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NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 11:15 AM
The holidays are quickly approaching. While most people experience a hint of joy at this idea, I'm left with sadness and nervous tension.

Here's why:
My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for 2.5 years. We're in love, and that's not going to change any time soon (I hope!) All my friends are okay with it, and all hers are, as well. Some of her extended family knows about her relationship with me, and they couldn't care less. Her brother and her sister both love me, but her parents never, ever want to meet me, hate that she is involved with me, and don't want to hear a single word about me.

However, they are well aware that I have a good, steady, decent-paying job (I'm able to support the two of us while she pursues her masters, though she just started a job today so that we can have some extra), that I'm a very talented web designer (they saw my web development business site), that I'm not physically unfortunate (they've seen pictures), that I'm well-educated (they saw my resume on my web site because they're nosey), that I'm polite and well-mannered (her brother and sister have both said so), and that I'm not leaving my girlfriend's life any time soon ;)

My family is the same way: my sister completely accepts me and is ok with my girlfriend (though they have a small bit of a personality clash), my cousins are completely cool with it, but my parents... well... here goes:

I "came out" to them as bisexual when I was 16. They thought it was a phase. I dated both girls and guys from the ages of 16-18, until I met my current girlfriend. She is unquestionably my longest relationship to date. My parents were disgusted with my "life choices" and my mom screamed, "LORD! TAKE ME NOW!" and forced me to go to confession. Then, they (Mom especially) wouldn't stop harassing me about being bisexual and telling me how I'm going to ****, reading bible verses to me, then wondering if I need an exorcism :lol: My parents are hardcore homophobes and have 732094709 misconceptions about those who aren't completely straight. Even though I contradict every single misconception in the book (I'm not promiscuous, I don't want to be a member of the opposite sex, etc), they still harbor these very false stereotypes.

I never even told them that the girlfriend and I are romantically involved (because we never, ever discuss the subject of my sexuality) but I'm sure they can read between the lines considering I moved to the other end of the east coast for her, share a bedroom with her, am planning on moving again -with her, and we do everything together. I'm pretty sure they know (even if they don't want to) but like everything else related to my "alternative" sexuality, it's swept under the rug.

This makes me sad that I can't really share my girlfriend with my parents, and she can't share me with hers. Whenever we visit family, we can never bring the other. This causes arguments between us. I've accepted that I will never meet her parents, but she won't accept that she probably should never meet mine unless they become more accepting. She wants to come over to my family's place for one of the major holidays, and I've told her repeatedly that it is not the best idea, because I don't want all **** to blow over and make us both miserable.

We are very serious about each other and the discussion of long-time commitment has come up several times. We're not planning to do this any time *too* soon, but we've mentioned it briefly. I don't want us hitched until we can afford a faaaabulous ceremony and I don't want us hitched until she's done with school. So, it would be in a few years. Still, I know that if we ever DO get hitched, neither of our parents will come to the ceremony, and that sucks.

A part of me wants to cry right now.


nelie
11-01-2007, 11:24 AM
You know what I say? Bring her. See what your parents think. Most people won't say something to someone's face. In my family, we have had family members date/marry people that the family doesn't like but I had never seen any of my family members say anything to that person. They just kind of go with it.

My advice though would be to take it slow and introduce her and maybe hold back on affection in front of them, at least the first time.

Your parents basically have a basic belief that your sexuality is wrong and that may never change. It is too ingrained into them. They may be able to accept it over time but it may take 10, 15 or 20 years for that to happen.

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 11:30 AM
My advice though would be to take it slow and introduce her and maybe hold back on affection in front of them, at least the first time.



I agree there completely. I DO want to introduce her to my family, but I know my family will NOT be able to tolerate any kind of affection. We never are extreme with it (too much PDA is just tacky and very high school) but we do say "I love you," we use pet names, and sometimes I'll hold her hand or put my arm around her. I told her we can't do this without my mother bursting into tears, and she said, "Then we're hiding who we are. I can't say I love you at all? We can't use pet names? We might as well just be ROOMMATES or FRIENDS! BEST FRIENDS is all our mom wants to think we are anyway!"


GONNABE165
11-01-2007, 11:37 AM
I agree with nelie - I say go for it. You only live once and you might as well be happy. It was the same way with my aunt and then my grandparents and other family members came around to it and now they tease my aunt that they will get rid of her from the family and keep her girlfriend instead. Good luck and let us know what happens.

shananigans
11-01-2007, 11:37 AM
Sorry you have to deal with this, it makes me sad that people can’t just be happy for others that have found someone who makes them happy. We should all be so lucky.

I don’t know your parents or your girlfriend, so this is coming from an outsider to the situation (obviously), but I would think that the best way to do this is to start slow and then maybe you can loosen up and be more yourselves after your parents have a little time to warm up to her? If you hit them too hard on the first meeting they might shut her out, but if they can at least pretend in their minds a little bit like you are roommates or something they might open up enough to get to know her as a person, and maybe even like her. Your parents reaction is coming from a place of fear and unfamiliarity, once it becomes more familiar and they see that your girlfriend is a real person (and probably a really nice one!) they might not be so afraid.

kaw
11-01-2007, 11:41 AM
Aww, big :hug:, Shane.

Not sure if you're looking for advice or just sympathy, but I'll give advice anyway: although I understand your desire to avoid conflict, I think you're doing yourself and your girlfriend a disfavor by not coming "out" to your parents. You might consider letting your parents know that their intolerance of your sexuality and your choice of a life partner is making you unhappy and also damaging your relationship with them. I wouldn't put it as a "her" or "them" ultimatum, but your parents do need to know that if they can't accept who you are as an adult, they can't expect to be invited to share a major part of your life as an adult. It's their choice.

Your parents might, in the end, surprise you. Parental love is strong enough to overcome a lot of things, including homophobia and intolerance in the name of "God." (See, e.g., Dick Cheney.) They're not likely to just all of a sudden shed their homophobic beliefs, but they may not apply them to you or your girlfriend. Stereotypes -- and people -- are like that, too.

Kim

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 11:51 AM
Advice, sympathy, it's all good. :)

"Parental love is strong enough to overcome a lot of things, including homophobia and intolerance in the name of "God." (See, e.g., Dick Cheney.)" - good example, Kim. I hope you are right about this; perhaps I should just state the obvious to them. I'm sure they've put two and two together, but hearing it from me will solidify their assumptions. Just thinking about "coming out" to them all over again is making my heart beat out of my chest because of the memories I have of dropping the bisexual bomb. And now, I'm much closer to them than I was then. I'm much more kind and much more respectful towards them than I was as a teen. Our relationship is just SO, SO perfect, except for their homophobia. It's like I'm so scared of breaking their hearts all over again :(

katmeow
11-01-2007, 12:04 PM
My cousin went through the same thing. Her parents practically disowned her... for about a year... and they came around. Parents in my opinion should love unconditionally. I'm one and there is NOTHING my boys could do or be that would make me love them any less.

Her parents adore her partner once they wrapped their brains around the fact that this is (and who is) what makes her happy.

So hang in there.

Robin41
11-01-2007, 12:04 PM
Ok, I'm going to go a completely different way here. My concern, if I were you, would not be about parents. Parents are what they are. They are adults who get to have viewpoints the same as you do; the fact that we don't agree with them is sometimes just the way it is. I married a black guy and Mom has no problem with it and Dad never accepted it till the day he died. Oh well.

Here's my concern when I read your posts. Your girlfriend always sounds really manipulative and controlling to me. She doesn't want you to get as thin as her, she doesn't want you to wear your hair in certain ways that she doesn't like, it's fine for men to look at her but she gets ticked off if they look at you, she gets ticked because you won't force the issue with your parents while doing exactly the same thing with her own. It always sounds like you are trying not to upset her and that can be a hard way to live in the long run.

I'm always amazed at how young you are because your posts are so mature, you seem to be such a strong assertive person that I hope you aren't burying that part of yourself to make this relationship work.

As for the holidays, start you own traditions and screw the people who don't like your choices. (And feel free to tell me to mind my own business. :) )

nelie
11-01-2007, 12:09 PM
Not that it is related, I do have to say that I have a tough time with my parents partly because I'm an only child and I moved away. Also, it has been my moms dream for me to have kids. It isn't my dream. Sometimes she makes me feel like I have broken her heart but she does need to realize that I need to live my life and it doesn't mean that I don't love her.

So I do understand your concerns about breaking your moms heart but really she needs to understand that it is your life, not hers and you need to figure things out for yourself. I think once you start showing her your life (slowly), then she will eventually get the idea that your sexuality is not a phase that will go away.

katmeow
11-01-2007, 12:11 PM
That being said...... perhaps like you have realized, an actual "do you get the reality of the situation" conversation might bring things to a head. That is what she had to do to finally get where she is.

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 12:25 PM
Ok, I'm going to go a completely different way here. My concern, if I were you, would not be about parents. Parents are what they are. They are adults who get to have viewpoints the same as you do; the fact that we don't agree with them is sometimes just the way it is. I married a black guy and Mom has no problem with it and Dad never accepted it till the day he died. Oh well.


:hug: I'm sorry your dad never accepted your marriage :( - but you definitely understand what I'm going through! As a lot of people mentioned, people are often already grounded in their principles and nothing will change that, unfortunately. Of course, I'll probably always hope things will change and try to make it happen anyway ;)


Here's my concern when I read your posts. Your girlfriend always sounds really manipulative and controlling to me. She doesn't want you to get as thin as her, she doesn't want you to wear your hair in certain ways that she doesn't like, it's fine for men to look at her but she gets ticked off if they look at you, she gets ticked because you won't force the issue with your parents while doing exactly the same thing with her own. It always sounds like you are trying not to upset her and that can be a hard way to live in the long run.

To an extent, you are right. She actually doesn't mind when guys check me out, though... I think she may even like it, because it means that the one she's with is attractive and that others want me, but only she can have me. Oops - that goes back to the jealousy thing ;) The only time she's ever really gotten paranoid about stuff like that is when my Halle Berry lookalike friend started hitting on me (in a really explicit way - she was also beyond plastered). She started hating my friend after that, but she's come back around, as her and this particular friend have always gotten along pretty well. The dislike only lasted around a week or so, but of course it would be indefinite if this friend was sober. I wouldn't blame her for that, though.

I DO sometimes feel like I have to walk on eggshells for her, but I've also told her this. We've had rough patches because of the silly double standards she likes to have. I've stated multiple times that it's not fair, and she gave me this silly smile and said, "Since when was this relationship FAIR?:D" I told her to stop being such a diva.

