"I'm Gay!" - Advice on Coming Out

Honey, believe me. Your mother knows.

Think about it this way. When you say, "coming out", you aren't telling your mother something she doesn't already know. You're telling her you're ready to talk about it, and her feelings about it.

I do have suggestions for this. Saying it out loud at all is a huge step. You might want to take that first huge step out loud, in a way that's emotionally not filled with the anxiety of your parents. Do you have a friend you could tell first? Someone who loves you unconditionally, that will deal with this very positively. Or, even a causal acquaintance that is gay or very gay friendly. Maybe it's even someone that's given you hints over time that they would be cool with finding out a friend is gay.

You might also want to try a total stranger. I gave this advice in a blog a long time ago, and received wonderful emails from people that took the advice.

One man was buying subway tokens. When the toll taker gave him his change through the window, he leaned in to the speaker and said, "I'm gay." The toll taker said "Congratulations," without even looking up.

One man wrote that he was online at CVS pharmacy, and the old lady with a cane in front of him turned around and said, "This is taking forever."

He said, "I'm gay." She blinked, and looked at him like she was confused. Then she said, "It's good to be lighthearted, you're right. I shouldn't let this line bother me so much."

Of course the best one, and I don't know if it really happened, but I loved the email, was from a man that said he was walking his dog in the park, and a woman was walking her dog nearby. He walked up to her and said, "Excuse me. I'm gay." And her eyes lit up and she said, "Ooh! I have a nephew! He's a dental hygienist!"

Coming out to a stranger is just a suggestion to give the out loud thing a run without too much of the other emotions involved. Obviously, I'm not saying walk up to a construction crew on a lunch break, or the microphone at the republican women's fundraiser. Just pick a little harmless safe-feeling moment where you have no other emotional attachments.

After you technically come out to a friend and/or stranger, and you're ready to do this with your family, my advice is to stop trying to pick the perfect moment. Everybody says they are just waiting for the right time. It's an excuse. There is no wrong time. Just do it.

I can't anticipate the reaction. I can't tell you who's going to accept you and love you for who you are, as it should be. I can't tell you who is going to judge and show that their heart is a godless loveless place.

But I can tell you this: No matter how bad it may be, it is better than living in secret. It is better than not being yourself.

Allow people to know the real you, in truth and light.

If you like this HUB please click the “Thumbs-Up” below just before the comments.

Thanks!

All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.

Neil Patrick Harris (Doggie Howser, How I Met Your Mother) comes out - on Ellen

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68 comments

Charlie 9 years ago

My brother is gay, and he came out to me and my wife first. I was surprised because we weren't that close then. But maybe he chose me because he knew I would not judge him. I understand this better now. He must have been scared out of his mind. Our father wasn't good about this.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Thanks for the comment, Charlie. I'm sorry to hear your father was like that. I'm glad your brother had you, to hear him and not judge.


Kelly 9 years ago

Hi V. THis is a tough one...I've worked with a lot of clients while they were coming out. SOmetimes it goes well, with family exhibiting the love you hope they would express, but not always. I once had a young woman tell me that her mother, upon discovering her orientation, threw a bible at her and told her to cure herself. Another friend's mother locked herself in her bedroom for the better part of a week, refusing to come out or to eat. Of course, that's mom's issue, not her gay child, but those stories keep me sympathetic about why it can be so hard to come out especially to those we love most. The risk, in some families, is real. But being yourself is the only true answer, isn't it? So in the end, I agree with you. I would just add to be gentle with yourself if the process takes some time.


I'm OUT 9 years ago

I wish I had known this advice before I came out. I made the error you mention. I told my father first which was a huge big awful experience and would have been better I think if I had come out to more supportive people first. Just the idea of saying it out loud to a stranger would have cracked the ice for me. I wish I had done that. The first time I ever said "I am gay" outloud was to my dad who freaked out. This is some good advice.


Steve 9 years ago

Oh Hon, you are soooooo right! Every body's mother already knows!!


Carlo 9 years ago

Interesting idea. In business, it's always best to run any kind of sales pitch or meeting presentation past a family member or someone that has nothing to do with your work. It helps you learn how to present your ideas. Basically this is the same advice. Say it to a stranger first. Get used to the feel of the words in your mouth before you tackle the real presentation, which would be telling someone like your parents that you are gay. This is a very good piece of advice.


stylezink profile image

stylezink 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

Excellent hub! While I was fortunate not having so many problems "coming out" myself, I give the same advice you stated here to my friends. Whether they listen or not is another thing.

But again great hub! I loved everything you said especially your feedback from your blog, those were cute!


stylezink profile image

stylezink 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

Excellent hub! While I was fortunate not having so many problems "coming out" myself, I give the same advice you stated here to my friends. Whether they listen or not is another thing.

 But again great hub! I loved everything you said especially your feedback from your blog, those were cute!

darn it i keep pushing the button twice!lol double posted this!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

stylezink, I'm glad you didn't have the problems so many people have. I'm happy you enjoyed the hub enough to comment!

XO


Nathan  8 years ago

hey v.. coming out was very hard for me, because i had bin in a three years relationship with a girl, but when i was with her i new that i was gay, but loved her so much an could'nt come to terms with it, when we split up i admitted it to myself that i was gay, i then told my best friend that i was gay, an we very supportive about it, which made it easyer then to tell me parents, when i told them they would beleive me an said that i was confused and still hurting from my x girlfriend. But i told them that i was and that i new for i long time and found it hard to come to terms with it. but they told me that i was to keep it to myself and was not allowed to tell anyone because that my little brother (which is 15)would be bully about it and they don't want that for him. they told my older brother an he was upset about it but didn't care. my mam told me that she love me very much and more now. my dad didn't handle it very well an had a brakedown over it. but is better about it now. my mothers side of tha family news now but my little brother still don't no to this day, but my father wont tell is side of tha family for some reason.. its driving me mental that i cant be my self and living in secret, i try talking to them about it but they just say tha that your brother will be bully an people wont like you because of it, and i cant handle people talking about it.. im 21 and putting my live on hold because of it. two years later i still live in secret. what can i do?? can you help me please...


