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Saturday, 27 November 2010

HELP!

Ok, so I’ve put off doing this post for like a week now, and I really can’t afford to keep doing it. I need help. And I need it now.
...
I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND PETER!!! Why did I start this section off with that, I hear you ask? Well he is the entre problem. Well not the problem, more the cause. I want to come out! I mean, completely. Since I accepted myself I said that I would come out in the summer of 2010, as I would be going off to University then and I would want to be able to have a bf if I wanted and I wouldn’t have to lie. Well things have changed and not only did I screw up the timings there, but I did them in the wrong order.
I have a bf but am not out.
I mean, most of my friends know and coming out to everyone else isn’t a problem, but my family are. I love Peter and I hate lying to people about him. I even came out to one of my closest friends last night and got one of the best reactions, she stopped dead in the pavement with her jaw on the ground. I have become an expert on bending the truth lol, like I dont think I ever said 'she' was a 'she' at all to her. They just assume. Apparently she never even guessed which I’m surprised at, but she’s really cool with it. I just want to stand at the top of a mountain and scream:
“I HAVE A FUCKING AMAZING BOYFRIEND AND I LOVE HIM TO PIECES!!!”
But I can’t. Yet.
I keep having perfect moments where I could come out to a family member but I know that I should put some thought into it. Like the other day my sister came into my room and we had a nice chat about my ‘gf’ and her bf and how we tell each other most stuff, and she likes that me and my ‘gf’ are trying to make it work. I was so tempted to just turn around and say, “oh yh, you know I haven’t told you ‘her’ name? Well, its Peter”, but I didn’t.
Its just ...  I’m like 99.999% sure that my family would be ok with me. As a younger child (13 or so) my mum used to make random comments to me, just stuff like “I don’t care who you date, as long as your happy” and I always felt like she was trying to figure out of I was gay or not. I mean, she ALWAYS used the word ‘person’ or ‘who’ but it was never gendered. But then there are times where she can sound kinda judgmental and homophobic (she isn’t), so that’s where the 0.0001% comes from, among other stuff.
So I’ve decided that I want to come out. Soon. In fact, I want to do it between the 10th and the 25th. Why then? I hear you ask. Because I don’t want to do it before my birthday (10th) or Christmas, in case it is awkward or something goes wrong. So that gives me a 15 day period to decide from and for everything to become normal. Oh and I don’t want to do it after if I can, as I would probably chicken out. The only problems left are how, where who and what.
HOW: How should I come out? Should I tell them I am bi. Should I tell them how long I’ve known and kept it a secret for this long. Is there any kind of wording that I should use, or better yet, avoid? It is completely different to coming out to a friend, I don’t know why, but it is just a lot more ... stressful. With a friend its just like “oh I’m bi” but with a family, it’s so much more.
WHERE: Should I sit them all down at the dinner table? Or should I do it before, or after? Who’s house should I do it at? The family home where mum will be out of place but homely, or at mum’s where others will be, but its open plan and no one can hide? Or am I overcomplicating this?
WHO: I know most people say that you should do it all at once, so that no one feels left out. Like if I tell my dad before my mum, will she be offended? And so should I tell everyone at once and then I only have to do it once? But then, if I tell my sisters first (for example) then they could help me plan it and be there for me, in case something goes wrong. And it would/could be more personal. But then, I don’t know if I could do it twice.
WHAT: They already know that I am dating someone (one sister knows ‘she’ lives in America), so if I come out, they are almost guaranteed to ask about it. But I’ve heard from various places that you should take it in stages and tell them about YOU first and then about others. Should I tell them about Peter at the same time, or should I wait for the questions?





I just don’t know. I need help. And I need it fast.
A Distressed and Distraught Jack xx

9 comments:

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack

This comment may not emerge in any particularly coherent manner, because I've just got back from an evening out with friends, and I'm tired and slightly tipsy. Nevertheless, I'll try to give it a go...

It's good that you're coming out to friends: this gets you used to the process and (hopefully) to being accepted as still the same person, irrespective of your sexuality. I think you're right that it's a lot more difficult (for most people) to come out to family than to friends: you've known your family a lot longer, you're closer to them, and you're more dependent on them in various ways. That's why I told my parents something like two years after I told most of my friends.

I agree that you need to think about it, but this is in order to prepare yourself to spot convenient opportunities, and to have the words ready to say the things that you need to say. And I think the things that you need to say are quite simple, really:
- you're bi / gay (whichever you feel better describes you);
- you're in a relationship with another male of the same age (I'm not sure whether you prefer boy, youth or man as the appropriate description here).
Everything else can be left to questions and answers: if they ask, tell them; if not, it's not vital that they know, unless you think that it will help them understand.

Where and who: my feeling is that you should tell them individually and in small groups, rather than all at once, as this will give them a chance to react separately, ask their questions and have them answered in a controlled manner etc. - but it's up to you, and will depend very much on how they're likely to react, and how you want to handle it. If there's an occasion that family members can use for making important announcements, you might want to use that.

Overall, I would suggest that you not worry about it too much, if possible: it's very likely to go better than you fear, if not necessarily as well as you might hope. Of course, it's probably quite hypocritical of me to say that, given how much I agonised over my own coming out to anyone at all, let alone my parents - but the view with hindsight is very different from the view before the event.

I'm happy to talk about this more, before during or after the process, here or by e-mail. I wish you the best of luck with it all, and I look forward to hearing how it goes.