But here's why I stay: She is a very caring person. She's intelligent, witty, well-spoken, well-educated, and full of dreams, ambition, and aspirations. She is supportive of all my dreams, whether it is to own my web design business, become a personal trainer, or even a rock star or actress. I'm very comfortable around her and can act funny, silly, goofy, and all kinds of dorky without getting made fun of. She's very affectionate and doesn't mind holding my hand, hugging me, or even kissing me in public (not in tacky make out way, just a little peck). She writes me cute, sweet things, and I do the same for her. She's appreciative of every little thing I do for her and she gives me lots of compliments, pets my head, and tells me how great I am WHILE genuinely meaning it! :D We're very connected, can finish each other's sentences, and have very similar views on many different subjects. While she isn't into everything I'm into, we have enough common interests to have tons to discuss. She is not afraid of what people think of her, which I love. Oh, and she's absolutely stunning, physically.



I'm always amazed at how young you are because your posts are so mature, you seem to be such a strong assertive person that I hope you aren't burying that part of yourself to make this relationship work.

As for the holidays, start you own traditions and screw the people who don't like your choices. (And feel free to tell me to mind my own business. :) )

Aww, thank you. :)

And mind your own business!

Just kidding :p

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 12:30 PM
Not that it is related, I do have to say that I have a tough time with my parents partly because I'm an only child and I moved away. Also, it has been my moms dream for me to have kids. It isn't my dream. Sometimes she makes me feel like I have broken her heart but she does need to realize that I need to live my life and it doesn't mean that I don't love her.

So I do understand your concerns about breaking your moms heart but really she needs to understand that it is your life, not hers and you need to figure things out for yourself. I think once you start showing her your life (slowly), then she will eventually get the idea that your sexuality is not a phase that will go away.

You know, there is also the possibility that she wonders if she did anything while raising you to make you not want children. ;) Often, when parents have dreams for their children that their children don't want, or the children do something that they don't like, they start to internalize it and wonder if they did anything wrong. ;)

Spinymouse
11-01-2007, 12:38 PM
Ah, parents.
Some of them want to control their offspring well into adulthood, forever if they can get away with it, and just can't let go of that control. My mother was like that. I still have nightmares about it.

There is also the idea that "when you are in my house you will do things my way," which I can sort of understand. It is a control thing again, but at least it's only for a short duration. Maybe you could give your parents that much and stifle the affectionate stuff while you are there, but still let them know how things are with you and your girlfriend.

CABunnyGirl
11-01-2007, 12:47 PM
Just my 2-cents (worth only what you paid for it) is that you should open up a dialogue with your parents wherein you let them know you've made a decision and that you are no longer bi-sexual but a gay woman in a very loving and committed relationship. Every parent wants their child to find love...

Define who you are and what you're feeling so they'll know exactly what they're dealing with. Tell them what you are and feel and stick to it. You are a much different person now than you were at 16 and even at 18 when you told them you were bi.

Today, you are a mature young woman in a committed relationship that's moving toward the long-term. Let your parents know this is who you are and ask that they accept your partner, whether it be this one or someone else in the future. After all, if you were straight, there would have been more than one man they would have met by now...

Ask them to accept YOU first and then ask them to trust YOU to bring into their lives someone who will respect them and their values the way you do.

Just like you wouldn't parade a bunch of different guys through your family holiday gatherings, ask your family to trust that when you do introduce someone it's because they are special to you and you wish to share them with your family.

I think it would make a difference and help your parents to know this is not a choice, it is not about all about sex, and most of all, there is no confusion left in you so they needn't be confused either!

I've been married since I was 19 (22 years); fresh out of a Catholic high school and raised in a very strict German Catholic family - I'd never met a gay person until I started working with a lesbian in my 20's... When I asked her why she couldn't just love a man and be happy she told me it was because I couldn't love a woman and be happy; it's just that simple.

I don't believe who you love is always a choice and your parents need to hear that not all gay people live a deviant lifestyle. There are plenty of examples of healthy, happy, successful gay couples and you're next on that list! Surround yourself with loving and supportive people and remember, if her family or your family cannot or will not accept you, there is joy to be had in self-acceptance and the family you build together.

Often when parents hear their child is gay they sprint straight for the closet you've just come out of. There is a lot of shame, blame and unhappiness to go around. But it doesn't have to be that way...

Bottom line, this is your life and you're a caring and wonderful daughter to want your family to be a part of your life... I believe that if you respect your parents, (and it may mean holding off on pet names and PDA when you're around them) eventually they will trust you and whom it is that you love. Remember, deep down all they want is your happiness and a lot of what you might see as anger is just fear that their daughter might be disappointed or get hurt.

I think down the road there is happiness in store for all of you - just by the very fact that you're all still talking.

You may want to pick up Straight Parents, Gay Children (Inspiring Families to Live Honestly and With Greater Understanding) by Robert Bernstein, and ask your Mom and/or dad to consider reading it.

With or without your family the holidays (and the other 363 days of the year) should still be a wonderful and exciting time for you. You are creative, brilliant, successful and best of all, loved back by someone.

My best to you,

Janet

mandalinn82
11-01-2007, 12:56 PM
OK, this is how my mom explained this to me after our own somewhat troublesome coming out drama (she sort of flipped for a while, both of my parents did, and then they adjusted. Now Sarah is literally, 100% a part of the family): Every parent, from the moment their child is born, gets a vision in their head for how that child will be. They picture everything - the first day at school, the wedding, the first grandkids, etc. There are parts of that picture that have to fundamentally change when your child comes out to you. You have to take a story you've been writing in your head for 16 or however many years, and you have to re-write some of the main characters! Often, this is really hard to do, and you go into a period of mourning for the characters you created. Straight-Nightengale-Shane has to be put away for good, and replaced with something new. Its sort of scary for a lot of parents, and if there is ANY way they can convince themselves that their old story can still come true, they will. Thats why hiding behind not being affectionate and not making things crystal clear to them isn't going to help the situation - they will be blind, if necessary, in order to preserve their story.

HOWEVER, the way you get someone to do that, to re-write that story, is to face them with the reality of what the new story will have to be. I'm not talking about making out in front of them. I'm talking about treating your gf like you would in front of any set of adults you wanted to be respectful of, and letting the chips fall where they may. Only then will your parents be forced to acknowledge facts and, if they can, rewrite that story. Ramp up the physical affection slowly, but make it clear.

You can't control whether they actually do it. Some parents would rather cast you out from their lives than rewrite the story they've worked so hard to create. By the way, "I did something to make this happen" or "where did I go wrong" are also the language of the "story", so to speak...they acknowledge the fears the parent has that they are somehow the reason the story they'd been working on for all of those years got "messed up".

I'd also like to point out that very Christian parents who cry about your homosexuality, ask if it is a phase, ask what they did wrong, etc don't necessarily fail to show up at ceremonies. We had Sarah's mom AND Godmother, both of whom cried about our "life choices", and one of whom almost didn't show at our ceremony, but in the end, they came. So please don't write them off - you never know what is going to happen with people. We never thought her mom would come, but she did, and she posed with the family and sat in the front and, actually, had a good time. If we had never invited her, we'd never know that she had the strength to do that.

:hug: to you. It takes some parents some time. I NEVER thought my parents would be as close to us as they are now. And Sarah CERTAINLY didn't, given her mom's past behavior (year she came out to her, Sarah's xmas gift from her mom was a Rosary...when Sarah had said she was no longer Catholic). But in a LOT of cases, even the ones you don't expect to manage it.

veggielover
11-01-2007, 01:08 PM
Wow, you have a heavy task on your shoulders. I read an article once where a woman, about to get married, had difficulty getting her father to accept her homosexuality. In fact, the father stopped talking to her after he realized that she and her partner were engaged. He didn't care for her until the day of the wedding, where he showed up in a suit, trying to escort her down. Eventually, he accepted that it was her choice and NOT his. I mean, in a way I feel that most non-heterosexual relationship strike parents as "alarming" initially if the parents themeselves were heterosexual. I think that there's always a chance of acceptance after they "get over it", especially if they really love the child, because the last thing loving parents would want is for their child to live a life that he/she just can't intuitively follow or like. It's almost irrelevant, I feel, for some parents to start preaching the bible when they first learn of it. In fact, it seems so utterly desperate to change an individual because they feel that they know better or what is right. I asked my mom on the matter of sexuality once, where I told her that I'm not quite attracted to EITHER sex. She didn't accept it and told me that eventually I'd change, but then few years later, she told me, whatever I did, so as long as I was happy, it was okay. The reason why she didn't accept it at first, was because she thought I was still "young" and didn't understand the nature of love and sexual relationships. But as I grew older, I was well aware of things and I still haven't changed my view, and my mother told me that she's okay with anything that I do now (I mean, in her eyes, I've probably matured and learned a lot more for my decision-making capabilities).

Cheer up :hug:, don't cry.

nelie
11-01-2007, 01:09 PM
Oh yeah, Amanda put it best, act as you would in front of any adults you would be respectful of, no matter if you are gay or not. When my husband (then boyfriend) met my parents, we didn't touch in front of them at all. Same when I met his parents. We then slowly would hold hands in front of them or hug but really we don't kiss in front of them. We are very affectionate with eachother but in front of other people, especially parents and other family members, we rather not be.

At first, I was nervous enough about meeting his parents or his meeting mine.

aymster
11-01-2007, 01:12 PM
:hug: N-Shane.

Although I've never struggled as you have, I want you to know that not all families are blood-related and you have people here that genuinely care and are here to support you as a family should. So, please think of us when you are down--really! I feel as though you're a very strong person as am I and I don't let other people control my happiness and you shouldn't let others control your happiness either, no matter who they are, because you have that power.

I think you should stay strong, live your life with pride and dignity (as I'm sure you are), and always remember that you count. Know that there is a generation of people who accept people for who they are and the differences they make in this world. And that is what matters.

I do trust your family will eventually come around, but until then, invite your extended family (friends, co-workers, whomever) to your place for the holidays are share it with people you love and that love you.... ALL of you. You'll still probably feel some sort of emptiness to some degree, but life is too short to be unhappy. (I didn't speak to my Dad for about 10 years and I wish I had those years back now and I know he does too.)

