Scared about Coming out (28 Years Old)

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by SymphonyofSecrets, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. SymphonyofSecrets

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    As the title says, I'm 28 years old and still struggling with this whole coming out thing. I first started to question my sexuality around 2006-07 when I was 21-22 years old. I even registered here but barely posted as I saw some PSA about being careful about what you do online. I was in the curiosity phase and it seemed like the worse thing in the world if someone thought I was on After Ellen.

    I have never been with a man though I have felt attracted to men in the past. As I have come to terms with who I am I have found that my attraction is only skin deep. The idea of having sex with a man and/or having a relationship with him is a turn off. I find myself imagining a life with another woman such as getting married, having children etc. There was a time years ago when the opposite was true. Now I'm starting to realize how profound heterosexual privilege is in our culture and have realized that most of this is about not being discriminated and treated badly.

    That fear has controlled my very badly. I got scared several years ago at the idea of being targeted by homophobia. I was afraid of vulnerability. I wanted to live a safe life. I admire women and men who are able to be whole they are even with the horrible way that people can be. I want everyone to like me. I'm afraid that that would not be true. It has caused me to live a very sheltered life. I still live at home with my parents, going to school online. Horrible bullying experiences from my teen years have led me to be afraid to go out there and meet people. I have slowly been dealing with this. I now help at the food pantry by checking in people, volunteer at our local history room and even go to church. I am in the bell choir at church too.

    In my community there are some lesbians, all older and with their ladies. I am afraid to talk to them about this because I am shy. I wasn't sure how to approach them either. I am vocal with my family about how supportive I am about LGBT issues such as gay marriage. My father who is in his 70s was homophobic several years ago but he has been enlightened especially as our state is one of the few that allows same sex marriage. I have explained to him different issues. My mother is great! I told her I was bisexual back in my early 20s but I haven't mentioned it in years so I think that she believed it was a phase or something. I'm afraid that if I told her she would be disappointed.

    My community is a strange mix of liberal and conservative. I know there are people that I can talk to but I'm afraid. The one that I'm scared of telling after my parents in my church. When I think of being a gay Christian it seems funny. My pastor who is from Tennessee does not seem the type to be homophobic. One time we were discussing homosexuality and he mentioned the many times quoted book of Leviticus is based on Jewish law. He even explained the whole shrimp thing. He did not seem supportive of what evangelical Christians are doing. His sermons concentrate on helping other people and being good to each other. I have never heard one homophobic sermon. I am afraid of coming out to him because of what other people that go there would think. I'm afraid that they would be homophobic. I remember hearing about one lesbian couple in town that were basically kicked out of the church before the pastor came to town. I'm afraid that is what would happen to me. I really like the sense of community that I get from the church. I don't want to lose that.

    I had hoped that I could keep to myself that I was gay for some time as I came to terms with it. Tonight my mother made her "I want grandbabies" joke that she usually gives though it was different. This time she mentioned that she was going to hook me up with a guy that I would like. I literally felt sick after she said that. I am still affected by it hours later. I feel nervous and freaked out. I am scared to tell her that I'm gay but I don't want her to think that I'm okay with it.

    My question is this. How do I come out to my mother? How about my pastor? Even though I feel that they would be accepting, I'm afraid that it will drastically change my relationships with them and other people in the community.
     
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  2. lost sheep

    lost sheep Active Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about the struggles you're going through. It's not always easy, regardless of what age you are. My biggest piece of advice would be to talk to someone from PFLAG. Any local chapters can be found online. I have gone to them and talked to them a few times as well coming here when I was struggling myself with self acceptance.

    That's the most important thing is self acceptance. It's hard to get others to accept you when you're struggling to accept yourself. Not everyone is going to like you coming out, often it's family who makes that journey the hardest. If you're close to your mom and feels she's receptive to you coming out, then just gently remind her of the previous conversation you shared when you told her you're bisexual.

    As for your pastor.....I'm not entirely sure I have any profound advice. I haven't gone to church in the last few years because of the pseudo-"Christians" and their hate speech.

    If you ever just need someone to talk to, please feel free to PM me. " )
     
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  3. SymphonyofSecrets

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    Thanks so much Lost Sheep for your comments. It really means a lot to know that I'm not alone. I am certainly going to check out a PFLAG meeting. I came out to my parents after writing the post. I guess writing it was my incentive to tell them the truth. They took it really well. Even my dad who I was a little wary about. My mom said that she assumed it but was waiting for me to tell her. It's funny how that happens. I think that I will wait to tell my pastor so that I can start to accept who I am some more.
     
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  4. lost sheep

    lost sheep Active Member

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    You're welcome. " )

    Coming here you'll see you're never alone. Each of us struggled with ourselves as we realized what our orientations are. Especially when we realize we have to start telling people. I don't tell people that I'm bisexual unless I'm sure I won't get the infamous "you're going to hell" speech.
     
