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The Long Process Of Coming Out
# 16 : Tuesday 28-12-2004 @ 14:18
I think there comes a time in your life when you actually start to resent the fact that you have to lie and cover your tracks. The point most people miss is by that stage you are actually spending less energy than you imagine pretending to be srt8 and usually, family members already suspect. It may not seem like it now but some family members will actually voice resentment that you never told them sooner and if someone asks you if you are gay, it is a fair sign that they are ready to accept it. Those who are in denial will pretend that they don’t see what is in front of them but as time moves on and no partner of the opposite sex emerges, the penny drops there too.

If you have reached that stage of finding the closet too small then it is time to do something about it. Be calm, collected and be prepared for some emotional exchanges both good and bad. Do NOT get into full on shouting matches because people will say hurtful things which they will regret later and if you see that starting, leave the room and let him or her calm down. Above all, you will be surprised how quickly your family will accept it and once you adjust to your new found freedom, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Best of luck to everyone who is coming out in 2005, let us know how you get on and remember that while no one has all the answers, you’re not the first to go through it so don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.
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# 17 : Tuesday 28-12-2004 @ 17:56
Hey Sheeban,

Yeah it is tough, I told my parents whilst they were separating and it had really been pushed back in my mind as my families break up was much more important. It put things in perspective for me and being gay is not a big deal. My Mum cried and then proceeded in telling all my extended family. Granny first and then there was no stopping her jaw flapping. I gave out to her but she said I'm not embarassed about it so why shouldn't I tell them.So I couldn't argue with that.
My Dad is from a small country where its not accepted and I went against my siblings advice of not telling him. He said I'm not happy but your my son and after everything thats happened nothing would suprise me. He then tried to convince me to give girls another try. "would you not try a pair of breasts, they're great things." He made a good arguement.
Anyway Sheeban. take your time. Its your life and you should feel confident and comfortable before you tell them. But your family loves you and although they may be suprised and worried for you they will love you for you and not your sexuality. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Good luck and here's hoping next year is a great year for you.
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# 18 : Tuesday 28-12-2004 @ 20:27
I think i read somewhere that you wanted to tell your family over the xmas hols when you were back home with them.. Why put a deadline on it and put pressure on yourself.. I'm sure the right moment will arise when you aint even planning on saying it.

Chillax the beans chick, relax and enjoy your time at home for xmas!
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# 19 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 11:37
Well its done now, yesterday morning my mum and I had a row, she asked me what is on my mind for the last while so I told her I was gay. She crumbled to pieces and started crying.

I don't know why I decided to tell her, but I guess like people said above - the time felt right.

Since I have told her, I have had a vicious attack from my sister who claims that I told everyone except my parents. I told two very close friends and my mother is very very upset that i didnt speak to her first. I tried to expalin to her thats is hard losing a friend if they can't accept my sexuality but losing a family because of it would be devasting.

I think now she is trying to comes to terms with it. She is working it all out in her head and asking so many questions. BUT this morning she asked me would I reconsider being gay... that its too hard of a life... and be with a man?

I don't know what to do, apart of me wants to go back to Dublin and hide this out... any ideas?
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# 20 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 11:41
The "reconsider" reaction is not uncommon. Especially with girls, for some reason?? If I was you I would try and get this sorted before departing for the city. I know it is a very difficult time, but strenght now will pay off in the long run.. Best of luck Sheeben, I hope you can figure it out
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# 21 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 11:43
Thanks Marcel, I hope I can too! I siad i might go back to Dublin sooner than this Sunday and my mother just said "sure there is nothing keeping you here anymore"
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# 22 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 11:48
Poor thing, that's quite a hurtful thing for her to have said. They can be very cruel, but I am sure the emotions involved are idicitive of her choice of words. Keep your chin up. Things will improve.
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# 23 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 12:05
She’s your mother and she loves you. She only wants what all parents want, which is the best for her child. It is up to you to convince her that being gay is the best for you and reassure her that you are happy. Whiter you return to Dublin or not is your decision but my advice would to be to stick it out because unless she is in regular contact with other gay people then she will naturally have lots of questions. Her reactions are fairly normal under the circumstances but believe it or not the worst is over, it will just take some time for her to re-adjust.

Your sister is trying to protect your mother by going on the offensive which is also understandable so if she launches again, take her to one side and point out to her that she is not helping the situation.

I know you may not feel like it but remain calm and upbeat because your mother will read more into that than anything else. It’s not easy but you’re on the home srt8 (if you pardon the pun) so hang on in there, she only wants the best for you.