Now, you can tell me to shut T.F. up too. But it would really sadden me if you spent the holidays sad. We're not blood, and have never met, but as strong women, we'll always be sisters!! ;)

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 01:45 PM
Wow, CABunnyGirl, what an insightful and well thought out reply! :)

"I think it would make a difference and help your parents to know this is not a choice, it is not about all about sex, and most of all, there is no confusion left in you so they needn't be confused either! " Oh, believe you me, I've tried :lol: I guess I just have to keep trying, eh?

I think it is wonderful that even after never meeting anyone gay or bi before, that when you met one and asked her why, she gave you an answer and you accepted it. This shows that you are an open-minded person who is willing to accept others before pushing them away and criticizing them. :) :hug:

I love the way you put this: "I believe that if you respect your parents, (and it may mean holding off on pet names and PDA when you're around them) eventually they will trust you and whom it is that you love" - respect them. That is a new term that I should introduce to my girlfriend regarding why we should not be affectionate. Currently, it is a matter of respect for their wishes, and respecting one little wish should not damper all the fun we could have with my family. It's no different than, say, taking your shoes off at the door and putting them on the hardwood floor before the carpet so that we don't tread dirt.

"You are creative, brilliant, successful and best of all, loved back by someone. " Awwwwwww thank you :o :hug:


mandalinn82 - I love the analogy your mom eventually told you. It's absolutely on point. Out of curiousity, how long did it take your parents to accept you and Sarah?
"Thats why hiding behind not being affectionate and not making things crystal clear to them isn't going to help the situation - they will be blind, if necessary, in order to preserve their story." <----this is the same logic that my girlfriend has, which is why she is upset about us hiding our pet names and "I love you"s that we say so frequently. She says that if my mom can continue living in her dream world, she most certainly will.

I'm amazed that Sarah's parents actually showed up at the ceremony, because I couldn't imagine my parents doing the same. My dad is a local politician up in VA and publicly speaks against homosexuality and gay marriage, while my mom is a converted Catholic (you know, those are always the most religious!) When I came out to them at 16, my dad said, "Ok" and stated that although he did not like it very much, there was nothing he could do, and he would still accept me. My mom, on the other hand, literally threw the bible at me. Now, are whether Sarah's parents are finally coming around on the acceptance front or whether they just went because they love their daughter and want to see her happy (even while not particularily liking the fact it's with another woman) doesn't even matter... I think it's GREAT that they arrived, and not because they wanted to burn the place down ;)

veggielover - wow, you know, I think stating you're not attracted to *either* sex (and being old enough to know) probably baffles parents even more than being homosexual does! Your mom probably thought you were in a silly phase that she refused to accept because in her mind, that wasn't true. Like mandalinn stated, parents love to write the story of their children's lives, and your parents probably wrote a story about you getting married and having children.

aymster -
"Know that there is a generation of people who accept people for who they are and the differences they make in this world. And that is what matters." YUP!! :D And I am VERY grateful for this! I am so happy that I'm not living, say, in the Victorian age, or even the 50's or early-to-mid 60's, where homosexuality was largely closeted and considered very wrong. Back in the early 60's, it was ok to beat up queers (btw, I do not use this term in a derogatory way, I actually embrace it because it describes my fluid sexuality), so I'm glad I got to grow up in the 90's and 00's where homosexuality finally became more tolerated and brought into the mainstream. People are no longer afraid to come out of the closet. That 1 in 10 people = not straight rule has finally become visibly true (Kinsey stated this from his studies, but not a lot of people were "out" back then).

And aymster, I'd never tell you to shut up. Your kind, powerful words made me smile!! :)

Wow, Shy Moment, that's rather amazing that you were able to handle those situations harmoniously.

Now, I never called my parents any names. I have a good relationship with them, but it still saddens me that I can't share the person I love with them. It didn't really start making me sad until more and more time elapsed, as I wouldn't introduce anyone to them, male or female, until I felt like we were serious.

"I see no difference in this situation as in a family not wanting a womans husband around or a mans wife around." -- you are absolutely right, and if my girlfriend was a man my parents didn't accept, I'd still be upset that they were so against him, especially if I thought we might have future plans. I would still try to show them that he wasn't what they seemed to think he was and that I truly loved him.

I was perfectly okay with not discussing my bisexuality (and now I suppose gay since I'm in a monogamous relationship with a woman, but if we were no longer together, I would be bi again) with my parents because it was my business. I was single, so there was no reason to have extensive discussions about it with them. I told them when I was 16 because I was close to them and wanted to be completely honest. Plus, back then, I was a little confused, since my upbringing taught me to hate everyone who wasn't straight, and suddenly... oops! Of course, now that I am seriously involved with someone (who just happens to be female), I just really wish I could share her with my parents without getting any of the "GET your GAY stuff out of my house" type talk. Even if they didn't accept our sexuality, I wish they would just accept her and tolerate it enough to let us be in the same house together without fighting or bickering.

I don't feel like that is too much to ask. :)

FrouFrou - are you a mom? If so, I bet you're a great one to have that attitude. And if you aren't, you WILL be a great one when and if you decide to have kids. That is an amazing thing to say. Really. It may seem so obvious but is sometimes not put into practice.

CABunnyGirl
11-01-2007, 01:57 PM
You are most welcome!

Just remember to love and value yourself... People tend to treat us the way we teach them to treat us.

Surround yourself in love and enjoy this beautiful, crazy, wonderful life. It's such a gift!

CABunnyGirl
11-01-2007, 02:03 PM
I love the way you put this: "I believe that if you respect your parents, (and it may mean holding off on pet names and PDA when you're around them) eventually they will trust you and whom it is that you love" - respect them. That is a new term that I should introduce to my girlfriend regarding why we should not be affectionate. Currently, it is a matter of respect for their wishes, and respecting one little wish should not damper all the fun we could have with my family. It's no different than, say, taking your shoes off at the door and putting them on the hardwood floor before the carpet so that we don't tread dirt. You get it!


Remember, I never wanted to see my parents make-out and thankfully, I never did (they've been married now 44 years and I'm sure they have!) and now that I'm the mother of two sons (19 and 16), I don't want to see my sons make-out either! There is a time and place... And, frankly, PDA is not necessary to prove you belong to the other person or that you should be together. Let your actions and the respect you show others speak for your love and togetherness.

When my boys get in the back seats with their girlfriends the first thing I say when I hop into the truck is, "Everyone keep their lips to themselves." And, I know the boys are hoping that goes for me and my husband too!

Much love,

J

mandalinn82
11-01-2007, 02:04 PM
Well, "accept" is a funny term. When they stopped being outwardly uncomfortable? Probably 1.5-2 years in, but we live very close and they saw quite a bit of us. My dad only started referring to her as my partner in mixed company (ie, introducing us to friends at work) after the ceremony, at which point we had been together 6 years and 4 months. And in terms of LANGUAGE, we still have some issues (Our ceremony had to be referred to as just that...no mention of "marriage" "wife" or "married" allowed. And yes, I had to send a memo on that to my vendors. But I'd rather call it something else than offend people (ok, offend Sarah's mom or my dad, who also had a religious upbringing and attaches certain religious traits on the word "marriage") on terminology issues). So it was a gradual process. They are very much "we love you the way you are" now.

Again, you NEVER KNOW who is going to support you. At the wedding, we had my very Lutheran aunt, who once took her son out for ice cream after he got suspended for calling someone a fag. We had my ex-military, staunchly Republican grandfather, and he danced with me at the reception and now treats Sarah exactly the same as he does my sister's husband. We had aunts and cousins and all kinds of people we thought might have an issue with it.

You know, Sarah's mom had a lot to struggle with on the whole gay thing. Backstory - Sarah's mom and dad got pregnant young, got married when Sarah was 1, and then divorced when she was 3-4 because Sar's DAD came out. So not only was it against her religion, but she also had to contend with negative feelings about homosexuality because it, basically, made her into a single mother. It was REALLY hard for her. But she showed! So please, take heart. People do surprise you!

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 02:31 PM
mandalinn - Sarah's mom's story sounds somewhat similar to my mom's, only... my mom's father was gay, instead. He was in the closet until the last year of his life, though he had homosexual affairs while married to my grandmother which he denied but still ended up making everyone upset. Therefore, my mom believes homosexuality puts undying misery on the family. My dad doesn't like homosexuals (as I mentioned above) but he "took" the news a lot better than my mom did because he had no negative personal experience with it.

CABunnyGirl - :lol: I don't want to see my parents make out, either, and I would never EVER make out in front of them. By PDA, I meant more like "I love you" and pet names, and maybe a hand holding and an arm around... if my parents made out in front of me, I'd be nauseated. I'd like to believe I was dropped off on my parents' door step by a stork, because the idea of them doing anything else is pretty unappealing! ;)

""Everyone keep their lips to themselves." " --that is so cute! haha.

pamatga
11-01-2007, 02:54 PM
:hug: That's for you! :hug:This is for being out here so we can get to know you deeper.

I am dealing with similar issues only on the other end. My adult child "came out" to me on March 12, 2007! She came to me first. I found this ironic since we had had a very stormy relationship, in spite of my efforts otherwise, for almost fifteen years. I "advised' her to NOT tell others at this point. My parents, her grandparents, were preparing for my Dad's surgery and both have health issues. I told my sister, her aunt, who has only gay friends although she is straight, and she HIT THE ROOF---which I thought was strange, odd and annoying!

I am Catholic but immediately accepted, loved and embraced my only child because she is my only child and she is my "flesh of flesh, bones of bones." You can't get any closer than that. I have told her repeatedly that I will support her no matter what! I am behind her 100%. I am not saying it was easy but I have moved through all of the emotions that you can imagine.

Her decision broke up an eight year relationship with her straight boyfriend who moved out yesterday. My heart is with you and your struggles but you sound strong and you will do fine.

Thank you for sharing:hug:

CABunnyGirl
11-01-2007, 03:04 PM
I hear you and those little PDA's are okay and will be accepted in time...

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 03:11 PM
pamatga - That takes immense courage and serenity to be able to immediately accept and support your daughter's coming out. :hug:

8 years, huh? Wow... she must have gone through a good amount of struggles to finally become okay with her identity to stick with a man that long before realizing. ;) I'm sure he is pissed off and heart broken, even if it is nothing he did. Sometimes, when people tell their (straight) significant others that they are gay, they end up becoming the best of friends... I hope this can happen for your daughter :)

purpleorc
11-01-2007, 03:15 PM
I do not have any great words of wisdom that have not been posted before in this thread. I was brought up in a sheltered environment to say the least. So when I left home it certainly was an experience and I saw actually what was out there in the big wild world. After reading about your Mum and Dadís unwillingness to accept you for you I was filled with great sadness.

