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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » I don't know if I can talk to my dad anymore

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Author Topic: I don't know if I can talk to my dad anymore
schroeder
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My relationship with my biological father has always been tense and he's never really been a major presence in my life. After not talking to him for about 3-4 years (I lost count), I decided to be nice and invite him to my wedding last September. I have visited him once since at Christmas with my husband.

Anyways, when I was a teenager I tried to come out to my dad and stepmother (I am bisexual) who I was living with at the time and they threatened to throw me out. My dad said that if I had relationships with women he would disown me.

So flash forward to a week ago when all of the marriage equality stuff was going on. I shared a picture which said "I am bisexual and I support marriage equality", and a corresponding status. My dad's response was to post Bible verses on my status. My friends defended me. But now I'm afraid to talk to him and I feel really ashamed that he knows.

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post this as I know I have straight privilege because I am in a straight relationship.

Posts: 90 | From: Virginia | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
schroeder
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I should add that this was the first time that I have come out in a "public" way and now I feel really discouraged.
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Heather
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I don't know why this would be the wrong place to post this. Everyone potentially has a sexual orientation and identity, so even if you *were* straight -- rather than being a bisexual person being afforded some privileges you get because you're in a relationship with a man -- it'd be okay to post here.

I'm so sorry this went this way for you, schroeder.

I'm heading to bed, and will be out tomorrow, so I won't be able to talk more until then, but I at least wanted you to know it was seen, and to hear from someone. Coming out to parents, especially in public, is always so loaded, and having it go badly is always such a huge bucket of suck. Even though he doesn't sound like a primary parent to you, I know how much this can sting, and also stir up fears about being out, period.

If someone else doesn't dip their toe into this later tonight or tomorrow, I'll be back around myself Thursday morning.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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Thanks Heather! I just often feel invisible (because I can very easily pass for straight) and thus like I don't have very much to add in conversations which take place in the LGBTQ community.

This definitely had a negative effect on my feelings about being out in general and I'm feeling really insecure even though my friends are supportive.

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schroeder
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So something else happened today. My mom, who has always been very supportive of me told me I should take my facebook status and picture down because I shouldn't label myself like that on the internet where anyone can see it. I'm feeling kind of low right now.
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Molias
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schroeder, I'm so sorry to hear that your dad and mom haven't been very supportive of you as you've come out. It can be such a stressful and scary process, and I think people have a responsibility to take that trust that's placed in them by the person coming out and live up to it by being respectful and supportive, not negative and judgmental.
I'm glad that some friends were being supportive when your dad was posting bible quotes at you, but I can only imagine that it was still painful. And if you don't want to talk to your dad for a while, or at all, you certainly have that right.

Did your mom go into any detail about why she didn't think you should keep that information public? I certainly don't think being bisexual is anything to be ashamed of or hide (unless hiding it from some people keeps you safe from harm), but maybe she does? That wouldn't make it right for her to try to shove you back in the closet, but I'm just curious if you have a sense of why she said that to you.

I certainly hear you on feeling invisible in the larger queer community - there are still a lot of folks who fall under that umbrella but are pretty disrespectful to bisexual people, especially ones in relationships that might look "straight" to an outside observer. But your voice and experiences are definitely still important, and there are definitely plenty of bi-friendly people and groups out there, if you do want to make those community connections.

Do you have any sympathetic queer/bisexual friends you can talk this over with? A lot of folks have had unpleasant coming-out experiences, sadly, and sometimes just sharing those frustrating stories and feelings with someone who's been through the process can be helpful. Also, if there is any sort of queer community center near you, a lot of them will have discussion or support groups; something like that might be useful. My experience with this sort of group has ranged from great to pretty uncomfortable, but a great one can be a fantastic experience. If that's something you'd be interested in we could try to help you find one.

Again, I'm really sorry that you got this reaction. =(

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schroeder
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My mom seemed to think it was bad to label myself in public because people (like future employers) might discriminate against me in the future. Additionally she's nervous about how information from Facebook is or is not kept private and what it is used for. Plus my family can see it and they are not supportive.

