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Author Topic: I need advice on coming out to my parents
smittenkitten
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Hi,

I am 15/bi and although most of my friends know my sexual orientatoin my parents don't.

Last year my dad had an affair around the time I was planning to come out so I had to wait for things to settle down. My grandparents are very religious and I don't want to disappoint them but I do want them to know the truth.

My mother said she wouldn't care if any of her children were bi but I beleive you can't know until it happens.

Please help,
gillians gal

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..because being evil is soo much more fun..
~dark queen of scully's non-existant social life~

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Heather
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I'd start with one person at a time, and it sounds like in this case, it might be best to start with your mother -- she's stated she's okay with it, and she sounds a little more stable than your Dad.

Honesty really is always the best policy, and I think saying what you have said here: that it's important to you that your family know what you're really about, and who you are.

You can simply tell your mother that you identify as bisexual, that it feels best to you of your options, and let her know you're happy to answer all of her questions as best you can. You can also let her know you'd like her support, but that she's allowed to feel how she feels about it at first -- that you don't need her to pretend to be okay with it if she isn't.

In addition, you may want to direct her to some books or information or support groups on the topic (like the book Bi Any Other Name, or a PFLAG group), and that you're there to work through it with her.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Mophead
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But it isn't always a good time to come out... like Gillian's Gal said, she wisely chose to wait until the end of her parents' troubles. Since my home situation is always a little weird, I think I would wait until an extreme lull.

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rebecca
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I agree with Mophead. I'm bisexual but I CAn'T tell my parents about it. I don't even tell my friends because I'm afraid they will feel uncomfortable or start patronizing me.

I have a crush on a friend of the same sex and I'm afraid she'll act strange and rethink or friendship... I just dumped a guy and if he knew I was bi, I'll never hear the end of it. He'll think the reason I broke up with him was because I am a dyke. (It's not).... It's so tough.
~r

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She would sell her mother to make a dime before closing time when he tells her so.


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rebecca
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Yuck I just reread my post and it sounds pathetic.
~r

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Heather
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Honey, that wasn't pathetic. It's challenging stuff. Cut yourself a break, eh?

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Hanne
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Yup, it's just hard to be bi -- in some ways harder than if you were plain old gay or plain old straight. It's the old "double edged sword" problem -- like if you come out to your female friends, will they think you're trying to say you're interested in THEM? (Not necessarily.) If you come out to your male friends, will they think they can hit on you and ask you if you'll have a threesome with them and their girlfriends? (Sometimes, and its rude as hell.) If you tell a former boyfriend, will he think you dumped him because you're a dyke? (Maybe, depends on how insecure he is, I guess.)

Biphobia's a toughie. Cut yourself a little slack, and remember that this is difficult stuff.

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Hanne Blank
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Mophead
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A few of my friends know, and they don't treat me any differently. But my parents would be really ashamed. And worried. So I'm basically staying closeted to keep them calm.

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rebecca
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Oh, I told one of my friends, but he's bi, too. But he was real snobby about it. He was like: Honey, I think you are just confused, I'm the one who's really bi here.

He thinks I'm just saying I'm bi for attention or something because I lean more towards guys and I never tell him about my crushes.

*Thanks, babe, you're supposed to be my BFF.*

Right now, I'm pretty muh wishing I'm not bi, just to keep my dignity intact
~r


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Mophead
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Rebecca, that sucks so much!

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smittenkitten
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Thankyou for your help :0)

The first person I told was my friend Annan, who is gay. We get along well because we relate to each other - although my constant swooning about Gillian Anderson is lost on him!!

