different state if we want to be married (still waiting for a partnership law that'd make registered partnerships equal to married couples...) and how people might view our marriage. (some people think gays getting married are pompous and attention seeking. Unfair judgment if you ask me.)

I feel guilty when I think that I could choose not to complicate my life like that, because I am bisexual and I could just as well choose to abide by heteronormative expectations and things wouldn't be as difficult. However I've been with my girlfriend for 6 years and I love her very deeply, we are excellent for each other, and that's why I feel guilty ever thinking I'd end the relationship simply because I'm scared about the difficulties in the future.

I don't know, I have not faced any of these obstacles so far because we are long distance and our parents don't know about our relationship. My friends have been supportive of my sexuality which is a huge relief, so have the few of hers who know, but she's not ready to be openly out because she fears some of her friends and her sister (they live together) in particular will not be as supportive.

I'm terrified about the first time someone will reject me or even devalue me based on my sexuality alone. If it were they rejected me because I was a mean horrible person I'd understand, but my sexuality has little to do with who I am. It's just who I'm with.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Cian: have you gotten connected yet at all with any queer community in person?

In other words, it's sounding to me like you might be having a lot of these thoughts in a vacuum, without leaning on other LGBTQ folks around, including some who likely know both about facing discrimination, and dealing with it, but also about finding support.

(Can I also check in with you and see if you and your girlfriend still have had this relationship be online-only? Have you met yet in person?)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cian
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There is no venue, I tried asking around from people at my university if they knew about any kind of communal efforts there would be but apparently my school has failed in that respect that there doesn't seem to be a queer community to join in. As for where else to look, I am at a loss. I'd see about starting some activity myself but I don't feel like I have the capacity to do that.
I did briefly discuss it with my psychologist but sadly she no longer works at my university and the soonest I can be booked in for appointments with our new psychologist is early May.(Which, like I told them, I felt is much too late. I am fighting a losing battle against depression right now. Not in early May.)

And yes, we have seen in person. She came here last summer for 3 weeks (and met my family and friends and while my family knows what happened between us, they do not know that we are still a couple because I was not ready to be outed at that point) and I went to see her after Christmas for two weeks (and likewise met her family and friends). She's now saving up to come back here this upcoming summer and will likely spend 2 months here.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Oh, great. I'm so glad you two were able to actually meet! [Smile]

Have you looked outside your university and instead at whatever city you're in?

I mean, one thing I can say -- not sure if it'll help, but will give it a shot anyway -- is that as someone who has faced discrimination for being queer, I've also faced discrimination in my life for there things outside of my control. For being female, for being poor, when I was little, for not being the desired ethnicity in one side of my family, for having disability and also for doing the job that I've done over the last 13 years. All of it sucks, because of course it does.

I don't think thinking about ways you could avoid it makes you crappy. I think it makes you human. At the same time, I have a hard time envisioning you making a choice of who to seriously partner with based on this rather than based on who you want, in your heart, to partner with, you know? As well, as someone who counsels straight people or people loving very much in straight-world a lot, I'd also say that I'm pretty clear that it's obviously no easy street itself, since a lot of those expectations themselves involve -isms and discriminations and some serious discomfort. You know?

As well, it might help to remember that most of the time, no relationship is going to be universally applauded by everyone in your life or everyone you meet, no matter who it's with.

I think it van help to realize that it's unlikely for lots and lots of us to avoid discrimination in our lives by trying to make life choices around that avoidance. What's clearly seemed to work a whole lot better is us living our lives as feels right to us, doing so with care, and then working to change culture so that this continues to decrease. I mean, your concern about this is 2011 is high, but imagine if you had to face this in 1940 or even 1980. Things have radically changed over time -- in all honesty, your concerns here are very real, and these things can happen, but chances are it's going to be a lot more fine than you're thinking -- and that's because we've changed them: you have that capacity, too.

One thing I think you both might want to talk about, 6 years into a relationship you're clearly thinking very seriously about continuing and cementing, is having it be less of a secret in gradual steps sooner, rather than later. The way you're feeling around this is no doubt amplified to at least some degree because so much of this remains in the abstract for you. Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cian
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Thanks Heather! We are pretty happy about being able to visit each other as well. [Smile]

I tried searching for any kind of support or discussion groups in my city and there is only one group that's functioning under the country-wide umbrella GLBT-organization. However their activities are infrequent and consist apparently only from parties in night clubs.

I understand that not everyone is going to embrace our relationship with open arms. But at the same time I am very sensitive to (unfair) critique and rather than stepping above it, I will easily take it to heart as some kind of an universal truth and that /I/ am wrong in being in a same-sex partnership.
Ridiculous? Yes, I know it really is, but I've been like this since early childhood I've been told.

