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half-hearted heroine
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I've done a lot of self-questioning lately, and I've realized that I'm bisexual, although I've never dated anyone before.

My friends would be amazingly accepting went I choose to come out, but it's my family that I'm worried about. My dad is fairly religious, and Catholicm (at least in my hometown...don't mean to be stereotypical) wouldn't really accept me. All four of my younger siblings are the type of teenagers that toss around homophobic slurs often (basically they are the people that harrassed me and my friends throughout high school). My mom would be the most accepting of me, I thought, but just tonight she tossed out a "That's so gay" in conversation, and my heart sunk.

I'm not ready to come out to them in this homophobic environment, but I don't know how to try to change them (if I can...) I could wait to come out until I leave home, but that's not for another two years when I finish my undergraduate studies. I haven't had much trouble with anti-gay slurs at school, but how can I counter them at home?

Posts: 2 | From: Somewhere over the rainbow | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Animica
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Though I cannot completely relate to your situation, I suggest that you read this article: Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out, until someone more knowledgeable or someone who has had a similar situation can come help you.

Best wishes. [Smile]

Posts: 132 | From: La La Land | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
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Hey half-hearted heroine, welcome to Scarleteen.

I'm so sorry to hear that you're finding your family so unsupportive even before you've spoken with them about your own feelings. I know how hurtful it can be to hear those reactions from family members, it's something I also face every day. I haven't chosen to tell my family yet, and not sure that I will , but I do often let my feelings be known in a very forward way when they make comments I find offensive.

Sometimes even parents pick up on phrases that they shouldn't. Calling objects gay is one that I often hear from people and toss back a "Do you mean to it's homosexual? Or are you calling it happy? Sorry, I'm just not quite sure how it can be either and wanted to know which you meant - because for the record gay doesn't really mean stupid or lame, and that's really offensive to a lot of people."

Standing up for yourself without saying it's about you can be tiring and frustrating, but that's when you need those supportive friends the most. You can also look into support groups in your area, and we're of course here for you as well. I know sometimes this will leave you with the feeling when something's said about "Those people" that you want to just scream at them because they don't realize they're talking about you or how hurtful that really is. But hang in there hon, we're all here for you in anything you need.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3418 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
astrocyte
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(Stephanie, that's awesome. "That's so gay" seems to be perceived as such as low-key phrase by the people who use it, like sometimes they haven't even consciously made the connection/admitted to themselves that using gay as a negative adjective projects the attitude that it's bad to be gay.)

Half-hearted heroine, another side to what she said ^ is that the language that's used around you totally affects you - so saying that you don't want a home environment where it's OK to use offensive slurs is about you and what you need, regardless of your orientation . I wonder if using that approach combined with the "it's offensive to lots of people" angle would get some results, at least with your parents.

Also, how young are your siblings? As an older sibling you might have some influence over them. Or pointing out to your parents how often they're saying those kinds of things might also help if your mum turns out to be understanding.

Posts: 79 | From: the southern hemisphere | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
half-hearted heroine
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Thank you so much for your responses! Even though it is online, I feel relieved by letting go of my problems, and getting heart-felt responses back is just...a really amazing feeling... thank you so much for being supportive when I really need it [Smile]

My younger siblings are 16-19, and I'm almost 20 (yeah, big family full of teenager drama). We are fairly different people, but I hope that what I do/say rubs off on them. I think I'll try to question what they mean when they say "That's so gay" just to point out that it *does* offend people, even at home. I definitely encounter a more accepting environment at college, but I still find situations where knowing how to counter a "That's so gay" would be really helpful, so thanks!

I'm not quite ready to come out of my little closet, but I think I'm a step closer! And thank you for the link to "Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out", it was really helpful! <3

Posts: 2 | From: Somewhere over the rainbow | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
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I'm glad to hear you're feeling a little better about this. I know it can be really helpful, even when you can't see who's saying it, just to hear someone's got your back. Remember too, everyone comes out to people in their own time, so don't feel bad if you're not quite ready yet. And just know, we're here if and when you ever need us [Smile]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3418 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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