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  5. Dorcas

    Dorcas Member

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    It sounds horrible
     
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  6. MakeMeLaugh

    MakeMeLaugh Well-Known Member

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    I did not come out until I was 29.... it was extremely difficult as my mother is very religious but she took it okay, we still haven't dealt with it all as I only came out to my parents in May, but we are getting there little by little. Its good that you had that discussion with your mom in your early twenties so the foundation for coming out to her has already laid down, perhaps mention that conversation and let her know what you are going through. It seems as though you have very supportive parents and even a parent who has turned around his opinion on homosexuality, those are all good things.

    Now as someone mentioned before, the path to garnering acceptance from those around us is to first have an acceptance for ourselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being Gay, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. Some of the members of your congregation may not be as accepting as others, but really is that the company you want to keep? You will find that the more you surround yourself with positive and accepting people, the easier it will be for you. The church issue is a sensitive one. I grew up in the church, Roman Catholic, and I went to church every Saturday and all the holidays; the particular church I attended was not exactly the most accepting. I stopped going to Church because I found it difficult to practice a faith in which I felt wasn't accepting and made me feel like I was going to hell. Now, I live in NYC so finding a church where acceptance was preached and LGBTQ couples were welcomed was really easy. I don't know where you live so it might be harder to find, but there are definitely LGBTQ friendly churches out there, perhaps that is something you might want to explore.

    You mentioned being scared of losing a sense of community. Remember what that means and remember who you want to be a part of your community. If you are honest with yourself and what kind of values you want in your community you will see that if people who walk away from a relationship that they have with you (friendship, family, etc) strictly because of your sexual orientation, then they may not be the best people to consider when being so greatly tied to a sense of community. Good luck :)
     
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  7. J

    J Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, I feel you. That fear is crippling and I'm so tired of feeling scared. It's like I can't go forward with my life. My best friends are homophobic and they make these comments here and there that really hurt and push me further into the closet. I also know what it's like to feel controlled by fear, and I feel somewhat disaapointed in myself that I don't just come out and be free. But it takes a lot of time for many people.

    I think you just have to accept that relationship dynamic will change and just deal with it as best as you can. I know it will for me, but people might be more understanding than I think, well at least I hope so.
     
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  8. sundancer

    sundancer Well-Known Member

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    If you've already told your mum and she was good about it, just bring it up again. Maybe talk about something in the news that's gay related e.g. the Grammy's if she read about it, or something. As for me, I'm going to revisit the whole gay thing with my mum soon and going to talk about the crazy HK tycoon who has offered HKD$1 billion for any man that his lesbian daughter (who is married to her partner) will choose as her suitor.

    As for your pastor, that's probably more difficult waters. It depends what kind of person he is, and I suppose in a way, whether he really does preach compassion and love just like what Jesus taught all of us. Yes, the whole gay thing is actually from the Jewish texts, thus we inherited it. I could go into more of the history of it, but I won't just in case you get bored! haha It's not that long though, but as a gay Christian myself, I can totally understand where they're all coming from. I just don't understand evangelical Christians and the way they go about things seriously just turns me off.

    That said, prior to moving out of my parents home, my family and I used to go to a very popular parish in our area. One of the priests that I was quite fond of who is quite high up in our archdiocese (and to an extent, the whole country), gave this sermon about true Christian love, which I'll never forget. Right near the end of his sermon, he said that as Christians, our duty is to love and not to judge. Whether we're white, black, or Asian, young or old, man or woman, gay or straight, we're all welcome to our church and to get to know God. When he said the gay or straight thing, he looked at me. I blushed, and he smiled and nodded at me. I felt so touched and a little embarrassed, but I knew that he meant well so it's alright.

    So the moral of this long story is, that there are pastors/priests out there who are accepting. If you wish to come out to him, you can. I guess you can try testing the waters and ask him what he thinks of homosexuality etc or say you have a friend who is battling homosexuality or whatever it is that you feel like and gauge his response. Good luck!
     
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  9. amy12

    amy12 Member

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    Just read this post/thread. I realize it's been a year since you posted this! I just want to say that I hope all is well!
     
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  10. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    The thread is old, but I think there are others who find themselves in the same situation. Here's what I'd do.
    Gather anyone who I want to know about this in my house, ask them to stay in the living room, then tell them to come to my room and I will run faster, throw a white sheet on me, get in the closet and when they arrive, I get out of the closet making ghost noises and scare them to death and while they try to catch their breath, I tell them I'm gay.
     
    #10
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  11. Brandy Mars

    Brandy Mars Member

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    Hey there. Thanks for posting this. i waited until I was 27 too(so pretty much the same as you). I recently made this youtube video talking about my coming out. It's public so you can check it out if you like. I wish you all the best and shoot me an email if you want to chat.
     
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