I came out to my parents and since then, they choose not to believe it. They keep saying “Oh when are you going to get a boyfriend?” or things like “When will you find the right guy and get married?”. They want me to become someone I’m not. When will they finally accept me for who I am?
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Hi there: I’m really glad you decided to write. It sounds like you love your parents very much and you want their support. You deserve to have loving, supportive family and friends in your life who love you no matter what. And coming out is a big deal. It helps you feel less alone, reduces your stress level, and lets your loved ones know about an important part of your life. It also seems like your parents are trying to understand what’s going on but need some help. I’m sure they want very much to understand, but they have to come to terms with your coming out in their own time, slow and frustrating as that may be for you. It’s natural to want them to accept you immediately, but it sounds like this is big news for them. They need time to process this and to understand how they can best support you.
Your parents may have many questions about your sexuality and, like many parents, they may just need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org, click on “Get Support”; then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People” you can share with your parents to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If there’s no chapter near you, or if your parents won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you. Other resources you might share are two books: “Now That You Know – A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children” which addresses many issues and questions that arise for parents of gay and lesbian children; and “Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together”. There are no guarantees but they may help.
Have you looked at TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org)? This is The Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24, their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same concerns about family, coming out and struggles. You might find a lot of common ground and wonderful support there. There are many people in this world and on TrevorSpace who can identify with you and wanting your parents to accept you quickly and without asking awkward questions.
If you ever want to talk live with someone, please give us a call on The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386), or log onto TrevorChat, and give TrevorSpace a try as well. We are always here for you.