I only have one friend who is a bisexual/lesbian and she is still mostly in the closet herself. She did try to come out to her mom but it went badly, and ended with her mom thinking it is just a phase. It helped to talk to her but I still feel very conflicted.

[ 04-03-2013, 08:31 PM: Message edited by: schroeder ]

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schroeder
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With regard to the community center, I don't really feel comfortable being out in exclusively queer spaces because I feel like they're not intended for me.
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schroeder
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I'm now considering removing my Facebook posts as damage control because I feel so rejected by my family and very ashamed. My mom even sent me an e-mail last night reminding me to do it because it's apparently that important to her.

I'm an adult and on the one hand I feel like I should be able to do whatever makes me happy (as long as it's safe and legal). But on the other hand I rely a lot on my family minus my dad as my support network and I don't want them to view me differently. I suppose another option is hiding the posts so that my family can't see them. But I wanted so badly for everyone to know about my orientation and be okay with it.

Sorry I'm posting so many different things before anyone has a chance to reply to them.

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Heather
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It's okay.

Whether you keep the posts up or not is obviously your call, but it obviously can't undo the level of out you went here. Or change what's happened with your family.

In terms of that decision, I'd think about it for a day or two, considering what you want here versus what your mother does. Employers can't legally discriminate against you for your orientation, but I'd also think about -- you know your Mom well, after all -- if what she's saying around that is really about that or not. It sounds like that might be more an excuse on her part than anything else.

There is NOTHING for you to feel ashamed about here, though. After all, you weren't the one who responded to someone being who they are with bigotry.

Like Mo, I too think some more community, if it's available to you, would probably do you good. I understand -- professionally and also personally -- how it might feel like queer spaces aren't for you, but you know, that B is in those acronyms for a reason. It's in there. Unless spaces are explicitly gay or lesbian, they ARE for you. And they're usually going to be populated by/with people who understand exactly what you're struggling with right now.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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I felt okay with that level of coming out when I posted it and I still feel okay right now with it. I think my solution may be to just hide it from my mother since my father has already seen it. But I am going to think about it for a day or two.

Having people tell me that there's nothing to be ashamed really helps.

I have no idea where to begin to look for more community in my area. When I was in college I belonged to an activist group called Queer Action but I wasn't out to them. Is this something you can help me with?

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Molias
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If you can give us your general area (town or postal code), we can go from there and take a look at what might be nearby. =)
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schroeder
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My zip code is 22191.
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Molias
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Thanks! I'm on it; I'll try to have some resources for you by the end of the day.
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schroeder
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Thanks! I really appreciate it.
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Molias
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Sadly, it looks like there isn't a lot right in your area, but as you get closer to DC there are some more options. I'll list out a few I found that look promising.

BiNet USA is a bisexuality-specific organization; they're headquartered in Arlington but it looks like most of the resources are based online. They have a mailing list, blog, first-person narratives, and a large collection of links to other groups.

There is a specific DC area Bi and Lesbian Married Women group; their group description makes it sound like this would be a very welcoming place for you and that folks here probably have a lot of experience in feeling "invisibly queer" in marriages. Not much on the website but they have a mailing list you can join.

Meetup.com has a search function and a lot of groups; the most relevant one I found so far is Northern Virginia Bisexuals Network but you could try the search function there and see what else you come up with.

I hope this helps! If I come across anything else, I'll come back and add to this list. =)

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schroeder
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Thanks Molias! I'm in the process of checking out the resources.
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Heather
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I'm around today, too, schroeder, if you want to talk more about any of this.

--------------------
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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WesLuck
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I wish you the best with all of this! It can be hard to deal with the idea that "if you're not straight, you're gay" with nothing in between. It's like replacing (or adding) the gender binary to the orientation binary. But I commend you on sticking up for something that's an integral part of you - and anyone who discriminates against you because of it (or using it as an excuse) is not someone who is enjoyable to be around.

Best wishes for this year (and plenty more too [Smile] )!

[ 04-07-2013, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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