None of my friends see me any different because of it, and I find I am alot more open around people who know :0)

Aggghh...stupid social taboos :0(

gillians gal :0)

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~dark queen of scully's non-existant social life~

Member of OBSSE & GAWS

"True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare, false friends are like autumn leaves, blowing everywhere"


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redgurly
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Hey, I'd really like to share my story with you, because I hope it can help you... I too am a bisexual teenager, 15, almost 16 years old. I've felt this way my entire life, but didn't start questioning it until like 7th grade... I'd kissed girls that were friends of mine, but I never thought anything of it, except that when I thought back, it was a turn on.. and it felt like a really beautiful thing... Finally, around the beginning of my 9th grade school year, I came to grips and was open to MYSELF about my bisexuality. The deal was coming out. My dad's brother is openly gay, and my family LOVES him.. and my mom has always said she thought I could "swing both ways" and that she wouldn't care. I finally told a few of my best friends and they were cool with it. I didn't know how to tell my mom so even tho we live together, I wrote her an email.. and I guess she's cool with it, but I think she's still maybe in denial. She's the only relative I've told so far, but I want to become more open now. All of my friends now know, and they are all very supportive. I've been dating a GUY for just over a year now. Being bisexual *is* really hard, as one above poster said. People think you're dirty, or that you'd have a bf and gf at the same time (which I'm against), gay people think you're not really bi, straight people think you're just gay.... it's hard to be understood. I wasn't looking for a relationship with a guy when I had finally broken up with my ex and became open about my sexuality, and I wanted a relationship with a girl, but I didn't want to put boundaries on possibly finding that one special person, and I ended up falling hard for a very good friend of mine.. and the feeling was mutual. I told him about a month or so after we started dating, and he was really cool about it. We've had lots of long talks about it, and he's really proud to have a bisexual girlfriend. The hardest, scariest part for me tho, was telling my *very* best friend. She never actually said she didnt like gay people, but she's got very strong religious beliefs, which I can respect. So she moved away this summer, and before then, everyone knew BUT her, because I was afraid to tell her and lose her friendship (although she should accept me, I respect that she has religous beliefs). So a bit after she moved, I wrote her a long letter telling her. At first, it took her a few days to sink in, but it only made our friendship stronger. She loves me more because I didn't tell her because I felt our friendship was too sacred to risk losing it over something that wasn't that big of a deal. But listen--don't ever be afraid to be proud of who you are, and don't listen to the **** people try to feed you... be who you are and be proud!! You only live once, so **** everyone else.. be you and be happy!! If you wanna talk more, email me.. --- edited per the user guidelines -- Hope I helped :-)

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 04-02-2001).]


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DrQuack5
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It was was almost the same with me. I still haven't come out to my parents (because my dad can seem to handle anything that's "not normal") but when I told my best friend, I was so damn nervous. I wrote her a note telling her and explaining that the reason I've been keeping things from her (the week before she called me and we somehow got into the "are there things you're not telling me?" discussion) was the I was afraid that she wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. The night that I gave her the note she called and the first thing she said (after hi) was "I am so proud of you." So now we're all cool again.
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crystal_lynn
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I can totally agree with Rebecca up there... I really do want to tell everyone but I'm just so damn nervous and I am afraid my friends will antagonize me and not want to be my friend anymore because they will think I am interested in them and such... gosh this is soo hard!!!!!

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"Do whatever you want, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. Because you can."--me


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BiRiotGrrl
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I really feel no need to tell my parents at this moment. I mean, they shoudn't automaticaly expect that iam straight just b/c I havn't said otherwise. I really can't come out to any of my friends, they totaly wouldnt understand. I remember sitting in class one day and hearing this girl manal and this guy norman talking about how if their sons or daughters were gay, they would do some really bad things, someone said that they would abondon their kid, someone even said they would either kill their kid or themselves. My mom would definatley understand. One of her old best friends was a lesbian. I am also Pagan, and she understood that. I dunno about my dad, he would freak out, he is very sexist. I hate that so much, I consider myself a feminist, and I heard him tell a story about how there was a chick playing hockey with thew guys, all the guys would hurt her, he called her a **** . Ugh. Anyway, I think my mom might already know I am more attracted to girls then guys, Iam in Middle School and I have never had a b/f. ANyway, I wish everyone who is coming out the very, very best of luck, and to never compromise b/c of what anyone says.
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goldengreeny Queeny
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Sometimes it takes a while. Look at me, legally an adult, living on my own (sometimes, and okay, I live in a commune ;p) and I still haven't told my parents. I told three of my best friends. Two of them told me they were also bi. And two of them aren't really my friends anymore. So I have one best friend, and she's bi, and so am I, and we're both cool with that. Her brother is, too... I think.

