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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » How should I tell my parents.

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Author Topic: How should I tell my parents.
CloneeFacee
Neophyte
Member # 97567

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My girlfriend and I have been together for about a year and she recently told me that I should tell my parents about our relationship. I don't want to disappoint her so I said I would tell them. The thing is, my parents aren't there biggest supporters of the LGBT community and I'm scared they won't accept me. Can somebody PLEASE help me out here?! Thank you. [Confused]

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ZomBie&theHerd

Posts: 20 | From: Poughkeepsie, New York | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
copper86
Peer Ambassador
Member # 95710

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Hi,

I understand how uncomfortable it is to be honest with your parents or family members regarding something you believe they might not approve of. One thing I'd like to as is this: do you know for sure that they would not accept you or that they are truly against LGBT groups or rights? Regardless of any of their preferences, you are still their child, and you have a free will and definitely the rights to feel the way you do, even if it's separate feelings from how they feel - does that make sense?

You can always have a talk with your girlfriend about your worries surrounding telling your parents. I think you should tell them because you want to, and not necessarily because you don't want to disappoint her. I am assuming that by telling them about her, you are also coming out to them; or do I have that wrong? Either way, these are decisions you definitely get to make, and you can always ask for her support in whatever you decide to do.

I have two close friends who have recently come out to their families - one as gay and the other as a lesbian. Both came from religious homes with officials from the church in the home (just to show you that there was some apprehension to tell due to perceived beliefs or fears of not being accepted). The girl had very understanding and accepting parents - in fact, her mother already knew, it seemed - and though the boy had a harder time, his family has accepted him, I think they're closer than before, and he has brought boyfriends home and his parents have accepted who he is.

I'm not trying to persuade you to tell your parents about your relationship or not - but if you'd like to because that is something you want, then that is certainly something you can do. You can make a list of the pros and cons of telling them, think about their potential questions for you and anticipate some potential answers, or you could jot out an outline of what you'd like to say, just in case you get nervous in the moment.

If you do decide to tell them, you could tell them when you are alone in your home, or when you know you all have a free afternoon or evening to discuss things. If things will feel rushed and that makes you uncomfortable, perhaps pick a different time.

Did your girlfriend tell her family about the relationship? If so, how did she do it and how did it go? Asking her for her experiences might be beneficial, too.

I hope you're doing well, and try not to worry about this! Take care! [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

Posts: 692 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CloneeFacee
Neophyte
Member # 97567

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Thank you! This advise is great for my confidence. About your question about how my girlfriend told her family about us, the answer is she didn't have to. I mean yes she came out to them as being a lesbian, but in her family, it isn't that big of deal to be homosexual. So I can't really ask her for help with how to address my parents. Do you think maybe you could give me some pointers on how to bring up the subject? And maybe how to approach it so that I can get them to really understand? That's be super helpful! Thank you so much. [Smile]

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ZomBie&theHerd

Posts: 20 | From: Poughkeepsie, New York | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey, Clonee.

Can I first check in with you about how you're feeling about telling your parents? I certainly get a partner feeling uncomfortable with secrets and sneaking around and wanting that to end, but I also want to make sure coming out to your parents is something you want to do, for yourself, and get a sense of how safe or not-safe this is for you.

When you say you're scared they won't accept you, what are you realistically anticipating here? Are we talking conflict or disbelief, but nothing big-scary, or are you afraid of being kicked or or abused in some way?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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CloneeFacee
Neophyte
Member # 97567

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I would love to tell my parents about my girlfriend but as I've mentioned, I'm afraid they won't accept me. I don't mean that they'll kick me out or anything of that sort but I would hate to see a look of disgust in their eyes whenever they have to talk to me. That's what scares me. I love my parents and I want them to know everything about who I am, but I don't want to be less of a good daughter for having a girlfriend and living a different type of lifestyle. Does that make any sense?

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ZomBie&theHerd

Posts: 20 | From: Poughkeepsie, New York | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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It sounds like you have a good relationship with your parents, and you want it to stay that way.

You don't want them to view you as different, or to think of or act towards you negatively.

You said above that your parents aren't the biggest supporters of the LGBT community. Can you talk more about that? About how they've expressed that lack of support and what other feelings they've expressed? There's a long way between not being fully positive and supportive of a group of people and looking at your daughter with disgust every time you see her, so I'd like to hear a little more about where these fears are coming from so we can figure out how to helkp and support you.

[ 10-05-2012, 09:49 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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CloneeFacee
Neophyte
Member # 97567

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My mother comes from a very religious family and she was raised to think of homosexuality as a sin. She isn't outwardly agressive towards gays or lesbians but she has told me on a few occasions about how she can't believe in a world that would condone any kind of sin, homosexuality included. But its not really her I'm worried about. I feel like she and I will figure things out pretty quickly if it was just me and her talking about and not my stepdad. However, my stepfather is pretty outspoken on LGBT rights. He's conservative and doesn;t really care what others think about him. He voted against gay marriage laws and everything. He's the one I'm most worried about. I love him but I get the feeling that he won't love me if I come out to them and that he'll try to make my mom not love me anymore and my sisters. It's a scary thing, to be afraid of being yourself around the people who are supposed to accept you no matter what.

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ZomBie&theHerd

Posts: 20 | From: Poughkeepsie, New York | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

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Hi Clonee, hope don't mind me jumping in, here.

Please know that nobody can 'make' anyobody not love anyone anymore. How likely do you think it is that your mom's love is conditional, in the sense that it depends on what your stepdad thinks of you?

And yes, it can feel very scary; but unfortunately our families don't always accept who we are. I know how seriously painful that is, especially when we're all raised to believe that our families will naturally accept us no matter what, and if they don't, then there's something 'wrong' with us. Know that that just isn't true at all - sometimes, our parents just don't accept who we are - no matter who we are, or what we do.

This is just a suggestion; but do you think you and your mom could have a talk together about your fears that your stepdad not accepting you due to differences will lead your her to not accept you either? If telling her doesn't feel 100% right to you at that point, you obviously would have to do that. But, do you think having a talk with her about how much influence your stepdad holds over her relationship with you is an option?

If you do decide to come out (as, Heather said, this a personal decision only you can make), we have an article about that here: Don't Let the Door Hit you on the Way Out.

[ 10-10-2012, 09:15 AM: Message edited by: Rei ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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