I wish that people would accept people for what they are not their sexuality. I find it so difficult to comprehend how people are so intolerable of a different sexual orientation. At the end of the day the person is the same person before they told them of their sexual preferences. For me the most important thing in the world is how a person treats me with respect not who they are sexually.

I hope that yours and Sarahís parents overtime become accepting of who you are and who you love. I think it will take some time but I hope that the parental love for you or Sarah conquers all and they embrace you both as a partnership. In the beginning it may mean taking things very slowly by showing virtually no affection to each other or no pet names. But gradually as they accept that Sarah and you are serious about each other and it is not a passing phase. Maybe then you could slowly show affection and pet names. But it may mean some level of compromise by having the brakes on so to speak and never being really openly affectionate.

Best wishes to both you and Sarah for the future.

ennay
11-01-2007, 04:38 PM
mandalinn - Sarah's mom's story sounds somewhat similar to my mom's, only... my mom's father was gay, instead. He was in the closet until the last year of his life, though he had homosexual affairs while married to my grandmother which he denied but still ended up making everyone upset. Therefore, my mom believes homosexuality puts undying misery on the family. My dad doesn't like homosexuals (as I mentioned above) but he "took" the news a lot better than my mom did because he had no negative personal experience with it..

One of the things I have reminded people of when they bring up stories like this as proof that homosexuality causes misery is to remind them that it wasnt being homosexual that caused the pain, it was ADULTRY that caused the pain. Pure and simple, grandpa cheated on grandma - who with is nearly immaterial. Now perhaps if he had been allowed to accept who he really was at a young enough age he would have never entered in to a covenant he was not prepared mentally or spiritually to honor. (of course then I am faced with the thought that if my parents hadnt been forced to pretend to be straight I wouldn't be here :lol:)

I think....long and short...are you prepared to hide for the rest of your life? You clearly love your family. I think it is time to be up front. As other posters have said, dont FLAUNT your relationship, be respectful, but also..dont act ashamed either. If you ACT ashamed and hide it you are "proving" to them that there is something to be ashamed about. Dont argue, dont plead, just BE. This is who you are, no shame, no defense necessary.

Right now you are writing their script for your parents just as much as they wrote it for you. You dont really know how they will respond. It may be ugly and heated and come around in the long run, it may be uncomfortable for many years. Or they may completely surprise you.

THe number of times I have worked myself up deciding how someone else was GOING to react and been wrong far out numbers the times I was right.

And your partner needs to think about that too - she is positive her parents will be worse than yours...nearly EVERYONE thinks that when bringing home a mate!

Good luck

pamatga
11-01-2007, 05:41 PM
She started sharing with him about one year ago. He stayed with her for a year. In that time, my understanding, is that he helped encourage her to go to a support group which she did, seek counseling with a GLBTG counselor and even has her on his health insurance until the end of the year.

I think he struggled with it but he gave her a 60 day notice that he was moving out and he separated from her over a period of time, which I think a lot of long term relationships end up doing.

I love them both. He has a brother who is gay and whom he is very close with so I am sure he is getting the support that he needs as well.

No one likes to see any relationship, especially a good one, end but it explains to me why she seemed so angry at times to me. I tried to reach out but it was like trying to hug a porcupine---painful for us both! As she becomes more open with who she is she seems more calm. She even found an employer who was/is openly supported of the GLBTG. This was important to her. She will now have her own health insurance. Now, I am just worried about her affording $840 a month for her apartment. I just want her to have a stable rent-paying roommate!!
:D

alinnell
11-01-2007, 06:18 PM
Shane and everyone else~I really enjoyed reading this post! Not that I'm in any of these situations but I am living in one of the largest gay communities in the US, so I see a lot of different things.

What I have realized after living here for 17 years is that there are really two types of gay people (IMO). Those that are comfortable with who they are and are happy to just be themselves and those that for some reason need to really flaunt their differences (and I'm not referring to the guy that is overtly effeminate or the girl that is a stereotypical jock).

Each year Palm Springs hosts a number of different gay-themed parties: Gay Pride (this weekend), the White Party, etc. These things bring in large numbers of gays from other areas and, I think, a lot of these folks are really still in the closet and coming here allows them to try and be open with other gays before returning home to their closet. Those are the ones that I feel are the different ones--they act ENTIRELY different than the gays who are comfortable with themselves (and obviously are no longer in any closet). I don't know if I'm making sense or not, but I can tell an "out of towner" from a "local" just by their actions around one another. The out of towners are much more "in your face" about being gay--flaunting it ad naseum. Just like I don't enjoy watching straight folks playing kissy-face on the street, I don't like watching gays groping and licking each other (save it for the bedroom, folks!). The gays that are comfortable with themselves might hold hands, put their arms around each other, give each other a hug or peck. All that is fine, normal behavior (for gay or straight). Sex acts (or those remotely close to that) shouldn't be seen in public.

I hope I haven't offended anyone (it certainly wasn't my intention!). Basically the point I'm trying to make is that you need to be comfortable with who you are and don't do anything that might make anyone around you feel uncomfortable.

NightengaleShane
11-01-2007, 06:31 PM
Eughhh, public sex. :barf: Those people just constantly perpetuate BAD gay stereotypes!

I'm definitely one of the "comfortable" ones. I've been out of the closet since I was 16. Now, back then, I DID make a spectacle of it. I wore rainbow crap, chopped off all my hair (so I could look more "gay" :lol: - but I keep the short hair now because it's both cute and versatile), and looooved to talk about how BISEXUAL I was! Of course, bisexuality was pretty trendy in my teen years (remember t.A.t.u? they just did it to turn guys on, but that's why most "bi girls" were "bi" at my HS).

By the age of 18, I decided it was no one's business but my own and there was no reason for me to discuss it or flaunt it.

I am who I am. I no longer feel the need to "come out of the closet" like I did when I was younger. Who I am with is just a part of me and my life... it's so natural to talk about it that I don't even think twice.

I don't really go to gay pride parades. I did when I was younger, but now I just feel like they really do perpetuate bad stereotypes. We don't need that. I don't care to see practically naked men parading around on floats groping each other.

I also think gay and bi people would not feel the need to flaunt it if they knew they were mostly accepted by people. They flaunt it because they feel like they have been repressed for so long. The way I see it... is that people don't need to accept "gay people" to accept me as a person. I'm a genuinely kind person and most find it tough to dislike me... I naturally break some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that people harbor about anyone who is not straight.

Lovely
11-01-2007, 11:26 PM
:hug: Just want to send some good vibes your way, Shane.

I'm not sure how often you try to bring the subject up and I'm not sure how close to either set of parents you live, but have you tried the standard "Hey Mom, hey Dad! Ya know I was thinking that we don't really get to see eachother as often as I'd like. My girlfriend and I would simply LOVE to take you guys out for dinner! Our treat! What's your favorite place?" Repeat as needed with various activities always including your girlfriend in the equation. Granted... this really all depends on how hard to want to try, and how often you feel like getting rejected.

Sometimes we have to be the adult in a situation where we're dealing with another adult who isn't acting like an adult. (Could I say the word adult more? Sure. I just don't want to... :p)

This may mean that you have to be the one who holds that door open to your parents (and your girlfriend to her parents) always letting them know that it's open, and that you'll love them no matter what they choose. (Kinda reverses it on them alittle bit! >_<)

On a side note there's lotsa Catholic stuff being brought up, and it reminded me of when I "came out" as an Agnostic to my very German Catholic Mother. (Oh yes, it all needs capitalizing! :lol:) She realized I wasn't going to church anymore, and was more upset than at any other point I can ever remember in my entire life. For weeks I could feel a painful icy stare in my direction. She kept bringing up religion. I kept saying "I love you, Mom." Eventually things settled down.

Now years later, I know she still prays for me. Heck, everytime I leave her house she says "Go with God." "Be with God." "God loves you." But she's always done that every once and awhile so I know it's just her own way of saying she cares. Now she just does it a little more fervently.
I'm not going to be able to change her, and I love her enough to keep my mouth shut, and say my prayers at the table before supper with the family. I can overlook this "flaw" (and it's not really a flaw, just a difference) because it's something that doesn't really bother me or belittle me.

We'll all put up with a lot for family...

Sorry, got a little off topic, but my point is that you may need to take the reins in regards to your parents.

Maybe your parents really aren't sure how to handle it all, and need your guidance by example?

All the best of luck ~

mandalinn82
11-01-2007, 11:52 PM
Shane - wow, I could have written your post word-for-word. After my sister's wedding, my mom and I had a conversation about how, given how most people who DON'T live in major gay centers have little experience with gay people except via pride parade footage, it was great that some of my relatives got to see "normal" gay people.

I'm just like everybody else - domestically settled, Martha Stewart-esque, cooks at home me. And Sarah and I had a big discussion about how that means we don't "fit" in the gay population. We're a very typical, all-American lesbian couple.

That was off topic but I felt so connected to your post I needed to respond!

veggielover
11-02-2007, 12:45 AM
Gosh, reading all these posts makes me feel so alone. I kind of wish I could identify with either any one of you, but I can't because I just so "not either way". My brother gave me this strange look the other day when I mentioned this to him, and he think's I'm crazy....

Mandalinn, I live in New York City, where most "gay" types are your very stereotypical types, but I don't know what you mean by "normal" type of gay. Especially the males. It's very, very chic to be flamboyantly gay these days. (The females are "butch" types with LOW DEEP VOICES) In fact, being gay is like wearing the new black where I live, and hiding in the closet is a super-faux-pas. I'm a small minority of the asexual community, which I swear, seems to be blooming. I don't even know what "normal" is anymore. You mean like, "normal" in a way that you couldn't tell the sexual preference based on their outward appearance, behavior and mannerisms?

mandalinn82
11-02-2007, 12:48 AM
Normal as in, if you put me in a room and had me interact with a bunch of people, no one would know I was gay unless I told them. anti-stereotypical.

Lovely
11-02-2007, 01:16 AM
Gosh, reading all these posts makes me feel so alone. I kind of wish I could identify with either any one of you, but I can't because I just so "not either way". My brother gave me this strange look the other day when I mentioned this to him, and he think's I'm crazy....

But there are similarities. People give you strange looks... people just not understanding. This is the way you are, and it makes sense to you. It's just another way a human might be.

