I Don’t Want To Be The Girl Who Ruined Her Parents’ Lives: Deborah
HA note: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Deborah” is a pseudonym.
I am really sad tonight.
I feel like I can’t stay in the closet anymore, but coming out is going to be so freaking painful. It already hurts so much, but at the same time, I can’t live this way forever. I love my life and I love women and I want the world to know that.
My heart breaks because I feel that my parents and their friends will never know that. They will never get it or understand. There have been so many people who weren’t even gay who my family judged very harshly simply for living the life they dreamed instead of the one their parents (or sometimes mine) had chosen for them. Even when they made something of their lives and enjoyed what they had made, we still judged them. If anything went wrong, it had to be a “consequence” of their “poor” choices.
I feel that I will be viewed the same way they were. I can pretty much count on it. By coming out, these people who I want so desperately to understand how incredibly happy I am with who I am and my life, will only despise me and think my life is crappy even more than they already do.
How can I even deal with the pain of my parents’ broken hearts and possible loss of their only source of income and their dreams for the future? They minister to a group that is mostly very, very conservative Christian homeschoolers. They lead the charge in the whole geographical area against gay rights and for America to “once again become a Christian nation and follow God’s laws”. (Which, for those of you who don’t know, includes literally taking people like me and stoning us to death.) It isn’t a joke, and they don’t take it figuratively or think that this changed at all when Jesus died. While I know my parents would not physically harm me, I know they still believe this way. They have always said that if one of their children didn’t follow “God’s desires” for said child’s life that they would leave the ministry.
It is just so, so much pain and anguish. I don’t want to be “the girl who ruined her parents’ lives just so she could ruin her own” to the whole home-school community in the area. I wish I could make them see the truth of how much my life sucks less since I am honest with others and myself about who I love.
On the other hand, even if coming out goes as badly as it possibly can, there will be at least one child from a family who hears about me and – maybe not right away, but someday – will take heart that there is a way out. They will know that living their dreams, being who they are, and loving passionately is possible and the way to go. I’m sure of it. When I find out that I helped them, this pain I feel right now will have done some good. I know it will all be worth it.
But dammit, right now it hurts like hell!
it’s terrible and frustrating when parents seem to place their personal value on how their children turn out. they try to shape children like clay and when the children turned adults make their own decisions, it’s seen as failure for everyone.
you aren’t your parents doll or clay, and their lives and decision are independent from yours (i realize that might sound like i’m saying being gay is a decision, i don’t mean it that way. i mean coming out.)
even though i’m sure it hurts really badly 😦
i’m trying to learn that it isn’t on me to make people respond to me or think of me a certain way. but it’s hard….
it won’t be on you to heal your parents hearts… even if it feels like it. I’m saying at as much to me as you 🙂
Be true to yourself, Deborah, and let your parents rise or fall to the occasion on their own. What they do and how they respond is totally on them. Their responsibility, not yours. We can only pray that they will listen to God and not what they “think” God says. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice.” If your parents are truly His, they will hear His voice. As a mother of a gay son and a trans son, God has led me through the deep waters of reexamining my long-held and cherished beliefs on this whole subject. It was terrifying to me to follow Him in reexamining what I thought I knew about Him and His word, but I did it because I love Him and I love my children. Here’s a big hug from me in Oregon, thinking of you and praying that God will give you the strength you need to be honest and open about who God created you to be.
I wish my parents could be as accepting of me (a trans woman) as you are in this post toward your sons. You are being an amazing parent.
I don’t always feel very amazing, Haley. But thank you. I’m sorry your parents are being so closed-minded. **Hugs**
How old are you? Do you depend on your parents for housing, food, clothing, and other essentials? If so, I hope you have some money saved up and a fast exit strategy, since things at home will likely become unbearable.
It sounds like you are coming from a Reformed, Reconstructionist family. My parents were in the same cult and all but one of us kids skipped town soon after turning 18. The church they attended imploded into a pit of anger, hate, and vitriol — it is no more.
That movement simply isn’t sustainable over the long haul since eventually the leaders have moral failings and the herd turns on them like a pack of rabid dogs. It ain’t pretty.
I’d just say to see if it isn’t possible to get some physical distance between you and them when you decide to drop the bomb.
Just remember, it’s not you who is ruining their lives. It’s them. They set themselves up for this. They built themselves a lifestyle that isn’t capable of handling real life. Your coming out might be the best thing for them. It may force them to reevaluate what they know.
It’s impressive to read these insights from people who were denied access to insightful material that could have helped them. You all sound wholesome to me regardless of your genders…and FORGIVING! Good luck to you all as you explore the intoxicating world of normalcy. Once you live as a free person, you’ll never go back to psychic bondage. When Thomas Wolfe wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again,” his message was for everyone, including straight, gay, and trans.
❤ Brave girl. Your parents are using that line to manipulate you, and if that's what they choose to do, it's on them, not you. You are amazing, and epic, and brave, and beautiful, and regardless of when, or how, or if you come out to them, we've got your back. ❤
I’m not going to give you advice you don’t want to hear, but I will tell you this. It does getter better with time and strength and if you follow your heart instead of your head… you will be surprised how things can end up. I’ve been there and I survived.. so can you!!! Love and Light xo
Thank you all SO much for your support. There is so much more to my story that maybe I will share someday. For now I need to make sure my posts here remain anonymous. You should all know that I am safe and have a life set up that my parents cannot take away from me. It has taken me a couple of years, but it is one of several things that have to line up before I will be ready to come out to them. Also, I have been facing that I can’t wait for everything to “line up” the way I want it to before I come out. I can’t wait and hope that they will change because if anything would change them, it would be my coming out – not that I really expect that to happen either. Anyway, thanks to all of you. 🙂
Deborah, I suggest you watch a TV series called “Breaking Amish.” It’s about five young Amish people who are determined to leave their fundamentalist religion/cult. I think in the next episode the aging mother of one of them will herself leave and join her son and daughter-in-law. The trailer showed her DANCING (forbidden by the Amish) and exclaiming how much she loves being free. My point is that your bravery may actually inspire your own mother or father to stand up and take charge of his/her life. You never know…
I would like to watch that show, but I don’t know where I can see it online. I don’t have cable.
That seems very cruel to attempt to manipulate others by using guilt. God is a loving God who made us the way we are, and so we should shine brightly! Perhaps they are the ones that need salvation, and can only come about by shining your light on the darkness. What the young people here are doing is heroic and courageous, and perhaps can save others as well. We have all been given the gift of free will and choice. You can not decide for your parents any more than they can decide for you. They must make their way, and you yours. Your story is still being written:)