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

David,

This is hard. I know you don't want to be the only one. And, I would bet my kidneys that you aren't. But you may be the only one that has the courage to be honest. There are groups that can help, like PFLAG. But only you can decide when it's the right time for you to come out. I hope you will at least find a friend you can speak with candidly about all you're going through. Keeping all this inside isn't healthy.

You aren't alone.


somelikeitscott profile image

somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

Veronica - as always sound advice flows from your keyboard. I tend to absolutely agree with you regarding your mother knowing (and some other relatives too). I had the experience of thinking that I covered my "gayness" (if you will) flawlessly during high school, regardless of the fact that I was called a "fag" every day. (I usually just looked around as if they must have meant someone else.) At my 25 year high school reunion I had several people come up to me and tell me how inspiring I was to them during high school. That they saw me as someone who was just himself and proud of it. Wow, boy were they wrong. But perhaps the best thing that happened was a semi-friend who I always envied in high school, he was a jock, head of the National Honor Society and blond. All the things me as the short, dark ethnic, effiminate kid wanted to be but was never going to be. We were only semi-close in high school and at the same reunion we got talking. Turns out he was afraid to get too close to me in high school because then the secret that he was gay might get out. He had a rough coming out and said he envied me during high school because it all seemed so easy for me. We are now very close friends and I'm thankful that my own coming out was not as tramatic as the many I've heard.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Scott, I'm so glad you shared that story here. Thank you. It's amazing how differently we are seen through the eyes of others. I'm sorry your friend had such a rough coming out. It's still so unthinkable to me to have real love for someone - relative or friend - that is conditional. It's like saying - I love you but only if you aren't black. Or, I love you but only if you don't get sick. Or, I love you but not if you're a girl.

Happy New YEar Scott xoxoxo


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Luke,

The people that are "weird" are the ones that are uncomfortable around your gay teacher. Darlin' there is nothing weird about you. It's your life, you have the right to go about things the way you want to. If you want your truth circle to be just a couple close friends, then that's exactly what it should be.

I'm sorry your school is small, and the people in it are even smaller. When you graduate and move on in your life, you may feel differently about things. You may surround yourself with people that are loving and smart, instead of weird and small. My wish for you is that wherever life takes you, in or out, that you are always happy and healthy.


Ashley 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, great blog! I'm a (happy) gay guy living in a tiny village in Wales, UK and realising I'm gay was at first terrifying, mainly because I was worried of what people would think (everyone knows eachother where I live). But going to College really gave me a lot more confidence in accepting myself, because it's just so diverse. There's still a stigma around being gay, but I don't care anymore, and after a bout of depression, I'm slowly regaining my self esteem and confidence. I told my best mate in November, and he was great about it; if anything it's made us even closer than we were before - we spend even more time with eachother that before, and I think we both feel so much more confortable. And he genuinely cares for me; I don't know how I would have managed without him. We also joke about how his girlfriend (who's a friend of mine) will react when she finds out her boyfriend spends most of his time with a gay guy! Mind you, I'm still in the closet to most other people; one of my female friends knows and so does my mother - that was the hardest part, but she was fine about it. However, we haven't talked about it since so I'm still a little unsure of how she feels. I'm currently working myself up to tell my Grandmother - we're very very close, and I'm sure she'll be fine, but it doesn't stop you worrying a little. I can now honestly say that I'm actually happy being gay, and wouldn't change it for the world - it's made me a more thoughtful, accepting and diverse person. And it is after all, part of me, like my hair colour or sense of humour. This however, won't help when I tell my Dad; I'm pretty much certain our realtionship will be over. (But we've never been close, and I don't live with him, so what the hell! I can't tolerate ignorance anymore.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say in this extremely long lifestory is: For anyone who's worrying about Coming Out - trust me - you feel SO much better when you're honest with others, and most importantly - YOURSELF. Hell, you don't have to change, and be suddenly camp or hit the gaybars (not that there's anything wrong with that lads ;) ) BE YOU. And I know it's a cleche, but those who don't accept you for YOU really aren't your friends. Love yourself, people, life ain't a rehearsal - it's the whole damn show.


junpei 7 years ago

I came out a month ago and told my best friends and my mom and bro later. I had no plan of coming out ever but you see... I fell in love with a great guy and I can't keep it a secret cuz its the happiest news in my life.

My mom is ok with it but she prefers that I be straight instead but at least she's not bugging me about it. And the rest of my friends and specially my bro is fine with it.

I was so scared of coming out, but my boyfriend is a constant source of courage and it made me go and do what has to be done :3


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

junpei,

Congratulations!

Best to you.


DMG 7 years ago

Junpei's very sweet boyfriend linked me to this article, so I thought I might share my experiences too.

I came out to friends online first - which is a bit cowardly, but it helped me get some momentum going.

I remember when I told my best friend over IM, I prefaced it with "I'd understand if you'd never want to talk to me again" - I was so scared he'd hate me! Well, we're still friends, and I feel silly for ever being so worried and ashamed. If anyone gave me touble about it now they'd get an earful. XD

Then, face-to-face, I told my little sister... or, well, I said "I'm...." and got hung-up in awkward silence for five minutes until she guessed it on her own. XD The out-loud part is definitely the hardest bit of it. The advice to practise it on a total stranger sounds like an excellent idea to me.

I told my mom a few weeks later, and she just held me and told me to always use a condom. ^_- Can always count on her for practical advice. She claims she didn't know... but come on, when a little boy wants Little Miss Makeup for Christmas? She must've had an inkling.

This past December I had a surprise - the little sister I stammered over coming out to, she came out to me! It was while we were walking to the store together. I never had the courage to tell my dad, but when she came out to our folks together a few days later, he just smiled to my mom and said "I guess we'll have to adopt grand-kids." ^_- I guess he knew all along.

Nothing's changed between us in my family, even after we both came out. I'm very lucky to have such support from them, and from my friends. In fact, the only person who's ever given me a hard time about it was one incoherent idiot on MSN - and even then it was funny, watching him trip over himself trying to justify his hostility.

Coming out was such a load off of my shoulders, it felt like I was flying afterward. It opened up a whole future to me that I never thought I could have.