A little bit of a side track, but I sometimes imagine living in a future where it's all pretty much in the background. Uhm... for example, no one talks about their sex life or sexuality all the time. (Or rather, no polite person :lol:) I consider it a rather personal thing. I don't bring up intimate moments with my boyfriend to the public (and certainly not to my parents... mortifying!). So what I've always wanted is for it to be brought up in a casual sort of way, the way that I might bring it up ... like "Yeah my boyfriend and I went to the park this weekend and -insert amusing story here-." That way I can go "K, this person has a boyfriend... filed away in the back of my head in case needed later" and move on.

Being straight or bi-sexual or homosexual or transgendered or non-sexual or purple monkey elephant dishwasher is part of who we are, but certainly not all of it.

It's kind of like that annoying stereotype that all gay people get along. Hello! It's not a hobby like quilting! That's like saying all women get along. Just because you have something in common does not mean you're going to like eachother. (I know this from personal experience being that I was a major _ _ _ hag back in school.)

I'm not sure where I was headed with all of this... so I'll just end it now >_>

junebug41
11-02-2007, 01:33 AM
Shane - wow, I could have written your post word-for-word. After my sister's wedding, my mom and I had a conversation about how, given how most people who DON'T live in major gay centers have little experience with gay people except via pride parade footage, it was great that some of my relatives got to see "normal" gay people.

I'm just like everybody else - domestically settled, Martha Stewart-esque, cooks at home me. And Sarah and I had a big discussion about how that means we don't "fit" in the gay population. We're a very typical, all-American lesbian couple.

That was off topic but I felt so connected to your post I needed to respond!

I don't know why this made me think of this, but my roommates this past summer when I was in Nashville were a lesbian couple. Of course, if this had bothered me I would have ignored their reply to my craigslist ad, but I didn't give it a second thought. However, they were very foward with the fact that were gay, mentioning it a few times.

The funny part is, I could not have cared less that they were a gay couple, but they failed to mention to me that they were extremely environmentally strict, which affected my daily life much more than them sharing a bed :lol:

But they didn't fit the stereotype either. And I guess Nashville has a large lesbian population and I didn't meet one stereotypical lesbian there either.

I dunno. maybe I need to brush up on my stereotypes.

Edit: But yeah. I guess the broader point would be someday, stereotypes just won't matter because you won't be able to tell enough to care. Because people are going to be who they are and everyone will stop being so damn sensitive to it.

techwife
11-02-2007, 08:43 AM
N- I only read your original post to this thread and just want to comment. I've been a hairdresser since the early 80's and, hence, have known a gay man or two (or three). I have to admit...back in the 80's I was totally freaked out by gay people. I had all the typical paradigms in my head...the lesbians were, of course, all looking at me like I was interested in them and the guys were all just icky people that put their you know whats you know where. I was totally freaked out. Alls I can say to stick up for myself is I grew up in the country and was raised by totally conservative parents and all this gayness was totally foriegn to me and I just didn't understand.

Then I met a friend of mine in an office named Jane. She was a manager that worked under my boss and she was in my office or on my phone asking me to help her with something or set up a meeting of some sort. We had many conversations about our own personal relationships and I found that, with the exception of the fact that she is gay, we had a lot of the same problems and heartaches and crap going on. She didn't want our boss to know of her relationship because he was...well, like my parents...but she used to expense $25 a night for hotel expense when she stayed at her partner's house for travel. I remember one day my boss coming in and saying, 'you know, I think Jane is gay...' and I said, 'what give you that idea?' and he just walked away scratching his head.

Then I left that job and worked in anohter office and met my friend Ed. Here was a guy that had a relationship I was totally envious of. He and his partner David would get up in the mornings and both sit and have coffee in their robes, each with a cat on their lap, watching Matt and Katie, then Ed would go off to take a shower while David made him his lunch and started the car for him so it would warm up. I used to call them Ward and Ward Cleaver. Ed is still one of my friends and we e-mail from time to time and when I go to visit my frineds in Rochester (I moved away a few years ago), he's on my list to visit.

Anyhow...my point is, many people have phobias about things they don't understand or haven't had exposure to. What many people don't understand...or what I didn't understand...is that homosexuality isn't just about who you're having sex with, but a lifestyle change that, once you remove the unfamiliarity of it all, isn't so different from heterosexuality. We all want to love and be loved by the right people.

Its all a matter of breaking down barriers one at a time.

Then there's the parents. I feel the pain of both sides because I am a parent. Here's the thing for me...we have children...say, a girl. Almost instantly, we're thinking and dreaming of what their future will be. Will she be a musician? An athlete? A dancer? What will her boyfriends or husband look like? What will my grandchildren look like? Never in the equation is there, I hope she becomes a lesbian! It's just not in the equation of what we hope for or expect from our children. Of course, we want our kids to be happy, but your parents, likely, grew up in the 60's or maybe the 50's...I don't know how old they are...but if I had a hard time accepting homosexuality growing up in the 80's, holy crap, imagine how hard it is for them to accept it growing up in an even more conservative time span?

Problem is, from my perspective, people that have a hard time accepting homosexuality may be having a hard time accepting anything from what exactly is going on behind closed doors to the religious aspect to the whole, "this is just not normal" aspect. In your situation, in particular...I think you've been through more than the usual amount of bad times in your life. you could pull the heart strings of your parents to understanding this further and that you have finally found happiness in this relationship. I think I read one reply here that said that you should bring her around and not hold hands or act romatically at all. That is up to you...but to force it down your parents throats may backfire. You should wait till they are ready. Bringing her around in a very casual environment until they can get to know her and realize that she's not some sort of freak may be a better route, instead of tossing her at them during the holidays.

As a parent, all I'm saying is to think of their feelings, too. Before they can accept this in their lives, they have to first have a chance to alter their hopes and dreams they have for their little girl...realizing that you probably aren't going to get married to a handsome man and have beautiful babies or whatever. You are going to go on into a relationship that THEY are, in turn, going to have to explain to their conservative friends and they are going to be embarassed and ashamed, etc...until they can learn to get behind you and support you...which is where you want to be with them someday. But it won't happen overnight.

Accepting homosexuality in our friends is one thing...even brothers and sisters...but accepting it in our children, being the least bit conservative, is a whole nother ball of wax. For you, understanding this, is the first step, I think, in making this work for you.

Also, you may just have to accept the fact that jsut maybe your parents will never accept your choices. Which, knowing the gay people I've known, homosexuality isn't necessarily a 'choice' as much as its an acceptance of who you are and having the bravery to live the way you want to live that makes you feel like a whole person. Some of us choose to be a stay-at-home mom and have our husbands support our family, some choose to get married and have kids and take them to daycare while we persue our careers, some get married and choose to not have kids at all, some choose to not get married at all and live the single life. Conservative people have strong, strong visions of what they consider to be 'normal' and they almost have tunnel vision when it comes to accepting anything that isn't normal in their eyes. They're almost afraid of it. And, from a religious sense, its not our job to judge others...that's God's job...its our job as Christians to accept people for who they are and their choices and treat people the way we want to be treated. That's easy to do most of the time....until it's your own kids.

I feel sorry for you because, growing up in a conservative household, and having both of my kids before I was married, I was the brunt of my parents harsh judgements, as well. I didn't know it until I was married to my husband, but they actually cut me out of their will! Then when I got married, they had my husband and I put back in! They said because they didn't want some random guy coming along and squandering me out of my inheritance. Gimme a break.

Good luck to you...and, a thought, I don't know if she's replied here, but I would talk to Amanda about this, as well. She must know what you're going through and can give you very good advice from a hands-on perspective.

Hugs and prayers!! Kris

NightengaleShane
11-02-2007, 08:47 AM
:lol: veggielover - wowza, all the lesbians have REALLY DEEP VOICES over there? Daaaang. There are some butch-y types over here... those lesbians that look and dress like gay men seem to be the hot thing in my town right now.

I... actually have a really girly voice and very feminine mannerisms, with a sort of tomboyish look that the straight people of the south still find acceptable :lol: I'm a pseudo tomboy... I have short hair and will wear ties and a few clothing items that walk the border of the androgynous zone, but no one would EVER mistake me for a guy and I'm still... well... "pretty" (delicate features, decidedly feminine face and body). People rarely think I'm gay/bi though... it's kind of funny, even other queer folks are never sure whether I'm "family" or not and that most think I'm just "punk" or "artsy" ;) - which I am, of course!

junebug - just PM me for all the stereotypes :lol: I'm on the up-and-up on those things. :p I think your old roommates just felt compelled to mention their gayness to make sure you were okay with it. A lot of gay people have experienced quite a bit of rejection from people who are practically strangers just because of their sexuality, silly/sad as it sounds. Mostly, though, it's just a fear that people won't accept them, as opposed to a reality.

faerie - your mother's Catholicism sounds just like my mother's... only she's a *converted* Catholic, so she's REALLY into Catholicism, since instead of being born into it, she CHOSE To be Catholic. Now, why the **** ANYONE would CHOOSE to be Catholic is beyond me, considering all the steps you have to go through just to be part of the daggone church! I prefer the Unitarians myself - you just show up, they welcome you, AND they don't care if you are gay!

Saying things like "my boyfriend (or in my case, my girlfriend) and I went to the park" et cetera is how I "come out" to people, too... :)

techwife
11-02-2007, 08:53 AM
Okay...I jsut read the rest of the post and see Amanda has been here. If I were in your shoes...she's the one I'd be making a beeline to for advice and she's given you wonderful advice so far.

As for stereotypes...we have a resident lesbian couple and they make me laugh so much. The looks exactly like John Cougar and works for the DPW. Then you talk to her and she has this totally feminine voice. I always praise her when someone is bashing 'the dyke' because she's one of the nicest people in town...always helps me with the door at the grocery store...always waves and is friendly. And when you see her at work, the guys are all standing around scratching their nards while Kate is the hard working one in the middle of it all. I think she's awesome. I was goign to invite her to a Girl Scout meeting a couple years ago as one of the power women in town to look up to along with the post master and the lady that owns the coffee shop, but the moms all looked at me funny when I suggested it. I just skipped the power women meeting because I didn't think it would be complete without Kate.