And yes, we have been gradually making our relationship less of a secret. For me, I'm open about it with my social circles, such as school. I suppose the worst for me is my uncertainty on how my family will take it and ultimately fearing that they will reject me, equally so her family (because having met them, I can earnestly say that I truly love her family, her mother especially who also seemed to take to me equally kindly. She said that I should just stay with them and be their Caucasian daughter, heh.)
As for how open my girlfriend is and wants to be is ultimately up to her. We both have a good many years worth of closeting to come to terms with.

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Heather
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I don't think there is anything ridiculous about the fears and feelings you are having. Discrimination or harassment, whatever they're about, are very big deals and can really hurt people: they're intended to, after all, and are all too effective at that.

With the LGBT org, do they have an email? If so, you can email them, and ask them for resources around queer community, support groups, etc. Even if what they offer themselves isn't what you need, they may know where you can find what you do.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cian
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I did e-mail them but it seems that they are not very organized. However I put forward a suggestion that they'd have more frequent get-togethers and actually announced activities on campus, because apparently they do get together for a coffee every now and then, but they just don't announce it anywhere. (Kind of silly if you ask me, this is exactly why I didn't think there was anything available at my school.)

I've been trying not to let things get to me. But this is a difficult time of the year for me. (season related depression) Sometimes it feels so overwhelming. It doesn't help none that I and my girlfriend will most likely face a whole lot of trouble in the future as I will most likely have to move to SoCal after I graduate (I'm from Europe) and because civil partnerships aren't recognized by immigration and because I don't have any "outstanding talent not found in the US" I don't know how will I ever get a green card. I understand it'd take years even if we were a hetero-couple and got married, but at least then we'd have a chance. Right now it looks pretty darn bleak.

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Cian
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There is yet another "Cure" campaign here where I live, which basically says "You can be whatever you want to be, but if you're not hetero, you're going to hell" and while I'm not religious and I don't reckon an all forgiving, loving god would send their creations to hell for homosexuality, it does have an impact. Many public forums express negativity towards homosexuality, and I feel that while the political scene is progressive on achieving equality and banning discrimination, the societal level is lagging behind regarding homosexuality as a disease.
Many people argue that homosexuals are unhappy.
I reckon it might be true. But I don't think most of them are unhappy because they're homosexuals, they are unhappy because they are discriminated against most unfairly based on our sexuality.

In the campaign a bisexual girl is "cured" from her bisexuality with faith and will to live according to the religion's heterosexual standards. And while I totally agree that yes, your sexuality can change and there's nothing wrong with that, I find that changing your sexuality because of outside influence is not the right way to go.

I try voicing this on public forums but alas, my points are either disregarded or shouted down, which makes me question whether I am wrong in my assessment.
I find it sad that on a societal level there seems to be so much hate.

I sure hope things will get better. I don't want to live my life in fear.

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eryn_smiles
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Hi Cian,

Sorry to read that you're going through all this at the moment and I am with you in solidarity! I think actually you're very brave to be speaking up in public forums when homophobic sentiments are voiced. Good on you. Often, I find that really hard.

I think that meeting some queer friends and family could make things alot better. For me it helped anyway. I try my best to avoid public forums where people are homophobic and to go to queer friendly places. Sometimes of course, it's not that easy, like in my workplace or with family. But even then, when you're out to one or two people who support you, it can make a big difference to how you feel.

I think you mentioned above about how it can be difficult to have children. I used to feel that it would be impossible for me until I was lucky enough to meet a few older lesbian couples along with their kids. I've seen how happy and well-adjusted their kids are, and it gives me hope.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Cian
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Thanks, Eryn! Yes, I agree, when I first came out to a few of my friends I felt a lot better about it, especially since none of them took it in a bad way. (I'd found it hard to believe if they had, anyway, so I wasn't really worried.)

With the new election of the parliament having taken place yesterday, I am feeling a little disheartened again, as one of the "Big Three" parties is an extreme-conservative nationalist movement. I looked at their respective campaigns which conveniently don't mention sexual minorities. However looking at their personal opinions, all have voted against gay rights. (marriage (or civil partnership becoming legally equal to marriage) and adoption, namely) and one has specifically quoted saying "We're going to put green-hippies (nature conservationist) and homosexuals where they belong-- in the margin." They're also immigration "critical" or xenophobic if you will, which I find upsetting seeing as my girlfriend is "twice the foreign", being an Asian-American.
Of course one party alone doesn't get to make any decisions, but they do get to have a very major say in issues I personally find very major.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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