Hey, my name is Shawn. I have been in the closet for a few years, only letting a few of my friends know and the people that ask. But now I have a problem, and I do not know where to go. I do not want to go to my friends, so can you please help me?
A few days ago I... found my dad looking at different web pages that I have been on and [he] sees I have been to gay.com. I felt really bad, for he also is a strong believer in the Christian faith. So now I am scared as to what he may say or think or do. He is not going to hurt me, but the thought of hurting my parents hurts me badly, like a deep wound that will not heal . . . but every time I talk to my father now I am scared that he will bring up the subject.
I just don't know. I am scared and need advice from someone who can help and has dealt with these situations. What do I do? How can I get over this without having to hurt my parents any more? I need to feel better about this because I don't like this dreadful secret any more. Thank you for your time.
Thanks again Shawn.
You know, I’m wondering, given that it won’t come as a complete surprise to your dad, whether taking a deep breath and having “the talk” with him might not be better for you both, in the long run. Of course, only you can decide if this is the best course of action for you, but it sounds like the present situation—knowing he knows but not talking about it—is really stressing you out. It also occurs to me that maybe the reason he hasn’t yet said anything is that he’s waiting for you to bring it up.
Not wanting to hurt parents by coming out to them is one of the most common concerns we hear expressed at “Dear Trevor.” It is completely understandable that any loving child would not want to be hurtful or a disappointment to his/her parent. But while we all sometimes alter our behavior or actions in order to please a loved one, it’s something else altogether to be—or try to be—someone you are not in order to please someone else. It doesn’t work.
What’s more, Shawn, keep in mind that “everybody hurts somebody sometime.” It’s part of being human, and people get over it. The more important issue is whether your intent was to hurt the other person.
I encourage you to give our helpline a call. The listeners there have all dealt with this kind of situation, so they should be able to help you sort it all out.