See, I live in a house with a f/f couple and my new, additional housemate is either bi or a lesbian... and neither of the couple believe in really broadcasting themselves. One of them is pagan, and she also doesn't broadcast that. They both had a lot of trouble with the parents of one of them, and hearing aobut it doesn't exactly encourage me. I'm not as ballsy as them -- my backbone is made of rubberbands. My mom has said in the past that she believes that bisexuality is the natural state of people, and society has trained us to pick one or the other... my dad has outright ranted about how wrong it is to like a member of the same sex whenever I bring it up.

So it seems like I should tell my mom first, right? Except my mom and I really haven't been getting along lately.. she's really hostile.. and before I went away for my first year at university, she was always like "so if you ever want to give your father a heart attack, tell him you're a lesbian." Except that I'm not gay, and I'm not a lesbian; I'm bi. There's a difference. It's like she's trying to yank me out of the (wrong) closet and push me back at the same time.

ARGH!

So, you see, you aren't alone in your tredidations. :>

-A


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Pixie69
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Feel special gurl, Hanne came out of her Witness Protection to give you advice

Coming out would have been hard for me, I'm sure, but after my parents read my e-mail it was easier to say it becuase I knew that they already knew. My way? I asked my dad for a ride to my "lutheran youth group" (aka, GBLT youth group). He pulled up, asked me if that was the place, I said yup, let's not make a big deal about this because you already know, and hopped out of the car.

But my situation is kind of weird because I never would have done it if I hadn't needed a ride to group that week. I'm not close to my parents, and I'd actually rather not be close to them and not have them know me. it depends on your relationship with your parents.

I'm not saying it'll be easy, because it won't. It's very awkward when your mom asks you "but how do you know" and you don't want to be like "well mom, I like to have wild sex with girls AND guys". My parents have been going through phases. Acceptance, denial, saying "it's just a phase", insisting that I'm too young to decide who I am. And worst of all, they don't really care to listen to what I have to say about it so they just talk to themselves and draw their own conclusions...

The worst part is that now I'm not allowed to be "unchaperoned" with my non-hetero girlie friends. But my hypocritical parents won't let me be alone with my gay boy friends (I'm not allowed to be alone with bi people at all, yay).

So I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't relaly know. It's nice to have this weight off my shoulders, it's nice to be able to ask my parents for rides to gay skate night and stuff. I don't think anyone can really tell you what you should do because we're all so different and there are so many differet factors in play. So...I hope my little post has been of some help to you.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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Brittany
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bethany
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Yeah, I'm bisexual. I came out to my mother not really thinking about what to expect...I'm just sort of upfront and i mentioned it passingly. She went crazy. It eventually died down, but she still won't accept it. She simply doesn't believe in bisexuality. She says that either you're gay, or you're straight. Being bisexual, according to her, is just a way to be contumacious.
(Um...yeah, mom. What?)
She thinks I claim the identity just to be controversial.

But all in all I really would never regret being honest. I am who I am, and if I don't act like me, then I'm acting like someone else. Follow?


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nakedfairy
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Yip, same situation again, I'm trying to battle my way out of the closet. Well, in fact, I quite like it in here. Thing is, I'm 15, bisexual and just got myself a new girlfriend. I always talk to my mum about my relationships, but I feel uncomfortable talking to her about this one because I don't know what her reaction would be. Both my parents are pretty liberal, so I guess they should understand, but not being able to predict their reactions sucks.
I feel that I should tell my mum about this relationship before I have sex or anything with my girlfriend as we've always been open about that kind of stuff before and anything else would feel like a betrayal. I just can't bring myself to tell her though. It's too hard.
Maybe I should just stop being such a fraidy cat. Hmmmmm.

