Coming Out?

Discussion in 'Gay and Lesbian at Disney' started by ToddB, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Hi everyone! I did a search on the forums for this but couldn't find anything recent or relevant so I decided to just make a new thread.

    I am trying to come out to family right now, I came out to my aunt and her daughter because I knew that they would be supportive and they 100% are as well as some of my friends. But now I need to tell my parents and I am really struggling with it. I'm really not sure how to go about it. Every time I go to talk to them I just freeze and walk away. I'm 23 yrs old and I don't want to live my life in a closet. I think my main problem is getting up the nerve to do it and worrying too much about what they will think or say or do.

    But, I would like to hear some stories about how you came out and how your family reacted, if you would like to share. I think that might help me out, getting opinions and just hearing about how others have dealt with it. This is the only place I know of right now to go to so any replies will be greatly appreciated. THANKS!:)
     
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  3. DVCDan36

    DVCDan36 Mouseketeer

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    Every significant event I told my family was during holidays. I was in the Military and finaly admitted to myself that I was not straight, so I thought I might be bi. I called my family Thanksgiving day to let them know and I had planned it out that my brothers would be "ok" with it, my mother would support me unconditionally, and my father would never talk to me again.
    So the official phone call is made, I talked to my brothers, who both accepted it, then I told my mother.......she hated it. She couldn't understant what she did to make me gay and of course, her religious side came out. My father told me he loved me unconditionally.
    It would be another few months before I finally decide I was gay but it took years before my mother accepted it. THought she loved me, she used every excuse to try and change me. I heard phrases like "Don't give up on women" and "You're life is going to be really hard if you are gay". We finally worked it out and loves her son-in-law.
    But those were different times and may not be similar to your family's reaction. Remember your family only want's the best for you, it may take some time, but they will love you.
     
  4. OrlandoMike

    OrlandoMike <font color=red>all I can say is beer hurts when i Moderator

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  5. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for sharing that. I do have things thought out as to what everyone will think or say, but it could go in a completely different way and that's a scary thought. I feel sort of like you did, my sister will be ok with it, my mom would love me and be supportive, but my dad will just brush it off and go have a beer like he does for every other problem he encounters. So it could turn out differently, but I'm just hoping for the best when it does happen.

    Thanks! I know that coming out will make my life better, believe me, my gay friends keep telling me that is what happened to them when they came out. And I did see that video which is one reason I am trying to push myself to do this. I think he was extremely brave to do that as well and I'm very happy for him. I even watch a lot of those 'It Get's Better' project videos which really help motivate. One other thing is I bought a mickey rainbow pin the other day and it is scheduled for delivery today. I won't be home when it gets here so if my mom sees it she might be a bit suspicious. I'm sort of hoping she does see it, it could be like an icebreaker into the subject. But who knows. I'm hoping for the best.
     
  6. jeanigor

    jeanigor DIS Veteran

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    It took me going to Disney on the College Program to know I was ready to tell my family.

    After I got back I had dinner at my step mom's house. After dessert, we were sitting in the living room talking and then there was a pause. We looked at each other, and I tried to tell her. I couldn't make the words come out. She opened her arms, leaned toward me and told me she loved me. As we hugged, she also told me she knew and that it had no bearing on her love for me or our relationship. She also had told me that she had known for at least eight years. And that before my father passed, he had asked her, "Do you think Todd's gay?" To which she replied to him: "If he is would it make him any less your son or would you love him any less?" He thought about it for a second and said of course it wouldn't change a thing, and was never brought up again.
    After that, I told my six sisters one at a time at their houses under varying circumstances, and they were all warm and welcoming. Only one asked questions...nothing inappropriate, just what terms and titles she should use.
    I wrote a letter to my mom, because verbal communication has never been our strong suit. She knew for a while, but I wanted to tell her, so it felt as if I were no longer hiding anything.
    I have not officially told my grandparents, but they know. My partner gets birthday cards from my gram and she has told him to stop calling her Marilyn and call her gram or gramma. My grandfather on the other hand is a hateful bigot with whom I have no desire to include in any part of my life. He doesn't know where I live, that I have a partner, that I have dogs or even that I go to Disney so often--so I cannot see any reason to tell him. He would only bring grief to my mother (his daughter) and I would not wish that upon her.
    I am extremely grateful that I was brought up in a loving family and hope that yours is just as welcoming and warm as mine. You are their flesh and blood. And after everything else is stripped away, your family and friends remain.
    :grouphug::grouphug::flower3:
     
  7. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Todd (Jeanigor), in all the years I've known you that's the first I've heard of this - and its wonderful.

