28 January 2010

Will It Do Any Good?

I feel like I'm stuck.

In the actual conversations I've had with my family regarding me being gay, I feel like my parents and my middle sister made it clear that they want nothing to do with the relationship I have with my girlfriend. We don't talk about it, they don't even know her name. But she's the most important person in my life. We spend a lot of time together and we're really happy together.

Consequently, I'm not home very much.

More and more lately, my parents love to bring that up. They tell me that they think I'm avoiding them and being distant. My mom likes to say that she feels like I don't love them anymore because I'm never there. That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Of course, they're right. I am pulling away from them. Why wouldn't I? They ask how my day is or what I've been up to, but they don't want to know the answer. They don't want to hear about how nice my girlfriend is to me, what she said that really made me laugh, the situation with her niece that causes both of us to worry, or how I really wanted the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl because that's her team and I didn't want to see her sad face.

And since I don't know what to say to them, I don't say anything at all. I feel like I can't share this part of my life with them because they don't want to be a part of it. And you have no idea how much that hurts.

The last time my dad cornered me, I thought that maybe I would write them a letter or something, because my voice loves to fail me in those situations and I'm not confident enough in myself to say what I really want to say. But I don't know if it will do any good.

Perhaps once I have it finished, I'll post it and ask for your feedback.

Those of you that have experience with writing letters to the family, was it helpful?


El Genio said...

My two coming out letters did wonders for my immediate and extended family. Even in the case of my Grandma, which has been amazing. Really, what I think your family needs to hear is exactly what you wrote in this post.

You're not cutting them out of your life, they are cutting half of you out of theirs and then complaining about it.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

I identify with all of the problems in your post-- esp. wanting to share and knowing you can't.

I will say this: Even if your family isn't necessarily happy for you and your girlfriend, I am. Describing how wonderful she made your day and why you wanted the Vikings to win made me very happy.

Scott said...

A few months after I came out to my family I had something of the same problem. I didn't have a boyfriend to complicate things, but I still felt like I had to be careful--I couldn't talk about my friends or my blog or anything--and I was even doing everything the church said I should be doing!

I finally blew up. I wrote a letter and sent it to everyone and made it clear that all of this gay stuff was part of who I am, and that it was important to me, and that it wasn't going away--that I was going to talk about it and that I was going to have gay friends and talk about them, etc. I told them that if that was a problem--if they couldn't handle that--then I would excuse myself from family gatherings. But they couldn't have me without the gay--it was a package deal.

I got immediate apologies from a couple of the more progressive ones, and even the ultra-conservatives became more accepting, or at least better at hiding their discomfort.

I think a letter (or a confrontation of some sort) can do a lot of good.

Good luck!

Jenz said...

Personally, I got mad...stood up for myself and said this is who I am...you can accept it, or you want be able to be in my life. I owned it and forced the issue. But that's how I handle stuff. Head on.

I would not have come out to my mom while living under her roof. In my opinion, if a kid lives under the parents roof, you are subject to their rules and respecting those rules, regardless of how old you are.

In my family, if you want things to change...you do have to force the issue, in person. A letter would have been seen as passive to my mom. I think a letter is fine to other family members. But I think our parents deserve to hear the truth from our lips.

If you can't speak about being gay and your girlfriend to them in person, why should they take it seriously. Maybe a conversation, or confrontation...(whichever ensues) is due to let them know you mean business and this isn't just a phase.

Own it.

alex dumas said...

I think it wouldn't hurt to have them know how you feel, and if a letter is a more comfortable method, that's OK.

I only say "it wouldn't hurt" because there are some people that just won't *get it* no matter how plainly you can explain things to them. They'll just never get it. And that's not your problem.