Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Those of you who are gay, do you wish your parents had just asked you?

Asked by JLeslie (48208 points ) October 13th, 2011

Parents, friends, relatives? If they had just asked in a way that you knew it was ok you were gay, maybe a matter of fact way, or literally saying, “it’s ok, I don’t care either way if you are,” would it have lifted the burden of having to come out? So many moms say they always knew, how does that make the teen/adult gay child feel? Are they relieved or annoyed?

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17 Answers

Soupy's avatar

I’m glad my parents have never asked directly about my sexuality. My answer is the wrong answer for them, and I know I’d be cut out of my father’s side of the family. Letting them all assume I’m straight is works best when you come from a family of nutjobs.

Brian1946's avatar

My mom asked me if I was gay; that was about 40 years ago. I told her I wasn’t.

A more accurate answer might have been, “Yeah, mom, about 20%, or perhaps my orientation doesn’t strictly adhere to the sexual binary”.

She didn’t ask me anything else about it after that.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I’m not gay, but if I were, my parents would have very little to do with how I felt about it and I would have less to do with how they felt about me.

JLeslie's avatar

@GabrielsLamb How you feel about being gay? Or, how you feel about coming out?

wonderingwhy's avatar

I had a buddy in college who desperately wanted his family to bring it up. To him it seemed they purposely avoided noticing/acknowledging and by extension were ashamed or embarrassed because of him. He didn’t know how to approach them with it and was terrified of making things worse (at least as he perceived them) and felt horribly guilty because of what he thought they thought.

I met his parents once for a weekend and got the impression that they were sort of in a similar boat of figuring if he wanted to talk he would but I don’t think they understood at the time how locked in to his fear he was.

I lost touch with him but heard through a mutual acquaintance several years ago that he’s doing well, for all intents, married to a great guy and living happily near where he grew up (I want to say eastern Tennessee or western Virginia) so I guess it worked out in the end. But in college it really weighed heavily on him and hearing from them it was ok would’ve made a tangible difference in his life at the time.

Ela's avatar

I’ll ask my kids (when the opportunities arise) what they think about it/how they feel. I think they are a bit too young still to ask if they are.
I ask them what they think/feel about all kinds of things because I’m weird like that ; )

I want them to know that I love them unconditionally, always.

Plus… it hopefully helps teach them acceptance of other’s differences.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I consider myself bi-sexual and my mum did just ask me.

I was about 19 years old and we were in a cafe at the time when she just came out with “do you think you may have gay tendencies” to which I said “definitely”. We then moved onto the next topic.

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GabrielsLamb's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not gay…

But I wouldn’t have a problem coming out. If you knew… I have absolutely no qualms about who I am and I am quite vocal and open about it. I believe that people are sexual beings and labels are always and ever for other people.

I suppose I could be considered polyamorous if anything… *Not that I like the word or anything… But I am not gay and I am not bi-sexual even technically.

It is about individuals, I believe that people are just attracted to who and what they are and even if they NEVER admit it, everyone is at one time or another in the very least intrigued sexually by a member of the same sex.

tinyfaery's avatar

My parents never assumed I was queer. It was a huge shock to everyone but one of my cousins. I’m bi, and dated guys. There is no way they could have known.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I grew up in a house devoid of sex. I have never once seen my parents kiss. I saw them hold hands only one time. Sexual affection on any level was strictly taboo. My parents didn’t want to talk to me about sex at all in any way, shape, or form, They were happily oblivious to my sexual orientation and won’t talk about it to this day, even though I’m completely out to them.

They would have never asked me, and I know they would prefer I had never told them.

downtide's avatar

No, because then I’d have felt pressured to either come out before I was ready to do so, or lie. They still don’t talk about it.

DominicX's avatar

Here’s a similar question I asked: http://www.fluther.com/113896/if-you-suspected-your-child-was-gay-would-you-ask-them/

My answer is still divided. I don’t know. On one hand, my parents told me that they wanted me to tell them on my own time and didn’t ask me because they felt like it would’ve been putting pressure on me. On the other hand, I might have come out earlier if they had asked me because I would have seen it as an opportunity to tell them rather than continue to put it off. But I don’t know. Maybe I wouldn’t have done it and I would’ve just lied. I’m not sure. Either way, it went fine the way it did.

Now, as for asking my child, if I were to ask them, I would have to make sure beforehand that I showed them my reaction was going to be positive, because there’s a key difference between asking your child if they are gay with the assumption “and I’ll support you if you are” and the assumption “and you better not be”.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@DominicX : I believe the answer lies in unconditional love that parents can give to their children and vice versa. If I had a child I suspected might be GLBTQ, I would first make it clear that I loved them under any and all circumstances. I believe then I would let them come out in their own time.

downtide's avatar

@DominicX I’m surprised I never answered that question of yours. I did, for a long while, suspect that my daughter was a lesbian, until she ended up with a long-term boyfriend. She did later come out to me as bi, and I wasn;t at all surprised. But I would never have mentioned it to her unless she mentioned it first.

augustlan's avatar

I’d probably ask, just because I’m very, very open and close to my kids. We talk about everything, but I sometimes do have to be the one to bring up a touchy subject. I’ve made damn sure they know I have no problem with homosexuality, so I’m pretty sure they’d tell me anyway.

wsxwh111's avatar

Guess I’m different one then.
I do know many gay parents in American movies won’t ask even they already know. I assume that they want to give their children more space and let them figure out their own things and stand up on their own, which is nice and thoughtful. .
But I think it would also be nice, maybe especially in eastern countries like China, that parents just simply tell their children “it’s very likely that I’m wrong, but it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. We love you no matter what.” It’ll give the child much support and faith.

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