    For the benefit of others, my step-daughter is lesbian and I've loved her from the first day I met her. She's family and it was never an issue. I made a point of telling her that the day I married her mom. After 14+ years, we are closer than ever.

    So, I guess the point is:
    Give you family a chance to show you the love. :love:
     
  8. Sphyrna

    Sphyrna DIS Veteran

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    I started off by telling my sister, since she's like my best friend. I told her in the car while we were driving down the highway. Maybe not the best time or place, but it is what it is. She told my mom, so that made it easy for me. Sadly my dad had already passed away at this point, so never got the chance to tell him. So my advice would be to just do it. You can wait for the perfect time and place but that may never happen. Good luck!
     
  9. BrdwayBoy

    BrdwayBoy "I know now that theatre saved my life." - S. Stro

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    I was raised by my grandparents, and came out during my senior year of High School, when I was going away for the weekend and sharing a room with two of my closest girl friends. My grandmother, who was sitting playing solitaire on the computer, mentioned something about having sex and this is the exchange that followed:

    Me: Well, that's one thing you don't have to worry about!
    Gram: Why?
    Me: 'cause I'm gay!
    Gram: I know you are. What will be will be; and I will love you forever.

    And with that, she turned off the computer, got up and went to bed.
     
  10. greenkai3000

    greenkai3000 Mouseketeer

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    I came out to my parents when I was 19 because I got tired of all the homophobic comments the males in my immediate family would make about anyone who was different, or "obvious". Not only did my coming out to them change their conservative, and religious beliefs, but my parents and I are more closer than ever. They have even given great advise to a couple of family members whose kids have come out after me.

    Find yourself a big support group, whether it's friends, other family members, or a local group :grouphug: It's all out there for you! Good luck!
     
  11. OrlandoMike

    OrlandoMike <font color=red>all I can say is beer hurts when i Moderator

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    So Todd,

    Any Updates?
     
  12. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Thanks everyone for your comments and advice. I have been trying to do this yet, but I keep chickening out. I was going to do it tonight, but every time I went to say something to my mom something else came out not related to what I wanted to say. I am finding this really difficult, simply put - it is scaring the Hell out of me. I really don't know why I can't do it, but I just can't, I really want to do it soon though. There are a lot of things going on right now, family stuff, starting another part time job so now I'll have two, plus school and all the other crap that comes with life, basically = major stress.:scared1: Anyway, I need to do it because it is dragging me down not only emotionally but socially, ya know what I mean? My family isn't one of those that talks about that kind of stuff, we keep everything bottled up until we have a breakdown, believe me, I've seen it happen and it isn't pretty. But I am trying in my own way to do it, but it just isn't working out yet. So once I get myself motivated again I will try, and I will keep you guys updated. Once again thanks for your stories and advice, it really does help!:) ~Todd
     
  13. jiminy.cricket

    jiminy.cricket Disneyphile Extraordinare

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    Hi, Todd:

    I wavered for about 6 years before I finally came out to my parents. In the same vein as you, I would often head up to see my parents, and then turn around or just say hi. In theory, I thought I could do it, but my vocal chords would freeze and my knees would buckle every time I got to the door. Additionally, while in college, I only saw my parents during holidays, and I didn't want to ruin any holidays or to have my parents distracted by thoughts while driving.