Oh, and that friend I was scared might never want to talk to me again? He started his own business offered me a job, so I work for him now. ^_^ The gay thing has never been an issue in our friendship or in the office. He, his girlfriend, and I even went to see Milk together last night!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

DMG

I'm glad Junpei's bf sent you this way. Thanks so much for the very meaningful comment.

Hostile Guy on MSN was compensating. There is only one reason to meet the gay issue with hostility, and that's denial.

And that's sad.

I'm glad you were able to see that he was the coward, and you were the brave one.

I appreciate your input about the "out loud" thing. I am a firm believer in it. And I don't think coming out online first was cowardly at all! It was a natural step in the progression. You did this in a smart way, like you said you built a momentum, and you took steps. I admire that.

One last thought for you, DMG. You are an easy read. Coherent, succinct, affable, and witty. You come across strong and focused, but at the same time you don't hide your vulnerability. You my dear, should consider writing your own HUBS, or a blog someplace. I bet there are a lot of people out there who'd enjoy reading you, and who'd really benefit from your pearls of wisdom.

XOXO


E.G.J 7 years ago

Well, since my hon and my friend posted their comments, would be a good thing to do it aswell XD

As start, sorry if my english is not correct, as you can guess I'm not a native speaker fo english.

For me was like a transition process. I liked girls, later, found less then interesting than boys, etc, i noticed in the end i prefered boys than girls and when i come out, my sis and his BF (a real friend and someone who i really apreciate) was the 1st ones to know.

My friend was kinda shocked at start, sis said it was okay and she din't really care (also, confessed she was bi... was kinda shocked to know it).

I'm lucky enough to have a great family, my dad din't need any explanation, he's very smart and guessed by himself, so it was not a surprise when i told him (he was smiling an just saying "i already know")

I thought he shared that with mom, but loosk like was not, so mom was really the last one in family to notice, and whe she knew, as in DMG case, she only hugged me and said "just be sure you use the propper protection, okay?"

Lil bro never really cared (and the dog... i think she's okay too XD)

I always thought it like private thing, is not like you're going around the street yelling "YAY! I LIKE GIRLS! So don't seem why I should do it with boys.

But when Junpei appeared in my life, i had the urge to tell to everyone.

Some of my closest friends where a lil bit shocked (they don't see in my the gay sthereotype) but all fo them are okay with it and don't care.

But, to be honest, was hard to tell them, i was afraid of their reaction but, hey, if they are my real friends, they will understand or go away, i was lucky and all of them know and understand now.

Ironically, now that i have a boyfriend my mom seems kidna ankwards about it, i guess thinking is one thing and go for real is another, but she is getting used little by little.

All of this started like 15 months ago. And I'm really happy to let the ones who care knew about it, really helps to let people know.

If i would take your advice, due to my joker personality people would thing i was fooling them, but i would gladly give a try ^_^

Cya!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Thanks for sharing, EGJ


E.G.J 7 years ago

Hahahahahaha, no problem, might look easy, but i really had some hard times doing it... my way of acting was not the best, is normally "do it, don't think on it and deal with what could happen later", left some clues, yes (is always more easy if they ask you directly, but as you said... they know, they aren't waiting for me to let them know I'm ready to tell them).

Your advice certainly would be a great help in time. Looking at it right now... was really impulsive from me XD

Anyway, again, thanks for that marvelous advice.


Paul 7 years ago

When I was in high school I came out to my best friend. It was hard. It was a very emotional thing for me to do. I was so worried that he would judge me - perhaps even not like me any more. I knew he was my bud and I trusted him. He drove us around for hours knowing I had something to say - he saw my hurt. That was 20 years ago. We talked last weekend for over three hours. He's still my bud. It was, in the end, a great experience. My friend's name is Dave. His wife and two children live in Norfolk, VA. I work for a non-profit.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Paul,

I'm so thankful for people like Dave.

Thanks for sharing your story.


BigD_P 7 years ago

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Im 24 yrs old and just recently came out to my best friend and room mate. I have always known I was gay, but I was so deep in the closet I didn't know if I would ever come out. It has taken me years to finally accept myself. Telling my friend wasn't something I planned, but it was something I knew I wanted to do. We have become very close over the past few years and I knew he would accept me. One night it just came out. We were sitting on our balcony and I just told him. People were right just saying, "im gay" is a lot harder than I thought. I was a little surprised at how emotional I became. I couldn't help it, all my life this secret has been slowly eating away at me. To finally tell someone was unbelievable. He was awesome about it. Nothing has changed, we might be better friends now because my attitude has changed.

I only told him about two weeks ago but everyday I think I become more comfortable with mysef. I still have a long road. My Mom and my Sister are next. Im not to concerned with my sister( just about positive she knows)but my Mom is very religious and set in her ways. If she knows it's only because I have been single for so long and she wonders why. In her mind there is a certain stereo type for all gays and I don't fit that at all. I hope it doesn't hurt our relationship, but she has to understand that this is who I am and have always been.

My bigest concern is my boss. i manage a privately owned retail store. I have been here since high school and plan to invest in this business and hopefully make a career out of it. I have already invested over 6 yrs and worry that I will lose my job. I know I shouldn't have to worry about my employer but it's just him and I here. We are very close, he has been the closest thing to a Dad ive ever had. I don't know If he can handle it. He is a good guy but he is very intolerant, and as far as he knows so am I. I feel bad that someone I care about doesn't really know me at all. I constantly hear the slurs and jokes, faggot this faggot that. I have always brushed it off and just laughed but since I came out to my friend it is really starting to bother me. I don't know if i'll ever have the courage to tell him. I think eventually i'll either tell him or leave, or tell him and get fired. Either way its a scary thought in this economy.