GatorgalstuckinGA
11-02-2007, 09:02 AM
Nshane - i can't add much more than what brillant statements have been said. All i can say is we are all here and love you for you. I personally think you should just tell you parents and be honest with them. Dont' be argumentive just state the facts. I truley think that, it may take time, but that they will accept you and love you. My parents are very strict devout catholics...but i know if i ever told them i was gay...there might be a moment of disappointment, but then once they came back to reality..they would love me for who i am. I hope it doesn't take a long time for your parents to accept you as a happy lesbian woman who isn't a typical stereotype. I think it may help if you do talk about your steady relationship and that not everyone who is gay is running around in parades having sex on the street LOL. Show your parents what a abrillant beautiful young happy gay woman looks like and that they arent "freaks of nature" Be proud of who you are and show your parens that this is me..and eventually they will come to love you. 99% of parents will love their child unconditionally.

You said you are pround of being gay and are out of the closet...but in my opinion, you cannot be out of the closet and be strong in your beliefs until you ensure your parents know and understand your lifestyle. You can't be one way in front of your friends and different in front of your parents. I agree that the first few times you bring your gf to your parents very little affection should be shown (it may be too much)...but heck i wouldn't bring DH over to my parents and make out with him on the couch LOL. I know this is a very scary thing....no one wants to think that their parents would "disown" them. But you must take a chance and explain this to your parents. IMO you are living a lie if you don't tell your parents about you lifestyle and have them understand who you are.

Hugs to you...and i hope that your parents will see the wonderful person you are and not get blindsides and jaded by you being a person in love with a women. There's no crime in that. Good luck my dear friend.

NightengaleShane
11-02-2007, 09:06 AM
kris/techwife - what an insightful post from a parental perspective! :) :lol: :rofl: @ "Never in the equation is there, I hope she becomes a lesbian!" - like you said, it just doesn't enter into parents' heads! ;) You are right - my parents grew up in the 60's. Homosexuality didn't even start to become accepted until the 70's (and back then, it wasn't nearly as accepted or as mainstream as it is now). My dad managed a Grayhound bus station where people beat up obviously queer people (mostly transgendered folks) but he made a point of telling me that he always defended them. He's halfway to acceptance of my sexuality, though right now he is just tolerant in the sense that he feels like there is nothing he can do to change me.

Wow, I'm sorry that your parents were so judgmental as to remove you from their will until you got married :eek: "They said because they didn't want some random guy coming along and squandering me out of my inheritance. Gimme a break. " <----that sounds EXACTLY like something MY parents would say! My parents would be VERY judgmental of me having kids before marriage, though I think they would be more tolerant of it than homosexuality, because this other thought would be going through their minds: "At least she didn't have an abortion!"

"its not our job to judge others...that's God's job...its our job as Christians to accept people for who they are and their choices and treat people the way we want to be treated. That's easy to do most of the time....until it's your own kids. " True on both fronts. Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty spiritual person. I believe profoundly in God and I pray often. I treat people the way I would want them to treat me and I try my best never to judge anyone. I used to pray that God would "turn me completely straight." Then, I prayed that if my relationship was "wrong" that He would have it end in a way where neither of us were extremely jaded and heartbroken :lol: But so far, everything gets better and better on the relationship front, so now I just pray for Him to give me the strength to stop hiding from my parents and give my parents the ability to eventually become accepting.

My girlfriend's parents have known about her sexuality for 5 years and met her ex girlfriend (who was a total douche!) Despite having 5 years to get used to it (and being emotionally abusive towards her! :(), they STILL have a BIG problem with it.

veggielover
11-02-2007, 10:29 AM
Being straight or bi-sexual or homosexual or transgendered or non-sexual or purple monkey elephant dishwasher is part of who we are, but certainly not all of it.


Hehehe, now I wanna join the purple monkey elephant dishwasher group because it sounds so cool. (:o woops, can't since I'm neither elephant, dishwasher or a monkey... nor am I purple....)

I'm a pseudo tomboy... I have short hair and will wear ties and a few clothing items that walk the border of the androgynous zone, but no one would EVER mistake me for a guy and I'm still... well... "pretty" (delicate features, decidedly feminine face and body). People rarely think I'm gay/bi though... it's kind of funny, even other queer folks are never sure whether I'm "family" or not and that most think I'm just "punk" or "artsy" ;) - which I am, of course!


Wow, then you have it better than I have it if people can't tell. Instead of asexual, people confuse me as homosexual. Straight and homosexuals alike. I'm BOYISH and rather androgynous, but the only reason why people think I'm gay is because I tell people that I don't like men (for reasons, most people would assume that I'm gay if not straight). I don't blame them, I don't get angry, I mean, afterall, I spent a whole 5 years figuring out my sexual orientation and even then I was confused about it. Only to find out now, that I really don't have a sexual orientation... (I actually think this is partly due to the fact that I have a twin sister whom I love to death. I seriously do not care for sex or anything so as long as I have my twin sister.)


I know this is a very scary thing....no one wants to think that their parents would "disown" them. But you must take a chance and explain this to your parents. IMO you are living a lie if you don't tell your parents about you lifestyle and have them understand who you are.


I know a lot of young homosexual individuals that are afraid of the disowning thing, but I've yet to see that happen. Most parents are accepting, even the super-radical religious types, I have seen accept their kids. Over time, itheir short term shock will die out and then think twice about how selfish they were when they couldn't accept it. Although I do feel for her in this position; I would be scared to say anything to my parent if she didn't already accept it...

NightengaleShane
11-02-2007, 10:36 AM
You're boyish and rather androgynous, eh veggielover?

This means you are probably REALLY freakin' ADORABLE! Seriously, androgyny is SO cute on those who can pull it off.

I, too, can pull off androgyny quite nicely, but it takes some work. I'm curvy. Hiding my curves is tough and painful. :p

As for looking and/or appearing gay, while most people do not suspect, they are also usually not surprised.

mandalinn82
11-02-2007, 12:56 PM
I know several people who have been disowned, completely, by their parents on the basis of being gay. And its really tragic.

Smiling_Sara
11-02-2007, 01:02 PM
I am so sorry you have to go through this. If it were I in the situation, I would tell my parents that if they don't want to meet who I am going to spend my life with, then they don't want to be around me either, and I personally wouldn't go. I would hang with ppl who are accepting and love me for who I am and love who I want to be with. This should go for her side of the family too. I would think that the parents would eventually realize "Hey, we love our daughter, and we don't get to see her bc we don't want to meet who makes her happy, I guess we better change our way of thinking" I would really tell them, you wanna see me?, You are seeing my girlfriend as well.

It must be so hard, I wish you all the luck.

alinnell
11-02-2007, 01:15 PM
I don't really go to gay pride parades. I did when I was younger, but now I just feel like they really do perpetuate bad stereotypes. We don't need that. I don't care to see practically naked men parading around on floats groping each other.

I think that the majority of people who aren't around gays believe that all gays act like this. DH helped last year at the gay pride parade (because DD's band marches in it--they donated $1000 to the band!) and he came home with some pretty funny stories! Sometimes I think a lot of them also like to flaunt it just to make fun of themselves (I have a friend who used to do that). I'll never forget the one year I took DD to the library right in the midst of the gay pride weekend bash. The library parking lot was the staging area for the parade and they had a troop of male cheerleaders--they were practicing their routine and DD (who was 7 at the time) and I laughed so hard it brought tears to our eyes. These guys were having a GREAT time (very funny, but stereotypical gay stuff--no sexy stuff unless it was making fun of the stereotypical-ness of it all).

I also think gay and bi people would not feel the need to flaunt it if they knew they were mostly accepted by people. They flaunt it because they feel like they have been repressed for so long. The way I see it... is that people don't need to accept "gay people" to accept me as a person. I'm a genuinely kind person and most find it tough to dislike me... I naturally break some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that people harbor about anyone who is not straight.

You hit the nail on the head!

Spinymouse
11-02-2007, 01:31 PM
The more I read this thread (and I like this thread) the more ludicrous it seems....that anyone should give a rip at all about anyone else's sexuality.
The whole concept has got to be the most blown-out-of-proportion thing. I don't mean your original concern, NShane, about your parents, but I'm talking about sexual prefs in general. All the way from who's dating who in the celeb world to what you do with your girlfriend. I mean, why do people make such a big deal about what people do with their gonads.
but then I'm asexual too, so I don't get it. At least at my age, I don't get much peer pressure anymore to do anything. People don't expect much in the way of sexuality from a 51-year old. (halleluliah.)

mandalinn82
11-02-2007, 01:32 PM
It's sort of like the Larry Craig bathroom situation. He can't be who he is, so he acts out sexually in inappropriate, hidden places. Then he gets caught, and the fact that he was having sex in inappropriate, hidden places is used by others to further the point that gays are bad/immoral/inappropriate. The more hidden people are, the more they act out, the more the acting out is used against them to force them to stay hidden.

Gay pride parades are definitely not, IMO, a positive reflection on the gay population. Sarah's dad tried to take her to pride once and spent more time covering her eyes than actually being proud.

GatorgalstuckinGA
11-02-2007, 01:45 PM
veggie- i agree with you..its probably a very scary thing..and yes, i haven't heard of one parent disowning their child. It has probably happended...but very very rare. I just think its importnat to be who you truely are.

cbmare
11-02-2007, 03:40 PM
I truly hope you will be able to resolve this.

My older daughter and I were discussing gay rights a while back. I was shocked and appalled when she told me that she would have to disown her child if the kid told her she was gay. I asked her why and she went into this Bible thumping diatribe. (Yes, she's the one that IMO has gone over the top with her religion). I've made sure her girls know that they can come to me with anything. I just don't get it.

You are their child. They've loved you and you've loved them all your life.

My heart hurts for you. However, you've gotten some great advice here.

ennay
11-02-2007, 05:14 PM
Never in the equation is there, I hope she becomes a lesbian! It's just not in the equation of what we hope for or expect from our children.

