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: 322

Tags: coming, evangelical, family, out, queer

Comment by Kairan Nierde on May 29, 2013 at 10:31pm

Thanks for asking Strega. You are such a sweetheart! I hope you're right. Grandma rules the family and her word is law. Well...I guess I'm ok. I've had some bad days and some good days but overall I am doing well. I just have to keep things in perspective and give it time, right?

I felt intensely relieved directly afterward. That night, I had a trippy dream about finding some rotten cake underneath some newspapers in a strange bedroom and being so happy to be able to clean it up...in the dream, the cake was something that had been stinking up the place and bothering me for years, but I never could figure out the source of the stench. The next morning I had a good laugh at how obvious my subconscious had been. I mean, really? I guess I got a dreamworld peak at my subconscious' architectural rendering of my psyche--which is pretty damn bizarre--can't say I liked the place. So, I was really emotionally relieved, on many levels.

I didn't have time to come out to all branches of the family. Perhaps gossip will take care of that for me... I do wonder if my aunts and uncles will want me to hide my orientation from their kids. That kind of has me a bit worried. Obviously, I'm not about to get graphic in front of them, but I don't want to hide the innocent things anymore.

This last week, I got a crap haircut and then tried to fix it with another crap haircut. I was freaking out. I got so fed up with crap hairdressers that I trimmed it myself and will now have to wait for the damage done to grow out. Oh well. I have a very short, moderately "lesbian" style. So, there's another coming out for me, too. I feel pretty comfortable "looking the part" but still being in Kentucky, I feel a lot of pressure to conform. I feel like I have to compensate for the butch hair-do with feminine clothes/jewelry/make-up/etc. or I'm going to catch a lot of shit from haters...sad to say, but I don't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time looking like myself. I still fem it up for work too. Business casual meets drag. :) It's such a line to walk, being true to yourself and protecting yourself from discrimination.

Coming out has pushed me past a place of stagnation too. I feel a bit freer--even if it is just the freedom to step up to the plate in other areas of my life. I'm glad I did it. Even if I end up with a hetero marriage--being out is worth it to me.

Well. This post makes me think I should keep a journal. Damn.

Comment by Physeter on October 9, 2013 at 11:29pm

Hope you don't mind me posting here months later, I just wanted to say thank you for an inspiring story.

I love that dream. Your sexuality was a cake, something delicious and wonderful, but it (the situation) became rotten and smelly because it was hidden so long...

I can't begin to compare myself to you. I imagine if I ever come out as atheist to my parents, it won't be much like if I was coming out gay (I'm not gay). But still...when my folks are coming to my apartment, I have to hide all my atheist books, take the beer out of the fridge and hide it in the closet. When I go home for the weekend, I usually clear the browser history in my laptop because it's full of atheist sites.

Hope you're keeping that journal. Doing that has been quite helpful for me. The best part is going back and seeing how your thinking has grown and changed.


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