Anyway it's great have a place to share stories and just vent. Im not really one to give advice, but its very true start with friends or a stranger or whoever. Just start somewhere because it feels great to be your self even if it is just with one person.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Veronica, I bow down before you! This is excellent and it's great that you've chatted and helped all these teenagers who contacted you on here, and you took the time to consider each one's posting carefully before replying. This is brilliant. It's always good to be able to give back somehow.


scruffyj 7 years ago

I have a question? My partner and I do not live together and we have been together for 5 years. He has yet to tell his mother which lives out of state that he is gay. Now I have sent his mother cards for Christmas, Birthday's, Easter...not tell me she does not know he is gay. I have been wanting to go the next step of doing the move in and having a true partnership. What do I need to do about getting him to tell his mother so that we can get on with our lives. I need some advise. I am 52 and he is 46 unfortunatly his mother is 82 but very sharp and healthy. I want to be able to spend my life together but I am afraid he won't tell his mother just because he is not willing to commit but yet not only making my life miserable and he being an only child is not afraid to spend his life alone. What do I do from here? Do we go to speak to someone who will help us? I really think he is waiting for his mother to die and he will never have had to tell her about his life. I am not willing to live my golden years alone. How do I get him to tell her. Please give me some advice.

Frustrated


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Frustrated,

I am not sure from what you've shared what is going on with your partner. You may be right, he may be waiting for his mother to pass away before taking the next step with you so he never has to tell her. However, considering her age, I do not think that will mean you'll be spending your golden years alone.

His mother knows he's gay. I guarantee it. The question is, can he really think at this point in his life that she doesn't know? Or, does he really believe at this point in his life that her love is conditional, and will be pulled away from him if he tells he's ready to "go public" by moving in with you. It's sweet that you send her cards, you should keep doing that while he's working this through.

Couples therapy is certainly an option. If there is another reason regarding why he is slow to take that next step with you, that should reveal in therapy.

Coming out is a very difficult thing for a lot of people despite the support that's around them or not. I do not know what is going on in your lover's brain. But here's my advice: Be as clear and as calm and as not judging as you can be. But make sure he knows your feelings on this. Honest communication is the key to any successful relationship. Just make sure that when you talk to him about this, you're talking about your needs, and not judging him for his.

Can you feel the difference between these two wordings? -

"I need a more solid feeling about my future. I really have a lot of love to give and I want to be in a committed relationship. I want to live with you."

OR

"You need to tell your mother. You need to come out. If you don't come out then we can't make it."

The former will get you heard. The latter will push you farther apart. No one wants to feel judged or nagged or pushed, especially by the person they love the most.

Good luck. Keep us posted.


scruffyj 7 years ago

Well after talking with my partner when he came back from his mothers over the weekend he did tell me that he wrote her a 2 page letter and put it into her Mother's Day Card. Now her birthday is today and he is still not sure if she has opened her Mother's Day card, but in him speaking with he last night he said her voice sounded like there was a question waiting to happen. He did tell her that I was more than just a friend after explaining his lifestyle. I told him to give it a couple of weeks and if she has still not mentioned anything he may want to ask if she has any questions. I have made an appointment for counseling and I am going to go by myself first and the 2nd session I am planning for my counselor to meet with him the 1st half of the session and bring us in together for the remainder. I hope that things will be able to progress so that he can feel free to be able to move to the next step which is to join households.

Frustrated


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Frustrated,

Thanks for letting me know how things are progressing. I hope you'll continue to do so.

You're taking initiatives while still being patient, you're taking steps for yourself and your future, and you are communicating clearly. You're exemplary. I really do wish the best for you.

Namaste


scruffyj 7 years ago

Went to counseling last night alone and talked about our relationship. I am having him go with me the next time in 3 weeks. I am to ask him to make a list of what he wants out of our relationship and where he wants it to go and what time frame to accomplish our list. I am to do the same. We are also to ask when we give a gift just to show how much we love eachother and not for any special occasion what we would like to receive. Now I am just one if I see something special I will just pick it up and give it to him. Now he is an engineer and never shows to much emotion. But she said if you get him something that he will like his emotion may change. Now I like flowers and he thinks they are a waste of money and just die. So I bought him a rose and he said no know I am not a flower person. So I told him I am and if it make me happy then I have accomplished what I set out to do. It should come from the heart and the other person should always accept what we do for them as a token of our love whether something dies or just sits on a table. I have every card he has ever given me over the past 5 years and would not part with them. Did I mention he is not really a card person either. But the whole point of the story is that he is willing to go see my counselor and will let you know what happens. Who knows may have a commitment ceremony before the end of the year.

Frustrated


Max 7 years ago

Hi guys,

Im a 19 year old college student and I think I might be gay. Recently Ive been having serious panic attacks, including headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing and dizziness. Ive been to the doctor lots of times and they've ran lots of blood tests and breathing tests and nothing showed.

Then the doctor said that a lot of young people experience this when they are questioning their own sexuality. When he asked me if i was experiencing difficulty with my sexuality, I promptly said no, but in the back of my mind I know Im gay. My mother even said that if that was the reason, she'd have no problem with it, but I just cant seem to come to terms with it myself and this anxiety that I have every day is dreadful. I don't know why it is as two of my closest friends are gay. Also Im not a very emotional person at all so that may be part of the problem.

Im wondering if these symptoms are common and if anyone else has had these kind of problems coming out??

Any advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

What you're doing here is great by the way.

Thanks so much,

Max


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Max,

I have heard of people have panic attacks for all kinds of reasons, including the struggle to accept and love yourself.

Kudos to your mom to say aloud that she has not problem with your being gay. Sweetie your health is becoming compromised. This is a cycle that will adversely affect your mental and physical health for the rest of your life. You have a doctor that is working with you, and a mother that is encouraging you to be healthy. I think you really need to do this. Come out.

Stop over thinking it and sinking into your self created complication of "coming to terms." You are what you are, as god intended.

Practice - stand in front of the mirror and say "I'm gay" out loud. Write it down. Say it to a stranger. Spell it out in a scrabble game with your mom. Stop thinking and over thinking and creating new angles with which to think. Just do it. For the sake of your health.


Hugh Walker 7 years ago

I'm an older homosexual guy,just decded to come out. I'm publicly gay in a lot of places but not everywhere - I'm getting there though!! Thanks for the advice!!!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Congratulaitons, Hugh! Best to you.


Dan 7 years ago

Hi V.

