View Full Version : Advise about DBIL?
Hi everyone. I have never posted on this part of the DIS before, but I did have a question and thought I could find some helpful advice here. We (my DH, his sister, myself, etc.) think that DH's brother may be gay. He is in his late 20s and lives very far from us. I have told him that if he is, it wouldn't matter to us...that we love him and only want him to be happy and with someone that treats him nicely....wether a man or a woman. But, he never really responds so in the last couple years when he visits we don't really say much about it. I was thinking that when he is ready he would be ready. I guess my question is is there anything else I could say to show him we love him or do I just wait for him to be ready....if the day ever comes. I just feel that we aren't as close as we could be and it is sad for me as my kids get older and he doesn't visit as much as we would like..and hardly knows them. I wonder if he has found someone and just doesn't want to bring him around....when we would be very accepting and would rather be a part of his life....what to do? :sad1:
01-28-2006, 10:57 PM
first of all, i think it is great you want to help your BIL. Coming out is a very personal and difficult decision for most people. it's also not uncommon that when someone does finally come out that the rest of the family had been just waiting and wondering why it took so long, which may be what will happen with your BIL. I think as long as you've made it clear without hounding that if he is in fact gay, he will be welcomed with open arms, then there isn't much more you can do at this point.
it's possible he's not ready to admit this to himself. it's also possible he's not gay. what is it that makes you think he is? is it just that he hasn't brought around anyone in terms of a relationship, or are there other indications? i hope that if he is gay he has heard your openess about it and knows you will love and accept him no matter what. just keep those lines of communication open :-)
01-28-2006, 11:04 PM
Hi Lyn.. I come to this board periodically and lurk -- but have never posted.. Im not gay/lesbian but my brother is gay and I can speak from the aspect of being his sister.. I love my brother more than anything and our family knew for quite some time that my brother was gay but he would never come out and say anything..I think he didnt know how everyone would react and how he would be treated.. I cant even really say why we knew or at what point, because I cant remember but I remember when we were all teenagers he had a few girlfriends but not for very long.. Now when he talks about it we found out that he only had girlfriends as a coverup.. back then many people werent accepting so he tried to hide it.. I still remember the day he came out and told me.. He came up to my work because we were going to meet for lunch and he just came out and said it.. I told him that I had thought so for a long time and I will tell you what he said .. "Why didnt you say anything? It would have made this so much easier for me" I cant answer for your family but had I known what I know now I would have said something to him.. we are very close and we just have that kind of relationship that we can do that.. I dont think he ever thought in a million years that our family would be so accepting.. I had one brother who did have problems with it, but we let him know up front that my brother is who he is and we love him for who he is and the kind person he is..
From the sounds of it you have already let him know that if he is than you guys are ok with it.. Id let it go and leave it up to him to come to you if he feels the need.. I wouldnt think there is much else you can do.. If he is .. than Im sure just knowing that you guys would accept him would make him feel better, but maybe he's just not ready.. When he is Im sure he will come to you guys.. As you said.. He may not even be..
I will tell you my brother is my Best Friend in the whole world.. I dont know what I would do without him.. :love: Maybe someone can give you their prospective.. I just wanted to tell you mine..
01-28-2006, 11:29 PM
What if he isn't gay? You may have really hurt him by suggesting it. Or he may be, but would rather keep his personal life private. One of my nephews may be gay, but I would never suggest to him that if he is, I will still love and support him. His sexuality is none of my business unless he decides it should be. If he is fine, if he isn't fine, but for me to presume he is, that is totally wrong. I do know a lot of gay men and women, and coming out to their families is something they did on their own time. I think you should just encourage your BIL to visit your family, invite him as often as you can, and let it go at that.
Thank you all for your comments and I appreciate your thoughts on this. To respond to some of the comments and questions here it is:
We think he may be gay since we have never known him to have a girlfriend...not that he has not had one...but if he did he never brought her around or said anything. This goes back to his youth and all 8 years I have known him. He has lived with a really nice, sweet, attractive woman for several years and they are great friends and roommates, they even thought of investing in a house together instead of renting....but they both say they are not involved and they have separate bedrooms. He has said that he has no desire to have children and probable won't. He goes to gay bars and has told us so. And there are others things that don't come to mind right now.
I don't think we ever pressured him or made him uncomfortable by asking him about it. When we did, it was more of a "so, you went to a gay bar. well, if you are gay, we would be o.k. with it and we love you and we would accept whomever you would bring home as long as you were happy and treated well" sort of thing. And again, that was a couple years ago.
I don't know much on this subject and I asked to understand, not to offend anyone or get flamed. I apologize if I did offend anyone by questioning DBIL...but I just want to him to be more a part of our lives, especially the children, and thought I could find helpful advice here.
01-29-2006, 07:00 AM
I did not see anything in your post that I found offensive. Coming out is a very difficult and scary decision for people to make. There are many of us who thought a significant person in their life would be understanding and accepting because of things they have said and done, only to have them be the exact opposite when told. Fear of acceptance and rejection are very real. It is often easier to allow people to think you are gay than to confirm you are gay. I have several friends who have been cut off from their families after they came out to them and they were devistated. You sound like you are accepting, but maybe now isn't the time for him to come out if he is gay or as someone else said, maybe he hasn't come to terms with it himself, and finally there are some people others assume are gay because of their lifestyle that are not gay.
Family is important to most of us and I for one have a very accepting family. My brothers actually told their wives before they got married that if they couldn't accept the fact that I was gay, then they could not get married and I can tell you all 3 of my SILs are like the sisters I never had. The best advice I can give is to give him time and space and if it is meant to be it will happen.
01-29-2006, 10:13 AM
I didn't find anything in either of your postings offensive.
As others have said, coming out is a very personal process. Your BIL may or may not be gay, or may be uncertain. Everyone runs on their own private timetable.
I came out when I was 17, I'm now 50. Last week I met a guy who is 60, and just came out shortly after his 60th birthday. He had never had a physical or emotional relationship of any kind with anyone male or female until recently. But that was his own, private timetable of when he was ready to accept his feelings.
Just keep being warm, open, loving accepting and receptive.
Thank you for your posts. I think I will keep doing what I have been doing and wait until DBIL is ready or wants to include us more.
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