I just had to respond because this almost made me spit out my coffee. I've had THREE friends -all in different parts of the country, they dont know eachother - all with 3-4 year old little girls say in all seriousness they hope their daughter is a lesbian. Really. Mostly because they have had such HECK with jerkwad men in their lives (or in the case of the one dad--because he was such a cad for the first 40 years of HIS life) ... anyway, just made me giggle. :lol:

carry on

NightengaleShane
11-02-2007, 05:38 PM
HAHAHA Ennay, really? Wow! :eek: I find it pretty funny when straight people say things like "I wish I was a lesbian because men really suck" and "I think I'm going to turn lesbian" - little do they know that a woman is just as capable of breaking their heart as a man, if not moreso because women are so in tune with emotions and often play head games. ;)

Both of your parents were gay, huh? Or just one? Out of curiousity. The gays do tend to find each other... hah - this gay man I was once very close friends with once said that if neither of us have found the love of our life by 30, then we should marry each other. :D

losinitin07
11-02-2007, 09:25 PM
I love my daughter so much I always told her no matter what you do, do not keep it from me I will love you no matter what and I have kept to that, she recently got married and is pregnant ,she shares so much of her life with me ( some things I think I really didn't need to know , lol, Point is I carried her for 9 months I had her she is mine and I love her no matter what,I may not always be happy with what she does . Shane sorry your parents are missing out on your life ,I also go to church and my DD is a wicca talk about differences but we have overcome and I still love her and I will be there for her and my grand baby. Hey I'll adopt ya :hug: ok you've been officially adopted!Hang in there. We all love ya.

ennay
11-02-2007, 10:47 PM
Both of your parents were gay, huh? Or just one? Out of curiousity. The gays do tend to find each other... hah - this gay man I was once very close friends with once said that if neither of us have found the love of our life by 30, then we should marry each other. :D

They were both a good bit older though...they grew up in the 30's and 40's. You just didnt DO that then.

My mom is a lesbian and currently in a long term relationship. (Although she was married twice - my dad being the 2nd) My dad never came out of the closet officially but I know he had several affairs with men, possibly bi. He was in theater and was quite accepting/friendly with a lot of gay men and couples, but he never was able to overcome his strict upbringing and be happy. He was celibate for most of the last 20 years of his life. How sad.

Plus once I was in the picture (I was a big OOPS) he "had a responsibility" so they stayed together until I left home. But they slept in separate beds. They got married when I was 9 months old and after about a year they gave up any pretense of a sex life.

Growing up in the theater, I was in highschool before I discovered that there were people who thought homosexuality was wrong! I lived such a sheltered life...:lol3:

EZMONEY
11-03-2007, 03:14 PM
SHANE ~

I feel so bad about the "relationship" part with your parents :hug: I had such a great relationship with my parents, both have passed on, and have such a great relationship with my kids that I really don't understand certain things. I never experienced hardships. Life was not perfect by any means with my folks...but certainly never very tough.

I hope I can say what I want to say without hurting anyone's feelings. Most of you on this site mean the world to me.

I don't approve of certain lifestyles that people have. I am sure many would not approve of mine. We are not perfect people.

I am a christian and I have certain beliefs that go against other beliefs of others. I have never denied my beliefs on this site...and I will admit some of my remarks probably make people wonder ;)..as I said I am not perfect!

You and some of my other favorites on this site...you know who you are ;) would be welcome in my home anytime...with your "friend/partner".

I do not approve of certain things but I do know for a fact that I :love: love you big as the sky (as my dad used to say to me ~ and I tell my kids) :love:....you are such a :cool: cool kid! :cool:

My advice ~ for what it is worth ~ your friend may stay, she may not....I hope you can find a way to be with your folks...even if for a time it is without her....time has a way of healing sometimes...and some things. If you go lovingly, without pushing too hard...and ask from time to time if she would be welcome to join in...well, maybe this tension will ease...maybe not. If your gal is understanding, she will back you in your decision...maybe not agree...but support you.

I don't always approve of things but I do support you!

Irishowl
11-07-2007, 10:55 PM
Shane,

First of all big :hug: for you! It's hard when you are happy and in love to not be able to share that part of your life with family. I too have a similar issue in my family. My family was very much like the military "don't ask, don't tell". My Dad and sisters all suspected but we never talked about it. My Mom was deeply rooted in denial, even when she caught my 1st gifrlfriend and I kissing on her couch when I was 19! :o When I finally "formally" came out at 28 my Dad had already passed on. My sisters were 100% supportive because they had always known in their hearts and they love me. My Mom has had a very long period of mourning. I came out 3 1/2 years ago and her mouring continues. She believes very strongly that women must be married and have babies to live a fulfilled life. She worries about how society will treat me. She worries I will never have children (we do plan on creating a family together), she worries I will be alone in my old age with no one to care for me. She has never met my partner and she has no desire to meet her. I suppose my point in telling you all this is to let you know that the only thing you can control is you. I do think you should slowly try to introduce your girlfriend to your family. Hopefully in time they will come to love her and accept her into the family. However, if they don't it's not because you've done something wrong. That is on them and how they have chosen to behave. My Mom doesn't want anything to do with me anymore, but that is her choice and I have no control over her. Of course it hurts and I miss her but I will never change her, and she will never change me. I'm the same person I was before I came out to her, I'm just living openly and honestly.

Just as a side note, my partner's Mom is 100% supportive. She is 84 years old (My Mom is 67) , raised in the south and never heard the word lesbian until my partner came out at 16. But, she loves her daughter more than anything in this world. She doesn't understand why she's a lesbian and she doesn't understand the attraction women can have for each other. But, she has no problem with our life. She treats me as family and cannot wait for us to make her a Grandma. However, when my partner first came out to her Mom she was very upset. She got over it. Her love for her child was more powerful than her fear of the unknown. I hope your family will be the same way.

Shannon

Irishowl
11-07-2007, 11:03 PM
I did the same thing! I had been wearing my hair short for a long time before I "came out" but once I came out it got painfully short. I guess I just felt that need to be obviously gay for a little while. The hair has grown out a bit now and I'm much more comfortable with my feminine side. Most people who meet me would not assume I am gay just based on my looks. I'm ok with that. But, when someone (coworker, classmate) ask if I am married I say yes. If they ask further questions I am 100% honest. I wouldn't be evasive if I was married to a man, why should I hide that I am married to a woman? Such good "food for thought" in this thread!

Shannon


Eughhh, public sex. :barf: Those people just constantly perpetuate BAD gay stereotypes!

I'm definitely one of the "comfortable" ones. I've been out of the closet since I was 16. Now, back then, I DID make a spectacle of it. I wore rainbow crap, chopped off all my hair (so I could look more "gay" :lol: - but I keep the short hair now because it's both cute and versatile), and looooved to talk about how BISEXUAL I was! Of course, bisexuality was pretty trendy in my teen years (remember t.A.t.u? they just did it to turn guys on, but that's why most "bi girls" were "bi" at my HS).

By the age of 18, I decided it was no one's business but my own and there was no reason for me to discuss it or flaunt it.

I am who I am. I no longer feel the need to "come out of the closet" like I did when I was younger. Who I am with is just a part of me and my life... it's so natural to talk about it that I don't even think twice.

I don't really go to gay pride parades. I did when I was younger, but now I just feel like they really do perpetuate bad stereotypes. We don't need that. I don't care to see practically naked men parading around on floats groping each other.

I also think gay and bi people would not feel the need to flaunt it if they knew they were mostly accepted by people. They flaunt it because they feel like they have been repressed for so long. The way I see it... is that people don't need to accept "gay people" to accept me as a person. I'm a genuinely kind person and most find it tough to dislike me... I naturally break some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that people harbor about anyone who is not straight.

djs06
11-08-2007, 06:52 PM
I'm jumping in really late here, but I just wanted to give you a virtual hug :hug:

Also, I want to reiterate Amanda's point about people coming around. Even people who are somewhat accepting come around even more as time goes on. It took me years to fully come out to myself, and even longer to come out to my parents, even though they're not religious and have no moral objections to homosexuality. Something about being an only child... and, like a previous poster said, before you're even born your parents have preconceived hopes and dreams for you. It really broke my heart to shatter that, but it would have been more upsetting to them if I lied to them and myself and let my life go down the path it was starting to go down. Now that just sounds melodramatic, but you know what I mean.

You've already come out to them, and that's good. I think you should try to talk to them one on one... that way, they wont be able to feed off of each other's potential negativity. You need to eventually start bringing your girlfriend around... that's the only way they're going to see that it's just like any other relationship you could be in with some guy. I think with any relationship, gay or straight, you need to limit the physical affection when they first meet.

And you have NO IDEA how irate it makes me when women say "I hate men.. you know, you really have the right idea! Maybe I should date women."

And don't even get me started on stereotypes.

Justwant2Bhealthy
11-25-2007, 11:59 PM
SHANE ~ YOU are a lovely, young lady; and I want you to know that all Christians ARE NOT against gay people, as you can tell from what EZ says. I have a cousin who is gay, and he is sad that a 'few' family members won't accept his gay choices. The thing that I find odd is, that he hasn't noticed yet that there are MORE people in our family who are not disowning or rejecting him.

I differ in my opinion on how to deal with this. My cousin tried the 'IN YOUR FACE' pushy tactics and that back-fired on him big-time (and a few others I know). When the family first finds out someone is gay, they are taken off guard, becuz of crisis of identity, societal prejudices; and the broken dreams they had for that person's future. You are wise and you already know this ...

I find it odd that no one here has mentioned respecting your parents' rights to their own personal beliefs (unless I missed it, sorry; thread is long)! You are free to live and celebrate in your own home as you like; shouldn't they have that right too??? You know they love YOU; it's the lifestyle choices they have a problem with.

One alternative (which has already been mentioned) is to introduce your partner as a friend to start, in a discreet way; then later on, as the family has time to get to know her, they may become more accepting. This is less offensive and combative; which will go a long way to keep the peace for everyone involved, which is really what you want, I think! :D

The second option is that you both have several friends and family members that do accept you, so why don't you two have a holiday celebration and invite them to your place, including your parents? Then it is up to them who shows up, and you both still get to have a nice celebration with some family members and friends over the holidays.

I also agree with EZ about this one thing; we think that YOU are wonderful, and never forget that very important fact!!! :hug: ROSEBUD :hug:

Steelslady
11-26-2007, 05:18 AM
:hug: to you, Shane.

My Mom was very homophobic- she wouldn't accept the fact that a couple of her beloved nephews were gay, so she denied it by saying they just hadn't found "the one". :joker: She absolutely loved and adored them, and that never changed, but accept that they were gay- uh uh.

Funny, we had a conversation about this at our dinner table recently. I had to tell my kids and hubby that one of my cousin's sons was having a sex change operation. Poor guy has suffered all of his life living in a man's body but feeling like a woman deep down. Tests results showed he had excess female hormones in his system- even with that, his parents and two sisters and their spouses refuse to support him and have cut him off.

I told my kids right there and then- if this was the case with any one of them, or should they be attracted to the same sex, I would love them no matter what and accept their lifestyle. To lose a child over a sexual preference to me is just absurd- you love them since conception, how does that love change over something that is private and personal (sex in the bedroom) anyway?