Basically I'm in a bit of a situation, I've come out to my best friend and some other friends, and my aunt, but my mum has a new, very homophobic boyfriend, and when she talks to me its always "Wait until you get a girlfriend", I really want to come out to her, but with her boyfriend on the scene, I can't, and also everytime I plan to come out, I just cant get those words out, its so furstrating, I'm living a lie to my own family, i do agree with you that she may know, is that why she keeps saying girlfriend? and keeps on about having a girlfriend to me? please help me V.

x


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Hi Dan,

It's wonderful that you've come out to your aunt and your friends. And yes, I do think your mom probably knows and is making those comments as a defense mechanism.

This is going to be a little blunt but here it is - I feel badly for anyone who's lonely, and that fear of being alone and lonely is a highly motivating thing for people in relationships with less-than-perfect people. Your mom may be putting up the front of denial and making those comments because she knows if it is true and you're gay, she's going to lose her bf. Maybe she thinks he'll leave, or maybe she feels he'll be an asshole to you and she'll have to choose.

This is not your problem, Dan. It's just a part of reality. If her bf is hateful to gays, then he has other hate and intolerance in him and he isn't a worthy partner. Period. If he is homophobic because he's in denial of his own inner truth - which I believe ALL homophobes are - then this is even more reason for your mom NOT to be in a relationship with him.

With family members and friends knowing, I think you need to take this step and tell her. I know the words are hard. That is what the article was about - saying them out loud, breaking the ice. Getting used to the sound before you have to have one of those very real and very important conversations with someone very close. Maybe you could talk to your aunt or one of those friends, and just make it a point to keep saying "I'm gay" so you can get used to it a little more. Maybe that will help your grounding when you take your mother's hand and tell her you love her, unconditionally, and you're gay.

You could ask your aunt to be with you when you do it, if her and your mom are close. That might help. Sadly I don't have a magical answer for you, just some little ideas, and the truth that you already know to be - you have to just do it and tell her.

xoxo


Jamie 7 years ago

Im gay and im planning to come out to my best friend as i trust her. But im so upset and frightened about what may happen when i tell everyone, people will never look at me the same way again, no family member will either, they will look at u and think hes gay. not many people understand and im very worried.

Recently my grandads brother died and he came up to me and said, your the only boy left in the family u need to have children and carry on the family name. I know i will never have children and i feel so bad for letting him down about not having children. As i am a 4th child in a second marrage, my father is 60 and is quite old which he will have the same sort of views about gay people. My sister came out to my mum and me that she was bisexual, but she can still have children etc. Im worried i just wish i wasn't gay it'd be so much easier for everyone.

Im sorry to all those people out there that i have offended but im really upset and i just want this to all be other with and not live a lie.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Jamie,

You're very sweet. Way too sweet to burden yourself with other people's shortcomings.

The idea of having children to carry on a family name is absurd. It's one of the most selfish reasons I've ever heard to have children. You should have children because you love children, and you have qualities that would lend toward the ability to raise children in a healthy, safe and loving environment. You should not have children because your ego is so big that you're willing to procreate for the illusion of immortality.

It's very sad to me that you have relatives that would inflict such shit on you, as to say to you that you need to breed so their name can live on. I really wish you had relatives instead that said things to you like - "I hope your life is filled with love, acceptance, and happiness."

You have nothing to be sorry about, sweetie. The people you think you have "offended" are the offense.

You will find as you live your life openly and honestly, that you will attract the same. You will draw people to you that have the ability to accept, and cherish, and love you unconditionally. If you find that you've lost some family along the way, please realize that anyone who loves you with such rigid restrictions and can't love you if you're honest, aren't worth having in your life. They will only cause pain. If it wasn't your being gay, it would have been something else that disappointed them.

Start by speaking with your sister. You may love your family, but you can't go on thinking their ideas and projections have any validity. Don't let them destroy your sweetness. Good luck to you.


fireball34 profile image

fireball34 7 years ago

Great Hub- I will be turning 34 in a few weeks, I came out almost 2 years ago. It was very hard since, I was a Prominent United Pentecostal Church Minister.

Not only was there the challenge of facing all my friends, family, and colleagues, there was years of guilt not accepting myself. I was lucky to find a wonderful church family in Tampa called Potters House Fellowship International. Not only did they accept my homosexuality they celebrated the way God Created Me!

Someone told me when I first came out, that you never really stop coming out. There is some truth to that statement. Life is a journey and just when you think you have it all figure out, there is a new bend in the road. But you won’t enjoy the trip if you can’t be honest about the driver!~ I don’t regret coming out, there is no greater feeling in the world then been in the arms of a Man who loves you! Feel free to check out some of my writings about me coming out- I am fireball34


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Thanks for sharing your story here, fireball34. I'm glad you had a positive experience.


Sharrod 7 years ago

Hi,Veronica. I am not really scared, but more of nervous. About coming out. I really just want to be able to tell them, But I here one positive story. And I'm like, "Ooh! I'm going to tell my mom." And then I here one of the negatives, and it brings me back down. I need help. I wan to be able to live freely, knowing that I'm not lying, hiding, or covering up anything.

Help me please.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Sharrod,

There are positive stories, and there are negative stories.

And then, there is YOUR story.

In the end, no one else's positive or negative experience is going to have any bearing on your unique experience.

And in the end, it's just not really possible to control anyone's reactions.

For now, focus on your story, your facts, your words, your needs instead of anyone else's story. Focus on the things you can control: the words you choose, the things you need to say for yourself. The way you need to feel, the way you want to live. In this as in all parts of life, you'll be a happier person when you worry only about what you think, instead of what everybody else thinks.

Your wanting to live freely, not lying, is a brave & beautiful thing. I'm proud of you.

You're not doing this for them, you're doing this for you. So, just do it. For you. Please please believe me when I tell you this - there is no one in the world who's approval of you is more important than your own.

I promise.


mward1125 profile image

mward1125 7 years ago from Arizona

Loved your hub--and the comments and answers afterward. It reminded me of when I came out when I was 24--I knew when I was a teenager, but, like so many others, fought it because I didn't want to disappoint family and friends. I took the very long route to coming out to the family. Everyone else, family and work, knew LONG before I ever told my parents. I actually only voiced it to my mother about 3 years ago, when I was 37, even it was pretty obvious by then anyway (you know, having the same "roommate" for the past 13 years, kind of a giveaway lol).

