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Old 04-09-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
tazdev3225
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How do you tell someone it's OK?

I have posted on here from time to time and I need some help.

I have 2 relatives who are gay. My brother came "out" when he was 40 and I had never been happier for him because he could stop hiding who he is. I had discussions with my aunt about his coming out in the hopes that she would finally be able to do so herself. It has been over 10 years and she is still hiding. I went to Disney with her and her partner with no problems. They have been together for over 30 years. I took care of her partner's mother when she was dying. Her partner talks about seeing my brother at GLBG pride events. Yet they still perpetuate the myth that they are just friends. In a discusssion with my SIL I found out that they came out to her. She also told me that they had a commitment ceremony a few years ago. I would have loved to have been there to celebrate with them.

I guess what I am trying to ask is how do I say I know you are gay, I have always known you are gay and I don't care. My aunt is only a few years older than I am and we were always like sisters. Trying to pretend is just to hard for me so I can't imagine what it's like for her. I know that she has to be the one to officially "come out" but how do I let her know that she can? She is almost 60 and that is too long to have to pretend that you're something that you aren't.

If the answer is MYOB I will accept that. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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It's hard to say.


I work with an agency that mentors LGBTQ youth. The consensus is that it can be counterproductive to ask people if they're gay before they have the chance to come out on their own terms.
The reasoning is that it can cause them to deny it because they might feel put on the spot/ surprised. Verbally denying it then makes it more difficult to come out because the denial feels more cemented in their minds.

That said, I think in your case it depends on your relationship with your aunt. It may be that asking that question is perfectly acceptable. I think it's great that you want to try and support her.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazdev3225 View Post
I guess what I am trying to ask is how do I say I know you are gay, I have always known you are gay and I don't care.
I think you may have answered your own question....

Just say what you typed above, and maybe give her a hug and add an I love you!

Good Luck!
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazdev3225 View Post
I have posted on here from time to time and I need some help.

I have 2 relatives who are gay. My brother came "out" when he was 40 and I had never been happier for him because he could stop hiding who he is. I had discussions with my aunt about his coming out in the hopes that she would finally be able to do so herself. It has been over 10 years and she is still hiding. I went to Disney with her and her partner with no problems. They have been together for over 30 years. I took care of her partner's mother when she was dying. Her partner talks about seeing my brother at GLBG pride events. Yet they still perpetuate the myth that they are just friends. In a discusssion with my SIL I found out that they came out to her. She also told me that they had a commitment ceremony a few years ago. I would have loved to have been there to celebrate with them.

I guess what I am trying to ask is how do I say I know you are gay, I have always known you are gay and I don't care. My aunt is only a few years older than I am and we were always like sisters. Trying to pretend is just to hard for me so I can't imagine what it's like for her. I know that she has to be the one to officially "come out" but how do I let her know that she can? She is almost 60 and that is too long to have to pretend that you're something that you aren't.

If the answer is MYOB I will accept that. Thanks.
I would just let it be. Your aunt may have a very good reason, just leave things the way they are. Maybe she is planning on coming out soon. Don't spoil it.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schotz View Post
I would just let it be. Your aunt may have a very good reason, just leave things the way they are. Maybe she is planning on coming out soon. Don't spoil it.
I agree with the just leaving things the way they are. It sounds as though the discussion you had with SIL was something of a breach of confidence and I assume you wouldn't want to cause bad feelings there.

I would just proceed on the assumption they are a committed couple. Family parties would include the partner, just the same way any other couple is included. "Are you and Mary coming to Sue's graduation party?" More formal invitations should be addressed to Mary Smith and Jane Jones - the same way an invitation to a legally married couple who keep their own names.

I just don't see what saying you know is meant to accomplish.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Send her a letter/card/note saying what you want to say to her...and leave it at that. It's private and she is not pressured in any way. She will know someone there is for her, and she can come out if, and when, she is ready. And don't get hurt if she suddenly doesn't call you and say she is holding a coming out party. It must be at her own pace, and it may never come.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
tazdev3225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly View Post
It's hard to say.


I work with an agency that mentors LGBTQ youth. The consensus is that it can be counterproductive to ask people if they're gay before they have the chance to come out on their own terms.
That said, I think in your case it depends on your relationship with your aunt. It may be that asking that question is perfectly acceptable. I think it's great that you want to try and support her.
I can totally understand that. I do have a great relationship with my aunt she is more like a big sister than an aunt. And thanks I really do want to support her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlandoMike View Post
I think you may have answered your own question....

Just say what you typed above, and maybe give her a hug and add an I love you!

Good Luck!
Thanks I may try that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schotz View Post
I would just let it be. Your aunt may have a very good reason, just leave things the way they are. Maybe she is planning on coming out soon. Don't spoil it.
I don't think she is planning on coming out any time soon but you are right she may have her own reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOPEYLUVER View Post
I agree with the just leaving things the way they are. It sounds as though the discussion you had with SIL was something of a breach of confidence and I assume you wouldn't want to cause bad feelings there.

I would just proceed on the assumption they are a committed couple. Family parties would include the partner, just the same way any other couple is included. "Are you and Mary coming to Sue's graduation party?" More formal invitations should be addressed to Mary Smith and Jane Jones - the same way an invitation to a legally married couple who keep their own names.

I just don't see what saying you know is meant to accomplish.
The conversation with my SIL wasn't a breach of confidence. We have a very close relationship and have discussed this in private before. I brought up the subject and she confirmed what I mentioned. I would never betray her confidence by telling my aunt what my SIL told me. I have always included my aunt's partner in invitations she has always declined. What I am trying to accomplish is a sense of security for my aunt that I accept her and her partner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colaboy29 View Post
It must be at her own pace, and it may never come.
I totally get that.

Thanks for the replies. I thought I might get messages on both sides of the answer. I will let things stay as they are because that is the way I think she wants it. Telling my SIL was easy for them and I think in a way they knew that it would get around. I am happy that no matter what my aunt has someone who loves her. I would like to let them know that but I think that it's more for me on some level and I can't make her coming out about me. It just hurts that she thinks that she has to hide who she is for fear of the reactions of her family.Thank you every one.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazdev3225 View Post

The conversation with my SIL wasn't a breach of confidence. We have a very close relationship and have discussed this in private before. I brought up the subject and she confirmed what I mentioned. I would never betray her confidence by telling my aunt what my SIL told me. I have always included my aunt's partner in invitations she has always declined. What I am trying to accomplish is a sense of security for my aunt that I accept her and her partner.


I just want to say that I think you took my posting harshly. It was not intended that way at all and I apologize if it came off that way.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:10 AM   #9
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I have a cousin that I'm very close to that is gay. We're in our 40's and he never actually said he was gay until a couple of years ago, and it wasn't like an announcement of "hey, I'm gay", just kind of mentioned the fact when we were talking about something else. Even before he said it, and even before we figured it out, we included his partner in everything, even when we just thought he was his friend.

I think she'll tell you when she's ready. I wouldn't push it. Just keep including her partner in everything even if she turns you down. At least you're doing the right thing in inviting her.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
tazdev3225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOPEYLUVER View Post
I just want to say that I think you took my posting harshly. It was not intended that way at all and I apologize if it came off that way.
I'm sorry too. I didn't think your post was harsh. I understand why you would have thought it was a breach of coinfidence in the text I posted. I had approached my SIL with the news that I thought my aunt may be ready to come out and she told me of her conversation.

I will just wait and hope that one day she'll feel comfortable enough to come out. In the mean time I will continue the pretense because that is what makes her happy and invite her partner to events as I always have. I really do appreciate all of the comments everyone has made.
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