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wsxwh111's avatar

What does my mom mean by saying this?

Asked by wsxwh111 (2447points) April 16th, 2015

I’m gay and I came out to my parents a year ago. They once showed strong disapprove when I talked about coming out to my classmates because they weren’t ready.
Recently I talked to my mom again about this, I told her it’s depressing and exhausting takes me lots of time and effort to pretend to be straight, and I know a lot of people come out to their classmates and it didn’t spread to the parents. She replied “Okay, do what you want :( just remember it’s not us, it’s if you can handle the potential terrible response. It’s hard for most people to accept it.” (I came out to 10 friends now and their reactions are all fantastic. Showed their support and promised to keep it secret for me.)
I think coming out brings lots of relief, joy and mature to me, and I would like to come out gradually until people around me know. I think if I respect myself enough people will show their respect (and if they don’t, then there’s no need I care them anymore). and after coming out, I can live freely and be the real me. I think this would save a lot of explanation or effort to try to pretend to be someone else.
About this conversation between me and my mom, I don’t think she meant she’s totally okay with it, did she? I’d like to come out to more people around me but I’m not sure I’ll expect them to keep it a secret, should I go ahead, or should I wait until it’s totally okay with them?

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27 Answers

wsxwh111's avatar

It’s a long question, and I wanna thank all of you for your attention:)

zenvelo's avatar

Your mom is accepting of you, loves you, and worries about you. Yet she is not sure how your coming out will be accepted in the community as a whole, especially other parents.

Maybe you can suggest your mom talk to people at PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays), they can answer a lot of questions and reassure her that you are doing the best thing by being open and honest about yourself.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

No one will be able to pick up the subtle facial clues and body language when this was being said except you. You know her best but here goes from a 3rd party perspective.

I think she doesn’t really approve, she may never really approve, but I believe she loves you just the same. I also think she doesn’t want to see you get hurt by those narrow minded few who hurt people different from them.

As a parent myself, I’ve had to think about how I would react if one of my kids came out. I think it would be exactly the same as stated above. I would never really approve (in all honesty), but that wouldn’t stop me from loving them – and who the hell cares if I approve anyway when they are of age to make their own decisions. My words and actions would come from a place where I want what’s best for them either way.

janbb's avatar

The OP is in his early 20s, I believe, and lives in China.

I suggest you do what feels right to you. You need to handle this your way and if your mother has some qualms, at this point she is just along for the ride. It is your life.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
canidmajor's avatar

What @janbb said.
Remember, too, that your mom is thinking in terms of how her generation reacts to such things. She may or may not be totally OK with it, but she wants you to know that she loves you, and supports you within the parameters of how she is able.

Instead of pretending to be straight, or announcing in an absolute fashion, can you come out more organically to those around you? Casual mention if it’s appropriate in context, perhaps. Discussing one’s sexuality doesn’t have to be a public event for anyone, straight or gay.
Don’t lie, don’t pretend, be yourself. If your mom is a bit distressed, remind her how exhausting the pretending is, and distracts you from your studies/work, whatever.

Be well, @wsxwh111, and be yourself. Move ahead in your life with confidence. :-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Congratulations on coming out. That will make you life much easier in the long run.

I can tell what it means from the perspective of a parent with “kids” in their young 30’s. First, I’ll let you in on a secret. The only reason we have kids is to enjoy the grandchildren they give us when we retire. Do you think we want to change your diapers, feed and cloth you, pay for education, help with financial problems and listen to yor problems for 20 years? No! We do it because we want to play with grandchildren – and then give them back to you when their diapers need to be changed, they need food and clothing, and education loans and when they have problems. ;-)
You live in China where things are a bit more conservative than here in the US. I’m guessing your parents are grieving the loss while coming to terms with the new reality. Give them a little time. (I’ll bet they silently suspected it for years.) You are still their son. They will come around.

By the way, a secret is only a secret if you tell no one! You told 10 friends so it is a safe bet everyone knows already. Many of them knew even before you came out.
Now it is up to you to be the best example as you can be. I wish you well.

wsxwh111's avatar

First I just wanna thank you all, guys. Really. I guess I actually start to love this forum from this moment.
@canidmajor Can’t express how supportive and comforting your answer is. I’m also concerned that my mom said that because people around her is not that cool, and actually I did choose and then come out in a specific order. Starting from a guy who’s most close to me at that time, then friends of us, and now roommates and some nice person. Generally speaking, most of my classmates are friendly, that’s why I’m considering telling more people. I also told my mom I think the stress pretending brings is much more than that comes from one or two not that immediate nice response.
THANKS A LOT, and also thank you for your encouragement. Let’s hope so lol.
@janbb Thank you janbb! I hesitated for a moment before I ask this question but you guys’ answers totally surprise and encourage me, it’s amazing. ^^.
@Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One Thank you. I’ve read that most parents would still love their children after processing it, many would totally accept it and stand out for their children and gay community. Maybe it’s hard to make sure which one my mom will finally turn into, but I think I can start getting my self prepared for the former one right now.

rojo's avatar

I remember the anguish my mom had when my sister married someone of a different skin color. She thought the guy was a great person but she just worried herself sick about how the marriage would, or more to the point wouldn’t, be accepted in Alabama. It took mom several years to come to grips with it. I am sure your mom is going through something similar.