Even though my parents don't like the idea, they've pretty much accepted it now. In the words of my father, "At least you have a job with health insurance and retirement!"

By the way, my hat's off to all you teens who have the courage to come out now. I know I didn't have it!


Lewis 7 years ago

Thanks for such a good read - posters for your stories, and Veronica for a stellar article and really great advice. I'm 23 and I guess I've always known - I thought I was bi for a long time, but (not even) 2 weeks ago I came out to my best friend (she's a straight f, I'm male) about being bi - ever since then I'm really starting to believe (or admit?!) I'm gay. She's been the best thing I could ever have hoped for, so so supportive to me. When I asked her 2 days ago if she'd come with me to a gay bar for support, I was watching her eyes and she didn't even flinch, just an outright 'of course I will'. I love her so much for her support and know I couldn't do it without her.

Some of the comments on this site have brought tears to my eyes as I'm so confused at the moment, but they really have made me feel better. I don't know if I want to be gay, I don't know how others will react when I tell them, but I know deep down I am who I am and if they can't handle it then, well, bollocks to 'em!

I guess there's not too much point to this post, I just wanted to give back and say thank you for such a good read which has really helped me. Also a lifetime's worth of thanks to my friend who's been so supportive - I know she'll almost definitely never read this, but without her I couldn't do it.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Hi mward, thanks so much for your thoughts.

Hi Lewis!

Thanks so much for your comment, it means a lot to me.

Kudos to your best friend, she sounds like my kinda gal.

xoxo


Nav 6 years ago

Hey, I kinda came out to my parents this year, I'm 21 and I wrote an email to my sister to read to my family while I was away. I'm Indian and assumed it would be clear cut, like many caucasian families. I wrote in the letter that I want to be totally accepted for who I am, or not at all. And wrote a reminder that if my family choose to accept me, I don't want to be made to feel guilty that my parents are going to have grandsons, or a daughter-in-law. It's such a lonely feeling, because my caucasian friends have said, fuck your family if they don't accept you, yet family for me is necessary, it's a form of stability. At the same time, coming out has changed nothing. I felt such a huge load come off of my soldiers initially, but I'm still at square one. My dad told my sister I need to pray to God to 'sort it out', my mom didn't comment, and my sisters aren't bothered either way. It still seems as though it's a dirty little secret. I know my entire family knows about it and that all of our relatives know about it, and that's not the problem, the problem for them would be me addressing it. If I'm gay and I marry a woman, that's okay, but if I'm gay and I'm openly saying, yes I'm gay and I plan on living as an openly gay person, that's considered to be shameless. I wish I could speak with somebody who relates to what I'm saying, and doesn't judge me for my situation. I've become religious since the last couple of years to help me deal with my predicament. I feel I have more at stake: being a Sikh, I'm not going to be accepted at all by the Sikh community, and doubt I'll feel accepted amongst many gay guys having a beard and wearing a turban.


s thom 6 years ago

I am scared to come out. I have so many doubts in my mind about if I'll be able to handle the stress and the drama that may manifest when I make a decision.

My whole life I've known I was different. I always blamed the chemical imbalances in my brain for causing the severe and frequent periods of depression, but i'm sure lying to myself was a major contributor.

I have tried as hard as could to not be gay. I have yelled at God and cursed myself for not being able to be like everyone else.

I guess I am just so used to the ups and downs of depression/mental illness [which I fear was probably a result denying my own peace and happiness for so long] that I fear my life may get worse If I make this jump. I fear that when I go out on a limb I may be wrong and fall right back into the chaos and misery and emptiness.

I wonder wether I would be better off continuing to live this lie and cover up my pain and shame with drugs, hate, and fulfill the shallow selfish ways I have lived to cope with this lie that is my life.

I do know in my heart what I am. I need help to come to terms with it. I want to be myself.


Warren 6 years ago

Wow, I'm sitting here absolutely terrified. I'm 36, relatively successful and living far, far away from my family. I have lived away from them for the last 13 years and its been easy to be gay. My friends know, I'm involved in a gay charity and other gay organisations, march in pride etc. And I feel like a total fraud because I haven't broached this with my parents (or my brothers but they are easier). Every time I look at some of the people around me who came out in a world that was openly hostile to them, suffered and strove for gay rights, those same rights I'm enjoying now and I feel like I'm betraying them and their sacrifice. But...whenever I think I'm going to tell my parents I am struck with terror like its the worst thing in the world I'd be uttering and end up backing off because its the easiest thing to do. I realise that there are complicated emotions involved and it doesn't help that my parents aren't exactly gay friendly but with this hanging over my head it feels like I'm living half a life and I really can't go like this. I'm due to go home for a holiday, my dad's stressed at his job, my mother is never 100% well and I can think of thousand reasons why this would not be the right time - but as I've read elsewhere, there is never a good time is there? I keep thinking that they will take it badly, will be negatively affected, what if I give my father a heart attack and so on - but what I am really worried about I think is myself - in a sense I am torn between protecting my 'unrocked boat' of a life and feeling free to really express myself and live. The key to getting over this hurdle I think is to lean on gay friends and family to give me the shove I need at the time I need it. What I think I'm going to do is ask my cousin and my BFF to message me and call me on D-Day to exert some gentle peer pressure to help push me over the edge - god knows I need the help. I honestly don't know how they will react (this is probably a big part of my fear - I'm not into surprises) but I think, I think, I think I'm going to do this - it just isn't fucken fair that its this hard! I mean who asks for this? Think of me on the 9th of March - I've just got to haven't I?


Seb 6 years ago

Saying it to a stranger is great advice. Good job Neil.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Thanks Seb. Good luck with your website - I hope people will click on your name (link) and check it out.

xo


Tim 6 years ago

Definitely appreciate this article. See, my problem is multifold. I recently just came to grips with being gay and honestly, I've never felt happier or more fulfilled in my life! I've even started dating an awesome guy! (More on that in a second).

