Before I ask my question I just want to say how my mother and grandmother put this.
I am a lesbian but didn’t actually outright accept it myself I guess but over time I grew to more than accept it. I didn’t hate the term in the beginning and I could never see myself hating who I am by a sexual preference. No I began to gradually like who I was and not long after love myself because I knew this wasn’t a choice for me. I just was. But my parents and the rest of my family are the ones I am concerned about. How can I tell them without knowing if they’ll be mad at me or just outright cut me out of their lives.
I once asked my mother as a joke to test her answer that what would she do if I told her I was a lesbian. She gave me this look and said, “No one in my family will be gay as long as you’re living under my roof.”
It broke my heart to hear her say that but I smiled and told her I was only joking. I had been naive to think she would accept me like that but I wanted to hold onto that little piece of hope I had for her.
My grandmother had come over for a visit and in doing so I asked her what she thought of my best friend. He’s gay and doesn’t hide in the so called closet anymore of which I am proud of him for being so brave. She said that in the Bible it says that man who lay with man are committing a grave sin. It’s an abomination to do what they do and that I shouldn’t be around him. I didn’t know what to think about her answer but I knew it was wrong. She also told that some times something happens to a person in their life to make them want a perverted life style. To say I was appalled at my sweet grandmother’s words was an understatement but because of their answers it makes me afraid to tell anyone anything.
I guess my question is will I ever be able to overcome this fear and that if I did would I be able to stand fast against the hardships I may have to face? I just don’t want to be alone in this.
Original letter submitted by:
I’m glad you felt comfortable reaching out to The Trevor Project and I’m sorry that you are having a difficult time at home. In a perfect world you would be supported by your family however sadly, this is not always the case. You seem to have a lot of strength. It is not always easy to be honest about how we feel and what makes us happy, and the fact that you are clear about your sexual orientation is so important. Many people struggle with these questions, with coming out to their families, with finding a supportive network – what you are doing takes a lot of courage and strength.
Coming out is a very personal decision, and it is up to you to decide when and how you tell your family and friends. Coming out can let people in your life know about an important part of you, and it can help you to feel less alone and even help you meet new friends. In trying to decide when to come out, there are some questions to ask yourself: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life secret? Are you worried that if you told your family or friends you would be unsafe emotionally or physically? If you told your parents would they kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out of the house, you would need a safety plan: meaning a safe place for you to live while you continued to go to school, and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financial able to support themselves before telling their family about their sexual orientation. What is most important in all of this is that you feel safe and comfortable.
Despite what you’ve been taught, it important that you know there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian, in fact it is normal and natural. To learn more about Biblical scriptures that teach compassion and support for gay people, check out the guides on Soulforce’s “Resources” webpage at www.soulforce.org and also the PFLAG guide “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at www.pflag.org (click on “Chapter Information and Resouces” and then on “Download PFLAG Publications”.
There are resources that can help you as you decide about coming out as a lesbian. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf may be helpful. In addition, there are resources at www.amplifyyourvoice.org, including information on coming out to parents.
It might also be helpful for you to talk to a trusted friend or adult that can understand your feelings. I also encourage you to check out www.trevorspace.org. This is The Trevor Project’s online social network for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24. This is a safe space for you to connect with other young people with similar questions and find a supportive network of peers. You’ll find that you’re not alone, and that there are people you can reach out to for support.