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'A kiss is a lovely trick
designed by nature to
stop speech when
words become
superfluous' - Ingrid
Bergman


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ice_magick
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I've had an experience similar to BiRiotGrrl's. My English class workgroup (picked by the teacher and therefore an abrasive team) was having a discussion like that, and I asked this guy Andrew that if someone he'd respected all his life came out, would he lose all respect for that person. He said yes, and the whole rest of the workgroup agreed with him. It's disgusting.
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Dude34
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Ok i think your right thats pritty stupid that theyed lose respect for someone just because thare gay me my self being gay i dont think thats right o well he or she is gay you guys will get over it you know.


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PixieDust
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I'm just curious...someone said they were wishing they weren't bi a few posts above...well...I am just curious as to how many people wish they were. I mean I know that I've found peace with my sexuality...but still...I have to admit, I think I'd have it easier if I were straight. One way of looking at it for me is if I were straight...I'd be so incredibly bored. Why? Cuz I wouldn't have all the added drama that comes along with the lifestyle. Shirley Manson says it best, "I'm only happy when it rains...I'm only happy when it's complicated..."
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-Jill
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum16/HTML/000215.html

Got you covered PixieDust.


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PutMyLoveInABox
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Hiiii. Um... I'm a little nervous, you see I've only told three people about this so far, and I only know them as close friends through an RPG I play at. I haven't even told my best friend, who is closer to me than anything I could ever dream of.
I think I might be Bisexual. I mean... do I like boys AND GIRLS? Or am I just hor**?

But I think I really might be, I'm just afraid to admit it. My mother is the worst sort of person to ever admit being gay/bisexual to. When I told her about my being Wiccan she flipped out completely, as she is so religious. She is marrying (THIS WEEKEND) into a family that is even moreso than her. I'm only fourteen and she will go insane and think I'm just doing it for attention. She thinks that everything out of the ordinary is to get attention.

-Excuse me. Out of HER definition of ordinary.

then there is my father. Hegoes on about how he doesnt MIND gay people... but they're wrong. They shouldn't BE gay and they need to stay by themselves. *sarcastic->*But they're okay! I mean- give me a break!

And back to my mother- she thinks gay people aren't really GAY... they just want to have sex with each other, like as if they are sex-crazed lunatics who have nothing better to do than "be gay".

I'm also a little worried she might be suspicious of me because we were at astore and she saw a T-shirt (i dragged her intot he store) that had the word PRIDE written across the front in the gay rainbow symbol or what it is. And anyway, she goes all: "Oh look honey! GAY PRIDE T-shirts!" like as if it's the funniest thing in the world to her, and I get an attitude and she looks at me funny.

With my friends... I don't know. I know at least one of them will be okay with it, but rumors spread easily and fast in my school and if one person found i out I might be bisexual, well then there go my chances of ever getting a boyfriend. I'm nervous to think about dating a girl only because I don't want to be harassed over it, Ive heard horrible stories about it.

I guess I just think i need some idvice. I like in a house with my father, my 17 yr old brother, and his two friends, 24 and 26. And one of them is always talking about God and how gay is WRONG and against nature etc.

I hate it.

And my mother already thinks my best/f is a bad influence on me, what if she thinks that this is her "influence" as well. I'm not usually influenced by things like that, but my mother assumes that if i ever do something drastic she doesn't like, i'm totally INFLUENCED in it.

I'm scared to say anything and I don't know what to do; help?

((P.s. Dont mean to sound whiny- im just trying to get this off my chest one way or another and hopefully get some advice))

Luv- Boxy

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-Someone once told me to do my homework. I responded in explaining that it would then leave me no time to plot my world domination takeover-


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PutMyLoveInABox
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Sorry- 27 year old brother, not 17. ^.^

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-Someone once told me to do my homework. I responded in explaining that it would then leave me no time to plot my world domination takeover-