For so long I went through this "Oh, if I'm attracted to men then it's God's will for me to just be alone for the rest of my life" phase because honestly, that's what I was taught by my ultra-religious family. I'm really a family guy--they are EVERYTHING to me. And some side of me knows that they'll love me and accept me regardless, and I know my mom knows on some level. Since I've been little, people have always suspected that I was gay--I'm not overly flamboyant or femme acting, but I guess when people see it, they know it, you know? Part of me doesn't wanna tell ANYONE because I don't want to give them the satisfaction of being right or hearing them murmur.

But the guy I'm dating now--I can't even TYPE this without smiling! He's just that great! I typically cut my phone off at night but I find myself leaving it on just for him because he'll call or text me randomly just to say little sweet things. This guy literally makes my heart melt! I mean we got the chance to get away just for a weekend together and we spent the weekend just cuddling and holding each other, talking and watching TV, just enjoying each other's company. I'd REALLY like to bring him home and introduce him to the family, I just know that dad would flip out to no end. I've talked to my guy about this and he's from an ultra-religious family too and he doesn't mind me waiting to spring it on people. We both feel like who we're dating and what we're doing is really our business.

It makes it harder because I'm still living at home with my parents and although I know dad would adjust, I know it'd get to the point where I'd have to get my own place fast and right now with me working 2 jobs and being in school, it's just financially impossible. Sigh.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Tim,

Thanks for sharing your story here. Congratulations on meeting such a great guy that makes you so happy.

You know if you've read any of my articles, I celebrate you for who you are and I support your choices. But there is also a theme in much of my writing regarding respecting others, and taking their needs and emotions into account. And wow, Tim, you've really done that. I'm very impressed.

It's awesome that you've discussed this with your man and he's comfortable with your waiting to tell family. That's so uber-important that you both listen to each other and allow for each other's needs while making these decisions.

And the other person you're showing respect for, is your father. Kudos to you. It's great that you think he will adjust, but it's also important to be realistic and to understand that it is HIS house and that changes things.

When you come out to family that you know are going to be uncomfortable and need some time to adjust, normally they get that time. But your living in your father's house makes it a little more "in your face" when you tell him.

The good news is, your man is cool with the delay, and you do think that up the road your father will adjust. I agree with your hesitation: while you're in your dad's house it's probably best not to do anything that will make your living arrangement difficult. My advice is not to lie - if it comes up, if dad asks, if something happens where it's just there, then go with it. But I wouldn't initiate anything until you can take full control of your living situation in your own place.

And the bottom line Tim, is always, follow your heart. All the planning in the world doesn't change the fact that you might just "know" when the time is right. Even though it's probably best to just wait for now, if you are having a moment with your dad, and you just have that gut feeling that says now is the time to tell, follow your heart. Always follow your heart.

Best to you.


Warren 6 years ago

(See my comment about 4 posts up). I did it!!! I still can't believe I did but setting a date and telling friends what I was going to do gave me the impetus to actually go through with it. Reading the posts on here really helped as well. I suppose no two people are going to have an identical experience but supporting each other even anonymously helps, trust me. I spent the 9 days leading up to the day agonising over what I was going to say and making contingency plans in case it didn't go well. In the end, on the 9th of March I was absolutely determined I was going to do it. My parents and I went out for dinner and then as we came inside I asked them to please sit down because I had to talk to them about something. They both looked quite apprehensive. I explained that something had been troubling me for a very long time and I really had to speak to them about it. I said, "I'm never going to get married and have children like my brothers, because (big breath) I'm gay" - finally it was out there - I could not believe I had said it but man what a relief. They both kind of stared at me and then they asked me questions (mainly my mother) like would I not try with girls - or am I sure it will never work etc. I did not give her any hope there and just said no - the last time I tried with a girl was 2000 and it just didn't work, I didn't like girls, I liked men. My mother then started crying and she sort of cried for about 24 hours basically non-stop except for sleeping. My father, amazingly, was uncharacteristically supportive (he's not the most gay friendly person) but he said "Look, I'm not thrilled but its your life and you need to get on with it, your my son first and foremost and I still want to be a part of your life, your mother will just have to deal with it, she has no choice" and since then he has been really super nice to me, even more than before. My mother eventually calmed down and now she chats to me like nothing was said. But it was said and its out there and I can now finally begin to fully live my life. Thanks guys and gals for writing your stories down and sharing your fears - those of you who still have to do it, my best wishes are with you and good luck!


6 years ago

Trust me living life alone and in the closet is very hard. I was a tormented little kid. Grew up into a tormented teenager. Always kept quiet and too myself. I have always known. Never came out young because of "situations". Now as a full grown man can't come out because of situations. I have sacrificed everything for other people. I don't want too cause issues. They constantly get on me about dating. I'm always alone I hate being alone.I'm on anti depressants I have bad anxiety issues. I shake a lot.Family and coworkers won't leave well enough alone. I try too be the best person I can. I leave other people alone and I'm nothing but kind and go out of the way for people, people that don't even like me. Being blue collar doesn't help either. My health is starting a free fall. I have never felt love for anyone. I think a lot about how things would have been different if I was just a stronger person. I really don't know how much longer I really got going like this. I'm either headed for an early grave or some sort of mental collapse.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

L,

I'm asking this honestly and in all sincerity. You said you can't come out now because of situations. Would that really be worse than an early grave or mental collapse?

xo


6 years ago

Ok Ok Veronica what do you suggest? If I come out and do this. My job the crap job it is, is in limbo. Might be a crap job but its my only one. I would deal with even a more difficult relationship with people. Not too many out men in my line of work. Family would be another huge issue. They are already a problem now God knows they'll never leave this alone when or if it ever comes out.Really honestly I'm trying my best to get things in line in case this comes out. Like paying off bills and building up cash. I know my job would be gone. You know I did come out too myself on tape recently. Never felt better actually saying it. I've already accepted it. I'm considering going to a counselor and seeing how to go about coming out or if I should at all. I am trying my best its quite a mountain too climb. I thank you for saying something Veronica made me feel good that someone is listening.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

L,

There's not much I can tell you that you haven't already told yourself I'm sure. If family will feel differently about you because you're gay, they aren't worth keeping in your life. The people whose love really matters, are the people that love you without conditions, who love you for YOU and not for what they want to force you to be.

