How long did it take your parents to come around? Any advice for dealing with difficult family?

likehelpful
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I’m bi, but I’ve never been in a relationship with someone of the same gender. I keep telling myself I’ll come out if I meet someone and it becomes something I can show, something that proves it to be real. But it’s really just an excuse to hide. I’ve heard my mom say bisexuality isn’t real in regards to someone else and it’s just not a discussion I’m ready to have. If you’ve come out to your family, you should be proud of how brave and vulnerable you allowed yourself to be. I’m sorry your family can’t see that :(

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I can tell you that it definitely gets better. I know it's a cliche but when I came out I never thought my parents would act the way they do now. If I could give any advice to my closeted self I would say that I know things seem bleak rn, but if you give folks a chance, you're going to be surprised by how they can change. And even if they don't, you'll find your chosen family. Stay strong, friend.

likehelpful

I came out fully to my somewhat religious family around 30. Prior to that friends in my 20s. I’m 39, gay and married. My family & large extended family was pretty much all very supportive. My Mom, who was divorced by then was previously a ministers wife. She didn’t even bat an eye, big hugs, love and later huge love for my now husband.

I had some religious extended family I was closer with pull back after this and a few who would not attend my wedding - told me they loved me but did not agree and felt my salvation was in trouble. It has caused some rifs over the years. I acknowledged their feelings and their right to have them, voiced my disagreement and well informed opinion (studied lots of religion in college....) and it’s remained cordial and seems like they are slowly coming around in the past 9-10 years.

I second the notion that it gets better. I’m a firm believer in living a life fully open as an example to others. Many are against because they do not understand, have been brainwashed into how bad for society it is, don’t know anyone who is / have not been able to discuss it in depth to understand. Most people live in an echo chamber, especially devout Christians/religious. Any deviation from the doctrine is seen as threatening their whole existence.

I’ve come to understand from this perspective that highly religious people do feel thier salvation and yours are at risk. This is a centering part of their life. So it scares the shit out of them, when you add on top of that most of their social circles and activity’s revolve around church... this challenge to thinking often means a challenge to their worldview, how they live their life, and possibility of losing the support of church friends. To them, its much bigger than me, or you and who we date/marry.

My family has seen me live and thrive being out, they come to my home and me to theirs. I could not imagine my life any differently. In my opinion the only way to get people to come around is to invite them into YOUR life and show them the true YOU, the joy, sorrow, ups, downs and what an amazing person you are. Over time, it’s hard to argue with that.

For those who deal with people who dig in their heels and say nope! You are a sinful person who will burn and who will not lean in to learn more..... getting angry at them is WARRANTED, but in my experience it only serves to push them farther away if we get aggressively angry (ref above threat to worldview). Have a couple of those and I don’t miss those relationships... that said, I always make sure they get a happy birthday, invites to BBQs and family stuff and the knowledge that I love them anyway and am always here for them if they ever want to participate.

We can only control how we react, not how others feel. It sucks and I’m very sorry. I stand by my belief being fully out and respecting yourself above all else is the only way to minimize the depression and mind fucks that go along with being queer.

Wishing you much love and happiness in your life!

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I made a joke once in front of my mom and kind of left it at that 😂 Since I'm bi I later told her that it was something I've known a long time and that if I show up at home with a lady someday that's why.

My brother coming out as bi helped too but me treating it as normal as possible really helped her realize it wasn't actually that big of a deal

likefunny

Every family is different. My mother is from the deep-south-bible-beltin-mason-dixon-yee-haw region of the US, my father is from the rural midwest, both are much older and I came out as a teenager when they were already in their late 50s. My dad used to say “that’s not something you openly tell people” and my mother has yet to inform anyone in her family about it. They thought it was a phase, then thought it was a lifestyle choice coinciding with studded belts, tight pants and multicolored hair. For a good ~5 years after coming out we never spoke about it again. When I brought home my first real boyfriend in college I think they realized I was serious.
But now that I have a job and a life I think they’ve come to realize it makes no difference in who I am and doesn’t hinder one’s ability to succeed in life. But to this day, it’s only come up in conversations maybe 2 or 3 times, all in which I brought it up, and was met with awkward silence and a swift change in subject.
They care deeply about me and my sister and are super super supportive of us, I think it’s just hard for them to wrap their heads around, but I’ve learned to be fine with that.
All I can ask for is to be accepted, and the fact that they’ll go off the rails over my tattoos but never mention my sexuality means I know they accept it’s not a choice and it’s a part of me, even if they have trouble understanding it.
There have been times where my parents have shunned people for saying anti-gay things on the news while we chat about stuff, in stark contrast to their comments when I was a kid about things like banning gay bars, so that’s enough for me to know their outlooks have made a positive change, but they just prefer not to think too deeply about it and leave me to live my life however makes me happy
It’s a weird dynamic to not talk about it, but seeing their age and how they were raised and viewed the world for most of their lives, I’m satisfied enough with how it works

Tl;dr; my advice, don’t be disappointed if they don’t go full-on pride with you off the bat, difficult parents may need small steps so try to be patient with them and remember how different this world was up until even ~10-15 years ago. Stubborn people can change, don’t get mad and attack them verbally if they say something horribly dumb like “since when?” or “why?” and just try to aim for reasonable awareness as your first goal. Cognitive behavior and thinking can be incredibly hard to change in humans with an existing strong outlook
Best of luck to you

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I haven’t told mine :/

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I feel you. I haven’t fully come out to my family either, but I feel like they’re a little more aware now. Would love any advice as well.

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Everyone knows I’m gay except those who share the same blood as me. I am afraid O can lose everything if I come out. Plus in the country I’m from being gay is illegal and punishable by law.

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Personally they still haven’t come around, and because of their faith, they’ve told me “they never will.” They are cordial but it’s hard to feel okay when they say they won’t ever approve of who I am or who I love. It’s kind of a royal mind fuck, especially when they are nice on the surface. Not sure your situation but each is unique and none easier than the other.

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Is it a religious thing or what for your family, OP? Sometimes extra context helps with advice

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Great question. It’s a lot of “this is not right for our family” and “it’s not biologically right” and in regards to my partner and I “if you’re bi you can find a man to marry and you can just be friends”. It’s been about a year and a half now, and I know in the scheme of things that’s not a long time, but I was hoping for some progress by now

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