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Blue Roses
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Yeah, I hear you guys! I've come out as bi only to two people so far...one of my best female friends, who's lesbian and was totally supportive and could give me advice since she's been through a similar proccess. She also commented jokingly "Yes! You've come over to our side!" It was very happy and funny. The other person is my best friend on the planet, though we're more than friends. He was not only okay with it, but also "not at all surprised" though he had to go off somewhere at that point and wouldn't explain what he meant. I am totally not sure if I should even come out to my parents at this point. I mean, I don't think they would completely flip out or anything...they're generally quite liberal, and have never said anything negative about a gay friend I have...but it would be different hearing it from their own daughter, I think. Also, I've only recently decided it for myself, and I don't want to decide otherwise later and have already shocked my parents with it. I think I'll wait maybe until the end of the school year, unless something else forces the issue beforehand. I'm away at college (Bryn Mawr!) so I really won't even see them that often until then.
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fly_little_wing
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Well, before I realized I was gay, I didn't think anything of it. When I would hear that someone was gay, I wasn't all "Go Gay Pride!" or anything, but I wasn't against it. However, if it came to supporting gay adoption or things like that, then I was all for it because I believe in equality to everyone. But I just really wasn't exposed to homosexuality.

Now, it's ALWAYS on my mind, the only thing I can think of. I think my mom might be a little suspicious, given than I NEVER talk about guys, and never DID. And also that she keeps asking me ALL the time if anything is wrong! It's not that there's something wrong, it's just that it's always on the mind. She also told me she doesn't want me to paint all guys with the same brush because of the way I've been treated by some in the past.

Right now, I don't have too much of a reason to come out, other than I could atleast read GLBT books without feeling freaked out, and watch 'Out in the City' without worrying someone will see me. But I don't have a gf, and my parents are just going through too much right now.

I'm not out to anyone, except for 2 people I know on the internet. Both I've known for 2 years. I've close to them for about a year though. They also both happen to be gay, so that's why I told them. They both knew I was atleast bi even before I did!!! They've been a great help to me, and a source for my venting. (i.e. saying "OMG! She's soooooo cute!")

I really don't know how my friends would take it if I told them. I think they'd accept me, but there's always that feeling of them thinking "GAY GAY GAY" the first time they see you. I just couldn't imagine my whole school and teachers knowing about me. I'll probably wait a few more years before I come out.

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And now she's walking through the clouds with a circus mind that's running wild. ~ Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairytales. ~ All she ever thinks about is riding with the wind. ~ When I'm sad she comes to me. ~ With a thousand smiles she gives to me, free. ~ 'It's alright, it's alright' she says. 'Take anything you want from me. Anything.'


Posts: 41 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bluefaerie
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its okay boxy, rant rant rant.. it helps other people too... woo! and i totally agree with the last post how it woud be rad to read glbt books without hiding it. i wrote a poem about a lesbian and had to hide it in class cuz my class was homophobic. sucky. i'm not out, but i'm sure a lot of people know. like my mom. she knows everything. and i dont talk to my dad much, my mom tells him everything. i feel kinda lame for not being out, like i'm a loser with no balls. i was really depressed last year and part of it was because i was helllla confused about my sexuality. oy.
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alizarin
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Just a little advice from someone who has been a teen (in my 20's now) and lived to tell about it. I would wait wait wait until you are 18 and/or moved out of the house to tell your parents unless you are really convinced they will be cool with you about it. Parents can do so many things to make your lives hell when you are still living with them as you already know ! If you are 18 and out of the house YOU finally have control of your relationship with them instead of them controlling you. You can decide when to see them or if you even want to. They may need a cooling off period of a few days, weeks months, who knows even years before they remember how much they love you and want you in their lives even though they don't understands some parts of your life. Two or three years may seem like a long time to wait right now but it really isn't, the time will FLY BY, trust me on that one and before you know it you will be an adult, responsible for yourself and able to make your own decisions.

Just my two cents having been there...
-alizarin


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fromDeepSouth
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Dear Gillians Gal and others,

Coming out when you are still basically "owned" by your parents is a tricky business. When I was a teen in school, someone I knew was sent away to some awful Christian military reform camp because of smoking or something silly. However, you said your mother already gave you a signal she might be open to discussion- maybe she suspects something (mothers always do) and she's hoping you'll take advantage. On the other hand, perhaps she'll be shocked and horrified. There's no truly good way to find out how she'd feel about HER OWN child without taking a pretty big step.