Now, I won't say I'll welcome the partner with open arms right off the bat- like any "partner" my children choose in their future, they will have to prove to me they are worthy of my child. They will have to show me that they will be loving, devoted, loyal and true to my child, or otherwise, Mamma Bear won't accept them whether they're from the opposite sex or same sex. :rofl:

Shane- keep trying to introduce her IF you feel she's going to be your partner for life down the road and feel strongly about this. Eventually they may come to accept her- they may not accept your lifestyle, but they may accept her as a caring, decent person and welcome her at gatherings, even if they try to do what my mother did and deny the truth of the relationship and just consider her your friend. :D

Hang in there, sweetie. :hug:

LittleMoonRabbit
11-26-2007, 12:39 PM
Hey Shane, this is kinda late (sorry) but I hope that your holiday worked out. I think it's a shame if your parents can't accept your lifestyle choice, because you seem like such a wonderful person, and I would hate for them to miss out on being able to be close with you. I wish the best for you and your partner, and I just hope that your parents evenatually come around. I can't imagine the harships you guys must face sometimes when dealing with people who don't understand. At least you know you have TONS of supporters here :)

mandalinn82
11-26-2007, 01:14 PM
I've developed a new mindset to deal with these situations that has been helping. I basically say, to myself and to THEM if the subject comes up and they start saying derogatory things about my relationship, that "it appears that your beliefs are incompatible with my personal truths. I hope we can change the subject".

brandewijn
11-26-2007, 01:46 PM
Wow at the pages of responses. Obviously I haven't read them all, I've only read maybe two posts. lol But I thought I would throw my opinion in as well.

So far you have mentioned that friends, siblings and cousins accept your relationship, only parents don't. You also have to think of the age. Cousins, sibs and friends are more likely to be on a friend level with you and more likely to be your age. People our age are for the most part, accepting. Our generation says "we don't care, as long as you are happy". Our parents ages? Heck no. They say "be the boring 60's wife, cook, clean and bear children". Anything that doesn't fit into that little mold, they just don't want to understand. So, you have to understand the way they were raised and what they were taught to believe is "normal" and that anything outside that little box is not normal and should not under any circumstances be accepted.

But if your parents love you, they should accept who you are and the woman that you love. I am all for respecting someone's beliefs but that is also a two way street. They don't ever have to full on accept it but it needs to come to a point where you can at least bring your girlfriend with you and they respect that she is a huge part of your life. The next time you have a get together, I would bring her. So that they aren't shocked, I would keep the PDA at a min. and just let them get use to seeing you two together.

Different subject: I once wanted to buy my son a cute little boyish play kitchen. My mother however told me, in all seriousness, "if you let him play with girl toys he is going to turn out gay". Very interesting seeing as my husband use to always play Barbies and Mall Madness with his sister and he's straight as a board. lol I let that go and the next time we talked on the phone she mentioned it again. I informed her that if my son ended up being gay I would throw him his own coming out party, including male strippers just for the occassion. She actually didn't speak to me for two months because I said sarcastically that I would have no problem with it. The age difference, the mindset we each grew up with REALLY clashes. Had I ever felt that I were bisexual or a lesbian, I would have been disowned. No doubt about it. Unfortunately some people are raised to be extremely close minded. You just need to crack that shell they have covering their existence. Good luck to you both!!! I really do hope that each of your parents will in the future be much more accepting of your relationship. It may be a slow process but I believe that you need to slowly start introducing your parents to your girlfriend and just ease them in. :)

zenor77
11-26-2007, 01:48 PM
My DH's Uncle is gay and from what I understand it was difficult for the family, but they did come around. Since I've been around the family he is treated just like any other family member. His partner passed before I was able to meet him, but from what I've heard people say he was loved by the family as well. Love can conquer many things. BTW, DH and his family are Catholic (which it sounds like your parents may be since they want you to go to confession.)

Of course, I also agree that it is your life and you can't live it for your family! You are a beautiful person (in and out) regardless of whether your family supports you or not!

:hug:

I have to say, I'm feeling rather naive after reading this. I had no idea that so many people held these prejudices still. I blame this on my liberal California family. Lol.

blondebritbrat17
11-26-2007, 02:54 PM
:hug: I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I in no way can comprehend your situation since I'm married and have certain religious beliefs, I accept alternative lifestyles choices for others but the church I grew up in was very against homosexuals and would really preach about stereotypes so I was very naive and at one point clueless about how others choose to live their lives. The people I've met that choose to have a different lifestyle do not engage in or embody these stereotypes and I find them to be great people. However I have had my share of family problems and it does hurt when your parents refuse to accept something or someone that is so important to you. I hope you and your girlfriend find a solution somehow!!:hug:

Justwant2Bhealthy
11-26-2007, 10:53 PM
I think AMANDA'S last comment is very important ... I think that you can respect your parents' beliefs and your personal truths at the same time!

Mermom
11-26-2007, 11:11 PM
Here is a simple question to ponder- just how much time and energy do you want to spend taking care of thoer people's feelings?

I know from experience that it can become a very self-sacrificing addiction.

lettingslenderin
11-27-2007, 01:09 AM
This thread is really interesting. BTW, I have read a number of your threads and read your posts and I am totally impressed with what you are doing, not just with your body, but with your willingness as a young woman to come to a community of women and present this question.

I'm reading it as a parent of two young daughters. It occurs to me that if you can find your parents underlying anxieties and address them, that would go a long way in managing the way you present the information and your girlfriend to them. So I am going to type my perceptions and opinions, though they may have nothing to do with your parents. I'm not very religious, and I see sexuality as very private and personal. So I may be off base, but still, I'm going to type these up, just in case some of these resonate for you.

I am trying to imagine how I would feel if one or both of my daughters were bisexual or lesbian.

I would feel some anxiety over the grandchildren issue (though many, if not most lesbians have babies in committed relationships), and I would want a nice girlfriend for my daughter, but the lesbian sexuality issue would not be a big issue for me. In fact, it feels very private somehow, almost a boundary issue to get involved with my daughters' sexual preferences -- like that part of her life is not any of my business any more than any other thing in her sex life as an adult woman.

I guess I would be concerned about future babies more than anything, because I really want grandchildren and I want my daughters to be able to have enough financial security to be able to choose to stay at home with their babies if they want to do that. I think that in general, men make more money. However, I will say this -- in my biased observation, it seems that lesbian women, even those with young children, are very successful in the business arena and I would not be that concerned if it appeared my daughter's wife could be a good provider.

For me, it's all about my daughters and my grandchildren. The other person would be tangential to the happiness of my daughters and my grandchildren. I know this sounds awful, but I think that a lot of MILs feel that way (boy, they sure act like they do, anyway).

On the grandchildren front, I would want to make sure that my grandchildren were raised in a pro-lesbian community, like Vermont, for example. I would object strenuously if they proposed to raise my grandchildren somewhere that was intolerant of lesbians, because I would want my grandchildren to be raised in an environment where they would not be discriminated against. Similarly, I would be delighted if my lesbian daughter had a supportive pro lesbian community (I think neutral is not really neutral) and I would be very upset if she chose to move to an anti lesbian community because of her girlfriend's job.

Does that make sense? I think as a mother my concern would be with my daughter and my grandchildren. The whole going to **** thing would not bother me, though.

It sounds like you are on a very interesting and meaningful journey in your life.

lettingslenderin
11-27-2007, 01:12 AM
:hug: to you, Shane.


Now, I won't say I'll welcome the partner with open arms right off the bat- like any "partner" my children choose in their future, they will have to prove to me they are worthy of my child. They will have to show me that they will be loving, devoted, loyal and true to my child, or otherwise, Mamma Bear won't accept them whether they're from the opposite sex or same sex. :rofl:

:

You put that brilliantly!

lettingslenderin
11-27-2007, 01:25 AM
IThe funny part is, I could not have cared less that they were a gay couple, but they failed to mention to me that they were extremely environmentally strict, which affected my daily life much more than them sharing a bed :lol:

.

Thank you for giving me some much needed laughter. This post just cracked me up.

KforKitty
11-27-2007, 05:57 AM
This is a very interesting thread and an eye-opener for me. Coming from the UK I'm surprised how much anti-gay feelings still seem to exit over the pond amongst MY generation. I'm not saying from members of this board but from the accounts of members of this board. At nearly 44 I'm guessing I'm closer in age to Shane's parents than Shane herself and yet I thought we lived in a liberal, tolerant society. I have a close gay (female) friend and other acquaintances who are gay. None of these are 'on scene' or perpetuate a stereotype - I don't think they need to they are who they are and live their lives as 'normally' as I do -work hard, have mortgages, look after their kids in a secure and monogamous relationship. What can be objectionable about that?

Having said all this I do think some peoples' views are very entrenched and it willl be difficult, if not impossible, to change them. I do hope Shane that your parents will learn to understand and will be accepting of your choice of partner but in order to see what kind of people your parents really are you're going to have to test the waters and see. Calmly ask them if they are ready yet to meet your partner, if they say no respect that for now but ask again in say 6 months or a years time. Let them know how important it is for you that you and your GF are recognised as a couple. If they continue to refuse to do that then at least you know where you stand.

I wish you luck.

Kitty

nylisa
11-27-2007, 03:20 PM
I have a few friends & relative who are gay. And they've had different levels of acceptance. Ironically, my 80ish, very religiously Catholic great aunt is probably one of the more accepting of one of her son's being gay. What the ones who have had to deal with not being accepted have done is create their own holiday traditions (going away or a nice cozy one at home) or compromise by visiting one or the other's family, but staying a hotel or with more supportive friends/family. Or visiting right after the holiday (the stresses of holiday preparations seem to magnify any existing issues).

And even if they're disapproving now, they may change down the road, particularly if you have allies in siblings. One lesbian couple I'm friendly with had to deal with a mom who was convinced they were going to ****. When one of her straight daughters got married, she included this couple in her wedding party. The mother threw a fit & threatened not to come. The straight daughter called her on the bluff and she knew this would affect relationships with future grandkids, etc. So she's behaving a bit more civilly now & has eased up on the old fire & brimstone routine.

My stepbrother is white & my stepsister-in-law is black. When they first got together, a lot of people on both sides had issues with it. But eventually everyone came around & people can be civil now. I know when I'd hear the objections, I'd just point out the common sense, logical stuff.

Some people become more accepting of a relative's sexual orientation when they meet the actual person (that's sort of what happened with my great-aunt). Others seem to be ok with it in theory, but not in practice. From what I've observed, I don't know of any one way to predict which it will be. But I hope it goes well for you.