    I had come out to my sisters (both initially were freaked out) and a few people in college. Later on, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and I ultimately decided that I had to tell her at some point. Would she rather have gone through life not knowing? I didn't know, but there was only one way to find out. I consulted a classmate who stated that ultimately, there was never going to be a good time and that the major criterion in making this decision should be how I felt. Did I feel that it was right for me? I did. So chemotherapy finished and my birthday impended.

    Finally, on my 22nd birthday, I prepared a speech which I wrote down and cornered them in the bedroom. I imagined my tone would be casual and relaxed and confident, but by the time I got to the bottom of the page, I was barely squeaking. Not so hot.

    Everything turned out alright. After the fact, you think, "Of course that's how they would react. What did I expect?" Beforehand, though, you don't really know. You feel uncertain of the outcome and that any reaction is possible. It seems like you know yourself, though, which is very important, regardless of anyone's reaction. I felt ready for any reaction.

    My parents were disappointed but supportive, if that makes sense. They told me that nothing would change and my mother was even immediately open to the idea of me having a boyfriend, but they wanted me to stay closeted, which is not something I was willing to do, even if I could. I think most people who meet me just know I'm not straight though; it's not something I'm able to hide, and it would be ridiculous to even try.

    Granted, I do feel I have a lot more freedom now after moving to northern Illinois, where the climate is a bit more open than in southern Kentucky, where I grew up. There have been rough patches and a few concerns, but nothing devastating. They had HUGE clues all along; they just didn't want to know. My parents would rather have not known (or so they say), but ultimately, they were okay with knowing. My parents really did want me in the closet, they were focused on dangers and bigotry and fear of disappointment from their parents and friends (to whom I probably will not come out as they live far away; I rarely see them, so it's not a giant issue). I think that also comes from the cultures in which we grew.

    Thanks to a little bit of drama and persistence from my godparents (who figured the whole ordeal out on their own), they've loosened up a bit (This was a 3-4 year process, which isn't too bad.). I also don't see them quite as much. I'm lucky to have a roommate and people around me who are cool. Nowadays, it's not so much of a hangup; it doesn't pervade my entire existence and I don't think about it as much. I'm proud to be who I am, but who I am doesn't worry me as much as it used to. At the moment, it feels like mostly a non-issue now, which I think is everyone's goal. (I do realize that our laws have a long way to go, though.)

    All in all, I wasn't sure what would happen since I grew up in a relatively open but conservative (socially liberal compared to our surroundings), borderline-fundamentalist environment, but I'm relieved at the outcome. It doesn't bother me anymore. Emotionally, I felt I was prepared for anything. Just be ready to stick to your guns no matter what. Anyway, you will come out when you come out--in your own time. It will just happen when you want it to happen. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
     
  14. mondovimom

    mondovimom Earning My Ears

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    I am a straight mother of 5 and just wanted to let you know that you have our support! We visited Disney last week and I saw many gay couples. My kids did not notice and I did not point them out. We have many friends who are gay and my kids are aware that it's ok to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. My husband and I are "old school", couples consist of a man and a women. HOWEVER.....some of my best friends are gay men......go figure. We have a 6year old twin whos gender we question, we will love him no matter what. I hope someday, you are there for him, as we are here for you today. Enjoy your trip!!!! Be proud, you are who you are.
     
  15. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    Well, I know you'll do a better job than my oldest daughter did today - she posted the info on facebook...

    So, knowing how silly some young people get on good old FB, I sent her a text asking her to call me about the changes she made to her info page. I've been getting calls from many family members, and I couldn't tell them anything for sure.

    So, she just called and told me yes, it's all true and serious. Her partner is a wonderful young lady, I really like her, but I wish they had just let me know when I saw them in person a week ago.

    We parents, even when we accept 100%, need some time to digest and process the info. It's almost like grieving - the image we have of our child has changed, and while that love is not lost, the future we envisioned has been altered.

    My MIL has already told me she is proud of her granddaughter, no matter what, but my mom :eek: I have no idea how she will react.
     
  16. Monch

    Monch Earning My Ears

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    I fear giving advice on something so personal, so I'll only say no matter how hard it is, once you get past the intial terror of telling them, it can only get better from there. It can't get better until you tell them, though. And you must tell them if you want to be happy.

    Keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with being gay and your parents love you. I like what OKW Lover said about giving your family a chance.

    If you want to hear coming out stories for inspiration, mine is a bit strange in that I was thirteen when I started telling people. I want to start by saying I'm NOT an overly religious person. I wasn't raised going to church or anything like that, but I was aware that people believed being gay was wrong in God's eyes.

    Anyway, once I realized I was gay (in Grade 6) I started praying. It took me two years to "come out" to God, and then I asked Him for signs that He forgave me (I was a little scared that I was going to hell for it way back then). I asked for something VERY specific (my friends, because I was lost and praying for help--yeah, I know, I'm making it sound like I was some God-fearing kid, but I wasn't), and after I finished praying, I looked over my shoulder, and they were all there looking for me. I know this sounds corny, but at 13, that was all it took for me to know there was nothing wrong with being gay. Just try to understand that I was looking for them for a lonnnng time before I sat down and prayed for help, lol.

    Then I started telling people. I WANTED to tell people. Not telling people was frigging annoying.

    I've had to "come out" many times because of moving a LOT in my teen years, and it's always different. Coming out to my mom was annoying, because she made it all about her. Everyone else in my family pretty much said, "Yeah? And?" It's safe to say they had known most of my life, lol.

    But no matter how awkward it's been at times, I'm glad it's all behind me. The sooner you can accept yourself enough to share you with the world, the happier you'll be. I HATED being in the closet. And I only did it for like a year, lmho.

    Good luck :grouphug:




    HA! I love this story ^.^
     
  17. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

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    How are you doing Todd? almost two months since that last post



    this brought a tear to my eye.
    Grandmas are the best!
     
  18. DeltaDiamond001

    DeltaDiamond001 <font color=red>DISaholic<br><font color=royalblue

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    I came out to my mom sometime last fall, late September or early October I believe. My dad was away on a business trip so it was just her, my brother, and myself. I was reading in bed when I heard her come upstairs, so I called her in to my room. She walked in, and to be honest, I think she knew what I was about to say.

    I remember how difficult it was for me to say the words "I'm gay" outloud. I immediately started crying and so did she. She said she knew for awhile and wanted me to tell her so she wouldn't sound offensive by asking. She explained to me that it would take awhile to fully set in that being gay was part of who I am. I was totally fine with that and understood.

    We were completely fine by the next week (although, those awkward silences really started getting on my nerves ;)) and didn't really talk much about it until Christmas Eve. My dad, mom, and I were sitting in the sunroom talking about random stuff, and I brought up a TV show I was in to. My dad made a horribly... ignorant... comment about gay men, and I instantly started trying to tell him that gay people are just like straight people, blah, blah, blah.

    Needless to say, I left the room after arguing with him for a good five minutes, and ended up in my room crying because I assumed that he would never accept me. Meanwhile, my dad asked my mom why I was so sensitive about his comment, and she told him I was gay and was scared to come out to him. He got in his car and left for a good four hours.

    My mom and I talked and I cried, and cried, and cried. The pain was so great. I felt completely alone.

    Eventually he came home while we were eating Christmas Eve dinner and didn't say a word to me. We didn't talk for weeks... it felt like years... until I finally dragged him to my therapist. She talked to him for quite awhile about how I was the same person he always knew. He ended up in tears, talking about how I was going to die of AIDS, etc. I was so thankful that we took separate cars; I just booked it out of there and let my therapist handle him on her own.

    I remember standing outside of Starbucks for half an hour, drinking flavorless coffee and smoking half a pack of flavorless cigarettes. I couldn't feel anything except anger.

    My mom called and said to come back to the therapist's, that my dad was calmed down, and that he just needed closure. I came back and we talked about his old fashioned views (I guess I should mention that he's 60) about gay rights and how he was going to try and become an advocate for things he was always told were wrong. I gave him a hug, and the first words out of his mouth were "why do you smell like smoke?"

    I shrugged and rolled my eyes. (in the summer of that year he had caught me smoking and took my car away for a week to prove that he was the father figure, etc. He never took away my cigarettes though...)