*hugs*

Mark

Micky said...

I've sent you a mail, Jack coz my reply would be a bit long for here!

Jack xx said...

Thanks for your email Micky, i sent one back :)

And Mark: I completely agree about the friends comment and the essentials needed for coming out. (BTW, 'guy' is probably the best term) but one of the main problems i had/have is WHO. If i'm honest with myself, then i would probably temm my sister first, as we are really close and i know she would be happy for me. My other sister i'm not to sure about, but she will either yell at me (as always) or accept it. Either way, its either the same treatment or better. But then there is the matter of my parents. Do i tell them seperately, and risk one of them being hurt that they were last, or do i tell them together, where it may be more awkward and less personal :S

For once, this is one post/comment that i have no idea what to do for. Ususally i have a good idea what to expect from everyone, but for this one, i'm stumped!

Micky suggested telling everyone seperately but within a few hours of each other. Is this a good idea? I mean, they may react badly, or just be in shock for a little while, and may be slightly awkward having a long chat in private and then having another closely after. It may look odd to everyone else.

Thanks for your help, i hope there is more to come haha, Jack xx

wayner said...

To address the sexuality thing, I have always felt (from the wisdom of the years) that a person's sexuality is determined by the sexual urge NOT emotional attraction. Lots of homosexuals enjoy the company of women but the sex is always with guys. I think too many gay guys are taking the easy way out and claiming they are 'bi' when in fact 90% of their sexual urge is for males. To be blunt, your dick doesn't lie. I think bisexual people who have an EQUAL sexual urge for both sexes is relatively rare. If you tell your family you are 'bi' when in fact you are gay then they will be putting the heat on you to get a gf cos life will be 'easier', go figure.
-I do understand how difficult this is for you. Generally speaking if your family is not homophobic (liberal leaning?) and you have gay-friendly or gay friends for support then this greatly facilitates coming out. Also university is a more gay-friendly atmosphere than middle and high school. I feel sorry for those young gay teens from religious fundamentalist or very conservative families, who must wait until they are financially independent before coming out. Me, I was a homosexual teen living in a small homophobic city at a time when there was no such thing as 'coming out' and gay guys living together were called 'confirmed bachelors' lol. For gay guys my age being forced to live a lie is a bitterness that we will take to our graves. Of course Jack this is your personal decision and you know your situation. The main thing is that your family will support you and you can go on to complete your education in the coming years. Btw although love is wonderful, do not place all of your self-worth on the love of one person; this should not be the sole reason for coming out. Also remember that coming out will remove the stress of living a lie, buy may expose you to a degree of prejudice; I hope that doesn't happen in this enlightened day-and-age.
-Everyone's situation is different; I cannot give advice in detail on the coming out process. (why do us gays have to put up with this crap when str8s don't!?) I have read some young gay blogs where coming out to their families was a complete disaster and I have read others where it was no big deal and easier than they thought. It largely depends on the family and you must evaluate this. I think in your case it might be a bit of an upset but it will quickly blow over. You are the same guy as always and that includes your sexuality. bfn - Wayne (good luck!)

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack

Hmmm... another miscellany of thoughts...

I wouldn't worry too much about awkwardness or upsetting people by the order in which you tell them. Coming out to them is going to be a big enough surprise, I suspect, that they won't much worry about how you do it. I would hope that they'll be more conscious of the trust that you will place in them by telling them.

To be honest, I would suggest that you choose the order / arrangements so as to maximise the support you have available at each step. So, for example, tell the sister that you're closer to first - that way you have her on your side whatever else happens. I also have the feeling, from what you've said, that it might be a good idea to tell your mother before your father.

Thanks for the clarification about "guy" as the term to use. I agree - it's helpfully non-specific about age. The only trouble (for me) is that it wasn't widely in use in Britain 25-30 years ago, so it never really got into my vocabulary.

*hugs*

Mark

Jack xx said...

Haha good point Mark, and thanks for the advice :) You're probably right lol.

And Wayne. I understand your school of thought about the sexual urge vs the emotional, and i am one of those awkward people who are about 90% gay. But i am still Strugling (not sure if it is the right word but w/e) with my sexality. And i have to admit that i like the thought of being able to change my mind at a later stage and saying, well i want a gf. (touch wood that me and Peter don't break up lol). So i'm still unsure, but you do have a good point. And d/w, although i do love him and i am coming out for him, it is not as big a thing as you make it sound. I would have come out about 6 months later, but he just gives me the incentive to get it done sooner. :)

Jack xx

jaygeemmm said...

Just cause I have to post:
See your MSN Chat History!
HAHHAHA!!!!

It'll go over well, Jack, we both know that. .001% isn't enough to worry about. That's 1/100,000 of a chance that something will go wrong. Man, better odds than lotto!

Peace <3
Jay

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack

I've just read your latest comment. Please don't get hung up on the label that you use to describe your sexuality. It's just that: a label, a convenient shorthand description for the time being. It doesn't have to fix your sexuality for the rest of your life - at the very worst, you can always say, "I was wrong." Just because you have said at one time, "I am gay" does not mean that you cannot later say, "Oh, I find (some) women attractive, perhaps I'm bi after all." As long as you're attracted to the person that you're in love with (as you evidently are), I think the label really doesn't matter.

Take care

Mark

Jack xx said...

Thanks Mark, you have a good point :) xx

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