I'm Coming Out Queer to My Evangelical Family

So, I find that being in the closet sucks. Too much energy and shame gets devoted to pretending I am someone I'm not. 

I want out of the lie.

Problem is...I have insanely religious extended family. And I don't care to argue with them about hell-fire, nurture vs. nature, scripture, or praying away the gay.

They're visiting this week. I'm not going to make an announcement or take people aside to talk about it. I've decided not to hide all my queer stuff (books, pictures, etc.) up in the closet, as I usually do. I've also changed my facebook bio to include my orientation. If questions arise, I'm not going to prevaricate; I'm just going to be honest. If there are any lead-ins to a discussion about who am I seeing, etc., I'm going to come out. Usually I dodge the issue or lie.

I would rather not let on that I'm an atheist at the same time. That might be tricky if they get all religulous about things.

I hope this doesn't end up causing a huge rift. My parents don't deserve that. I might become persona non grata for a couple of years. I don't care that much. I won't tolerate disrespectful comments or bigotry though. 

FSM, I'm nervous!

Views: 319

Tags: coming, evangelical, family, out, queer

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 9, 2013 at 12:55am

I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you - but always remember that there are people here who prefer the real you to any closet door.

Comment by Lance Angus Miles on May 9, 2013 at 3:24am

just ask them that as your family, shouldn't they love you unconditionally? and that gay love is still a form of love between two human beings and that is something that should never be hated, rejected or discriminated against. I wish you all the best and hope that your family finds in their hearts the ability to love you no matter what

Comment by RobertPiano on May 9, 2013 at 5:47am

I like your approach. No need to "confess" your orientation and just be you. I wonder if fundies think they "failed" as parents-and feel embarrassed in front of their religious friends and church members. In any event, time and patience.

Comment by Dave Schofield on May 9, 2013 at 4:07pm

Hmm, I think it's going to be tough, but worth it.  I'm not gay, and I'm not admitting to my fundamentalist mother that I'm an atheist, that would be the end of our relationship, but even just admitting to myself I'm no longer a Christian or deist felt great, and I think my whole outlook has become more positive, so your experience will be 100x more significant, and I hope all positive.  I expect you'll find allies and enemies amongst the wider group, inevitably. 

Comment by Kairan Nierde on May 9, 2013 at 7:14pm

Thanks for everyone's advice and support. I am so stressed about this. I haven't been talking about it much and it is so nice to be able to come here "type it out." My parents (a lapsed Catholic and lapsed Baptist to Catholic convert) already know I'm bisexual/queer/whatever(lol). My parents think it's a bad idea to let the rest of the family know. I don't know if they say that out of embarrassment or because they want to protect me.

I figure people already suspect something is up. I don't act like a very feminine woman despite my affinity for jewelry and make-up, and people typically stereotype women like me as lesbian.  The difficulty with being attracted to women, men, and other people (that's why I call myself queer instead of bi) is that it's hard to explain to binary thinkers--people who think you're either gay or straight...there's no concept of asexual, pansexual, or queer in their minds. I've also had people ask me why I don't just ignore being attracted to people who aren't male. The "choice" question is harder to navigate when you're queer...I say I have no choice in who I'm attracted to but I do choose not to suppress queer attractions because it's healthier to be who I am.

 

Comment by Kairan Nierde on May 9, 2013 at 7:16pm

Time to go decorate and clean.

Comment by kris feenstra on May 9, 2013 at 7:28pm

...is that it's hard to explain to binary thinkers...

What I find most frustrating is not the people who hate, but rather the people who try to sympathise, but just can't get their head into your perspective in the slightest. It hits a point with many individuals where they do not even understand what it is they don't understand. When their intentions aren't bad, I cannot find it in me to fault them, yet the end result of their words and actions can leave me feeling shitty and isolated all the same. There is no hardline way to deal with that.

At lest with haters I can get right pissed or just write them off without feeling conflicted. Fuck 'em. When they happen to be caring people, it just isn't that simple.

Comment by Unseen on May 9, 2013 at 7:32pm

May I suggest: before they come out, a singing telegram?

To the tune of "I'm Late" from Disney's Alice In Wonderland:

I'm gay, I'm gay, in a very definitive way.
No time to explain. Get it in your brain
That I'm gay, I'm gay, I'm gay.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on May 12, 2013 at 7:48pm

It went...alright. Grandma said she thought I would say I'm gay. After which she spoke of her appreciation of women's legs. Grandpa was silent except to agree about her hobby of appreciating women's legs. Then they began to talk about an old family friend who divorced three times. I had no idea what they were doing...but I figured their abrupt change of subject was not that big of a deal.

Later that day my little cousin would exclaim "that's disgusting" when he found out about two men dating. Grandpa said, "that is disgusting." Grandpa got up and moved when I sat next to him and was more than eager to leave early. I'm a little bit peeved that he's behaving with such passive aggression instead of talking to me.

Comment by Strega on May 12, 2013 at 8:07pm

I think your Grandpa needs a bit longer to come to terms with it.  His generation were less accepting of homosexuality.  Now he has a conflict going on in his head.  Sounds like your Grandma will help him sort himself out.

how do you feel now its out?  Are you ok?

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