    Anyway, that's my story! I hope all works out with you and your family! :)
     
  19. NurseAllen

    NurseAllen Mouseketeer

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    Well, I don't mind sharing my coming out story. I hope it may help you a little. But first and foremost, I hope that you gather to courage to come out. It does take a lot of bravery in order to do it. Without further ado...~

    When I was little, I always knew that I was different. I didn't quite know *what* it was, but I knew it was something. I guess my mother should've known, too. I was two or three when the Little Mermaid first came out, and I would cry every time we went to K-Mart or Wal-Mart wanting Ariel dolls ...and I always wanted to watch Sailor Moon, or The Little Mermaid, or Cinderella, Snow...do you get the idea? I never played with GI Joes or anything. So, for elementary school I went to a biological sciences academy and started playing a saxophone. This got me into an Arts middle school, and the equivalent of teenage Sodom and Gomorah! LOL...Not really, but still. I figured it out. I was gay, like the other people were. Like other people on this thread, I had a sort of religious debate with myself. If God hates gays, then why make them gay? Of course, this was like 1998-ish, so there was still the social debate over choice/no-choice. A lot of my friends still thought it was a choice, (which, by the way...since people have pretty much accepted it's not a choice, why do we still have lawmakers that are ****heads? I mean, they used to argue it was a choice, now what they propose is even more devious...''We get that it's not a choice, but we STILL want you to suffer! '-.-'!) ...anyway, there was always a distinct separation. I was out at school, but closeted at home. I was always mortified when my French teacher, Madame Granzow, would talk to my mother. I was always petrified for some reason she would slip. Anyway, ...we moved to a suburb of Savannah in a different county, and I went BACK in the closet. Then slowly, I just got tired of the questions and came out again. Being a smaller town, it was a lot easier to get back to my Mom. She flipped out. It was NOT pretty. Sparing the nitty gritty details, (it was never dramatic to the point that I got kicked out or anything) I would say that now she's completely fine with it and apologized profusely for her behavior that she showed earlier in life. She said that she always knew I was gay, she just never saw society becoming as accepting as it. You know, it's funny. We all have coming out stories, and most of the time we bury them. I haven't even thought about my mother flipping out in YEARS...probably because of the fact that it's been so fine since then, and like she said, ...she never didn't not WANT me to be gay, she didn't want me to have to face society. I'm not old enough to have any deeply insightful Yoda-ish words of wisdom, but since we're in the same generation I'll just say... do what feels right. If you don't ''feel it'' this week, or next week, when you do feel like it, just do it. It's sort of like getting on the Tower of Terror, once you buckle your seat belt, you have to stay on the whole time and just grin and bear it. Then once you start dropping and lifting, you realize it's not so bad, afterall :D...gaaaa' I hope that wasn't too cheesy.
     
  20. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    I am doing good, I haven't been on here lately because there was just so much going on. I started a second job and quit it all in one month. Working two jobs with close to 70 hours a week plus school was a bit much. Then I was at Disney World for vacation with my sister, just got back on Sunday. I'm really glad to have everyone here though for support. It's nice to see that people do care. Still trying to get up that courage to do it, even though my deadlines have come and gone. I have told a few more friends since I was last on here. But thanks to everyone for your stories and words of wisdom. ~Todd
     
  21. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    I am the same way with my mother. I think that she knows and is just waiting for me to come out. We are close, a lot closer than I am with my dad. She sort of hints at things about being gay. One night when we were watching Glee she told me that Jane Lynch was gay, and I was like 'yeah, I know,' and that was all I said. I just don't really know how to interpret that, you know? If it is a hint that she knows, or if she's just saying stuff like that because she wants to. I really have no idea. Now my dad and I hardly ever talk that much now mainly because we have nothing in common really. Let's put it this way, I am a momma's boy and my sister is a daddy's girl. She does all of the 'boy' stuff with my dad, and I do all of the 'girl' stuff with my mom. So I'm not really sure how to go about it, but thanks for your story!:D
     

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