I don't know what your job is, but if it's in limbo anyway, you don't have much to lose.

It is very significant that you found peace saying you're gay on tape. (I think that's what you meant.) Building up cash is good if you have to make some kind of dramatic escape, or if you just plain choose to live your life in a more accepting place, and if you choose to surround yourself with accepting people. I hope you come to make that choice for yourself.


Dan 6 years ago

Hey V.

Its been 11 months since I commented here, I wanna thank you soooo much for your advice, I still haven't completely come out, but I have to a lot of people, the only people left are my grandparents and my mums side of the family, again, thank you so much! xoxo


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Dan,

Thanks so much for stopping back in. I'm so glad to hear you've been ablt to come out to some people, which means you have people in your life that get a chance to know the real you. It's a great feeling, isn't it?

You are free to take your time with the remaining family, don't feel rushed.

xoxo


Dave 6 years ago

I'm gay and I don't really know how to tell my friends about it x


Brittany  6 years ago

Im 19 and ive known since i was abt 10 that i had feelings for girls and not guys,,, I need to tell my family but don't know how please someone help


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Brittany, If you read this article, there's a lot of advice in it for you. Best of luck.

G, at 14 you need to be very careful and cautious and there is no real reason for you to do anything you're not ready to do. Take the pressure off of yourself. If you can be yourself and be honest with your mother and your best friend, you have a lot going for you. You can talk to them, without coming out to everyone else. You can do this gradually, in nice slow steps, with the support of these 2 people.


lee 5 years ago

i must say i have found some of the stories truly inspiring, im 18 year old, from quite a small and rather close family, i have recently come to terms with the fact im gay, though really have known for years. i was always the won in school who turned down the posibility of any relationships with girls, always making an excuse, when asked out.

i have only last month started uni,which is about half an hours drive from my family home, which i travel to uni from, but i have found the experience of uni liberating being able to act as myself not putting up a false frount, people have accepted me for who i am and if anyone's not happy about it then so what.

neverless the fact that i have not come out to anyone where i live e.g. my parents or close friends is drivng me insane, and is constantly on my mind, bringing me down.

i came close recently, to coming out to a close female friend when we went out for lunch, when she brought up the topic two friends have become a couple, and also mentioned that another female friend was free/single, when i replied, she's not relly my type, she asked, well what is your type? i completely freaked out and babled my way out of the situation, i think she guesd but im not sure.

as far as my family, i thing my mother has an incling that im gay, but she always asks questions like, how long do i have to wait for grandkids, and she hints about a girlfriend. To make the entire situation even worse my mothers partner, my stepdad i realy quite old fashioned and believes that gay people are disgusting.

i work also part-time, in a local resteraunt and i am unsure who to come out to, things are curantly quite friendly everone gets on ect, there is one gay person who already works there i have thought about telling her,but am unsure because i have some family who also work in the resteraunt as my mother used to be the manager, also some of the people i work with are close friends outside of work but if i tell them, i am afraid they may let it slip and it may change the good working relationship i curently have with other members of staff, my dilema of what to do next is emotionaly tearing me apart, please any advice would be welcome!


Trademelove profile image

Trademelove 5 years ago

Wow and I thought how I came out was hard... I moved to New Zealand (Far away from everybody I knew in South Africa) - Then I came out on FaceBook...

My mother still asked me if I made a mistake with my partners name... "So where did you meet Simone" - I replyed: "Mum, it's not Simone, it's Simon..."

It was hard but even so it was way easier than a face to face confrontation!


Dylan 5 years ago

So i am gay, the last person i told was a friend i haven't talked to in a long time but he is very trustworthy and he took it like it was nothing... However i have two friends who are dear to me and i never want to loose them, i am not attracted to them at all but they are both males and may take it the wrong way, i think about the small things to much and i don't know what to do, can someone please talk to me... i really just want to be my self around these people. Also one of my friends is purely against it and whenever im on skype and the topic rises its almost like a war, i try and protect them and say that hey there is nothing wrong about it but it never gets through. Please someone help


NoelDancer 4 years ago

My boyfriend's friend who is a guy just came out of the closet by telling my boyfriend that he is in love with him. We are both non-judgmental people but now my boyfriend and are fighting with each other because I'm trying to get him to ask his coming-out-of-the-closet friend to go out dancing with me and my other gay friend because it's Salsa night. My boyfriend claims that this is an insulting suggestion because it's insensitive and rude. I don't see why we have to get all emotional about this but I think that he's just taken back by the fact that his best friend is in love with him. I hope that my idea wasn't offensive. Our coming-out friend after all took Salsa dancing lessons last Spring...


zephyrix 4 years ago

I'm 18 and live in the UK and... Oh, I'm gay! I wasn't sure for a while, but I think it became more apparent when I began taking an interest in every musical I can think of. Lyrical genius... Anyway...

In all honesty stuck in a rut about coming out. I've come out to several close friends who accept me just as I am but I can quite work out how to tell my parents.

I almost told my mum when she was driving, but had mental images of potential news headlines if I were responsible for causing an accident - so thought twice and said nothing.

I'm a Christian, and told a couple of church leaders when I was 16. Part of me regrets doing so... It's not like they don't mean well, but I don't want to abstain from a relationship and certainly don't want the pain of coming out only not to be to be as gay as I like -- can't imagine commenting on my new interest being massively popular. Plus there is also a bit of a homophobe within my friendship group. I'm looking forward to the day he tries to make a homophobic comment so I can turn it into a personal attack on me so I can teach him a thing or two about the meaning of 'not being judgemental' but so far no opportunity. No biggie considering all my friends kinda know...

I'm pretty sure I would've been out by now had I not been going to church... I mean before church I was depressed and a recluse so Id have nothing to lose by coming out... Now I stand to lose everything I 'have'. I'm not sure what else I'd do...

...if only my life were like a musical - though perhaps not RENT as it could turn out to be a bit depressing!

Not sure if anyone will be able to make anything of what I just wrote... Im good at wittering!

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