Moms biggest fear was how the future children would be taunted and teased in school. Turns out her fears were unfounded. My sister has been married for almost thirty years now. Both of them have a wide circle of friends and are held in high standing in the community and both of their kids has successful childhoods and school careers; the eldest has graduated college and the youngest started this year.

marinelife's avatar

Living your truth is very important and a lot easier than living with a secret. I think that your mother is of a different generation from your classmates and perhaps does not understand that younger people are more tolerant.

I support you in just coming out.

If you have not, tell your parents about pflag, an organization for the parents of gays. It might be helpful to them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you told 10 people I guarantee you it’s no longer a secret.

Your Mom is just having a hard time because of her generation. It’s hard for her to imagine the the younger generation is pretty much OK with it all.

kritiper's avatar

Your mom doesn’t accept your gayness, doesn’t understand it, doesn’t want to understand it, and has given up on you. You can’t force a concept on people if they aren’t receptive and don’t wish to be!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper That was a bit harsh, IMO.

canidmajor's avatar

I think your mom accepts it just fine, She may have known for a long time before you told her, but maybe didn’t know how to deal with it.
She may be expressing a very real and reasonable concern for your basic safety. I don’t know how it is in China, but in many places there are still horrific crimes committed against gay people by ignorant thugs.

I don’t believe that @ragingloli and @kritiper have called it at all. That may be how they would react, but from what you’ve said before I believe that the majority on this thread are more likely correct.

wsxwh111's avatar

It may seem unbelievable to you guys but I’m still confident that it’s a “secret” now lol. I don’t know but maybe on this particular “Is it okay to tell others my friend is gay” issue our culture kinda plays a big part and people may give surprisingly different answers. Plus I also added something like “Please don’t tell others for now for me.” when I came out to them cause I was still concerned at that time that the news wouldl spread to someone who’s close to my parents and they would be dragged out of closet.
And @canidmajor thank you again. I’ve heard there are many violence and crimes against LGBT people, which is terrible. But just from what I’ve seen and heard. violence against gay people may be a little bit less here. I don’t know why. I think my mom is worried about the discrimination that might happen. :b
Anyway, thanks to all your encouragement and after a little thinking, I’m not gonna change my direction. I’m gonna try to figure better ways to come out & keep doing it for now.
I agree with @canidmajor on the last point, too. I think my mom took it pretty well,

ucme's avatar

The important thing here is, your mother means well, don’t lose that in translation.

wsxwh111's avatar

@ucme Yeah..
I’ve wondered if she’s just concerned that I would get hurt or deep inside she may also be a little afraid/isn’t ready that people around her would know.

ucme's avatar

@wsxwh111 Mothers are allowed to be concerned about our welfare, even if they do worry too much.
Mothers are awesome, unless you’re Norman Bates.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III I am brutally honest.

canidmajor's avatar

@kritiper: “The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more.” Richard J Needham

kritiper's avatar

@canidmajor Is that quote 100% accurate 100% of the time? Brutal advice may be as harsh as a swift blow to the head, but it gets more penetration that way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But it wasn’t true @kritiper. It was just mean. Saying “I“m brutally honest” is just a bullshit excuse to say what ever hateful thing you want.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s your opinion, which you are entitled to. The truth hurts, does it not?? Take it or leave it, but don’t call “bullshit” on that which you don’t truly know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sometimes the truth hurts, but sometimes not. His mom cares. She may not understand it, but she’s concerned. She hasn’t given up on him. In this case your “truth” is way off base. You invoked “brutally honest” as an excuse to be an arrogant asshole.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Again, your opinion. But you still don’t know and can only guess since you can’t/won’t take my word for it. But go ahead: Shoot the messenger. That’s usually what people tend to do, in cases like this, when they don’t like or can’t accept the opinions of others.

wsxwh111's avatar

@ucme I’m confused.
I guess what I was trying to say is if my mom is just worried that I’d get hurt, then of course it’s okay, meanwhile I think I can handle it and I’ll just go for it and come out; but if she’s also afraid people around her would find out, I was not sure what should I do then.

susanc's avatar

@kritiper:
“shoot the messenger” is what we say to justify meanness. (I do it myself.)
Luckily @wsxwh111 was able to roll with the punch, displaying balance and maturity. Maybe you intuitively understood that s/he would. I’d like to think so.

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