@ Sheeben
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# 24 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 12:14
You need to talk to your mother, only conversation will help the situtation. Not that I really know because I'm not out to my parents, but I came out to one of the sisters the day before Christmas Eve, which went alright. Also your mother might need to talk to someone whose gone through the same experience. Have her call the gay switchboard, or do it yourself, and get the phone number of the parents' group. Their phone number is 01 8721055, or their website is http://www.gayswitchboard.ie/. I got a booklet that they make for parents which I still haven't giving mine, but I'm thinking about it. I've read it and it's very good, answers all the main questions and has personal stories of both parents and children in it. Also a lot of contact information.
I hope things get better for you and as I said it just takes time and plenty of talking and hopefully everything will be better in the long run.
All the best,
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# 25 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 14:40
keep strong sheeben,youre over the worst now,you just gotta let the dust settle,it will and all will be fine,warm hugs to you,keeping you in our thoughts,love and best wishes.
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# 26 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 14:52
well done for telling her! in a way, now your real life can begin. good for you!

so your mum is going through the stages now. that's normal. hopefully it will lead to her acceptance of the fact that you're gay.

with regard to her other questions: ask her would she consider being gay? (if not, then it’s unfair of her to ask you to consider being straight).

and remind her that life is hard, regardless of whether you're gay or straight. (i think she'll see the point of that one).

i'm sorry your sister is making the experience harder for you. ask her directly her why she feels the need to make the comments she is making to your mother. listen to her answer. if its simple malice that will be easy for everyone to spot.
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# 27 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 15:17
I'm sure everything will work out for the best Sheeben. As you said it felt like the right time to tell your ma. In my opinion though, Christmas/New year is the worst time to come out to parents. They are up to 90 with all the arrangements that go with Christmas. It's a very stressful time. Coming out should really be done when there are no other distractions. Your ma is probably trying to get her thoughts together and get her head around your news while all the time there's people visiting at Christmas, arrangements already made to visit other people, new year functions etc. The woman is probably in a spin so don't worry too much if she says things that you might think are cruel or thoughtless. I always thought that if someone is going to come out to their parents they would be better off doing it at a quiet time, whether that's on a weekend break or in a relaxing atmosphere. Parents can then take time to gather their thoughts with no hassle. Anyway it's done now and things will settle down. Your mother will more than likely come to terms with it and support you. Your sister will too.
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# 28 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 16:41
Oh wow Sheeben - you did it! Well done. I'm so happy for you.

If I were you I'd just let those around you vent for now. There is no need to argue the points with them. There is nothing really to argue about. There is just the fact that you are gay and that's that.

So right now you may be caught up in the after-shock and negative reaction, but hey, that's for them to sweat about and deal with, not you. You've kept your head down and dealt with crap for long enough. You really don't have to react to their reactions.

So let them go through their 'freaking out' period. It happens. Your only point to them is the FACT that you are GAY. End of story

I'm just so happy for you that you did something really positive about something that was really bothering you. Well done, well done, well done.

Please don't lose sight of what a big achievement this is for you. It's a cause for celebration, and celebrate we will.

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# 29 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 19:22
Hi Sheeben.
I think that your mother's reaction was quite normal. Just remember that in her day, homosexuality was illegal etc. Like Dirha said, it's a bad time of year. Also it seems that she had no idea that you might be gay. Whereas your sister might've had an inkling. So your sister may be annoyed that you didn't confide in her first...? If you think this is the case and her attitude continues, then have this out with her. Say that this is a difficult time for you as well and that you'd appreciate her support. Being of your own age-group, she is more likely to accept it sooner than your mother. But if your mother sees that your sister is ok with it, then that will help her to come to terms with it. So, I'd advise to get your sister on your side, even though it might entail a heated argument with her in order to clear the air.

Happyhead: I know you may not feel like it but remain calm and upbeat because your mother will read more into that than anything else.
I think that's good advice. It's easier said than done, maybe. But if you show that you are not ashamed of who you are, and are not upset, but relieved that you're out, then when your Mum and sister see that you are strong, they will come to terms with it more easily, rather than thinking it's a "problem"(they'll then try to "solve" it and be in denial!) or "a phase" that you're going through.

Get back to this thread Sheeben, and if you'd like to say how things are going, good or bad.. it's always good to talk.

PS When I was 21 and still had a bedroom at home, I had little postcards and pinups(tasteful, mind!) of the music/film stars etc. guys that I kinda fancied. Now that your out, think about what pin-ups your going to stick on your wardrode etc... just a thought!

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# 30 : Wednesday 29-12-2004 @ 19:33
Aw well done sheeban! Dont be too upset about the whole situation. YOur family will soon realise that your still you and they'll still love you for being you.

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