As for the results, even if you wait until you're 18 (or 25 for me)... Well, you have to be ready for the best and the worst. If not, then you're not ready to come out to them. My mother will never accept or support the truth about me, and I know it. It's a terrible thing; but it would be true whether or not I had told her. On the other hand, the night I told her was one of the happiest of my life- not because of her reaction, but because of the weight that was lifted off of ME. It's a joy not to hide.

Dave


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Sunset_Rose
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Ok, I have read the posts on this page and i thought I would try to spread a little hope and happiness with my story.
My parents found out because of this website!
I've been out to friends for a while, but i was really not sure how my parents would handle it, so I was dithering about telling them.
Anyway, I found this website, and I started posting, etc. I didn't know at the time that my parents check out all the new websites i go on (grr) and they found all my posts.
Instead of freaking out, like i thought they would, they talked to me, explained that they love me whatever happens and don't care who I love as long as i am happy.
Things have been great ever since.
Its really as simple as that.
Basically, I just wanted to tell my story to say that not everything happens exactly the way you think it will, and your parents can sometimes be more than you give them credit for.

Just a thought.


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laurelm
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I'm not "out" (as bi) though a few of my close (gay and bi) friends know. I'm 18 and all throughout my teens I was just so immensely confused about everything to do with dating and sex and what I wanted and what I didn't, but as soon as I started considering that I might be bi it was just a huge relief; it just fits. Even though it IS a label, it's more like not being labelled. I can date guys or girls and that doesn't matter (well to me).

As for my parents, like I said, they don't know. I think my mom might wonder, if I'm a lesbian or what. We had a discussion (completely generic and non-personal) about bisexuality a while ago and while she's pretty accepting of homosexuality she basically said that people being bi is just a way for them to come out "half way" that you're either gay or straight, nothing in between (so to speak.) I really wish I could come out completely but I'm worried about how people would react. I'll do it eventually, but maybe after I move out.


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willowtree
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hey all, i just joied here and wanted to say my thoughts :
i came out to my parents a while ago (bout 6months) and it was horrible. despite the fact that its totally OBVIOUS that im gay, they just edited out what didnt fit and created the perfect daughter in their minds. the reality was - hey- im not perfect. no one is. i think theyll never accept me for who i am or what i like (they hate me playing guitar as well, thats how goddamn petty they are) and they seem to label everything i do as "gay" behaviour. i feel really sad that these ppl are my parents and i have to live the rest of my life knowing that they are disappointed in me. cause thats the truth.
but the thing is, my best friend is gay and my mother loves him to bits! he's her best friends son and he can do no wrong in her eyes. he's so camp and totally adorable!! lol
but its just such a double standard.
i actually had clinical depression with this but ive realised that its My life and ill do what i want, and love who i love.
its just a shame that theyre too blind to see that love may come in any form.

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"Without passion, we'd be truly dead."


Posts: 1 | From: scotland (says all) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Worldz Endz
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One of the worst things ever is to have ur parents or anyone for that matter think its just a phase. Why do people always think your too young to know your sexuality... almost all of my friends and even ppl that arent my friends know im bi and im proud of it.. but my mom is so unaccepting of everything. I mean my uncle was gay.. but he also did a lot of drugs and died young from it and im thinking if i tell her that im bi shell associate that with why i drink and smoke.. even though i dont do it that much she thinks im a horrible kid.. i dunno i really hate that about her but shes my mom and my stepmom would totally understand.. i think im goin to tell her first even though it will be hard.. she always understand everything.. she understands me smoking on occassion and drinking... she even told me about when she used to do pot... my mom just was such a good girl i dont want her to know... even thouh id love to rain on her god damned parade.. no ones perfect i knwo that.. but these are also the ppl i have to have dinner with on holidays :-\

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*It takes a courageous man to ask forgiveness, but it takes a loving man to forgive*~Me

*Bisexuality is everywhere... embrace it*


Posts: 3 | From: Glen Cove, NY | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tger_FoxMark
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Member # 12472

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well, it seems most of you are female, but i have a problem, i have tried 3 times to come out to my parents all of wich they ground me and refuse to believe what im saying. i have an aunt who is lesbian, and an uncle who is gay. im just lost
Posts: 3 | From: granger, In, USA | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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