Should I wait to come out?

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by Jemstone, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    First, I should probably mention that I'm in college (21) and I still live at home when I'm on school breaks. I also have really bad anxiety.
    I've told my best friend and she's totally okay with it (even told me she wasn't all that surprised, especially since like 90% of her friends turn out to be gay) and extremely supportive. I'd been wanting to tell her for YEARS, but never got the guts to until recently. I was so happy with myself for being able to tell another person face to face, in fact now I'm to the point where if someone close asks me I don't really mind telling them (although that has only happened once).
    So, my social life in that aspect is totally fine, but it's my home life I'm having trouble with. I've brought the subject up to my mom many times, asking her how she feels about gays and other stuff like that. All pretty positive. I've been wanting to tell her for a long time, especially because I would like to tell her before getting a girlfriend, but my anxiety keeps telling me that she won't accept me. I think all those stories about people getting kicked out, or disowned, or etc are really what's making me scared. I don't think my mom would ever even think of doing that, though. If I were to tell her I don't know how I'd go about it either.
    I think it might be easier to wait until I move out on my own and tell her then, but I'm not sure I can wait. I've never been on a date before (with either gender), but I'd like to date a woman eventually and I don't want to hide it. Should I wait or should I go with my gut and tell my mom now/soon? Some advice would be really appreciated.
     
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  2. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like your mother would be ok with it if you've asked questions and she seems generally accepting.

    However, if you're dependant on your mother and have no means for living on your own, and if you have ANY doubts that she wouldn't be ok with it, DON'T DO IT. Wait until you have a job and can support yourself if you think you're going to be kicked out.

    Do you pay for your own schooling? Perhaps if you think she'll be ok with it, but will need time to think, you could tell her before you go back?
     
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  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Mostly seconded. That being said I left home at 18, didn't have anything to do with my parents and managed to sort it all out. I know things are more expensive (i.e. tuition) today.

    I guess the other option is to play the T card. You could see if your school has therapists. A good one could help you with anxiety and with talking to your mom. It seems sort of a shame to bottle this all up, if in the end your mom would be pretty cool with things. Maybe a therapist would have some advice on how to get a better sense on if your mom would be cool or freak-outs-ville.

    I sounds like she would be cool, but I understand wanting to be pretty sure before you bring this up.

    I'm sorry I can't be more help. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
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  4. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    There is a reason to have some doubts. My parents are fine with gays, but they weren't very very positive in the moment I told them, although they accepted me this way in the meantime. Some parents will need time to accept that when it comes to their own children. I think that's because they don't want their children to get hurt by society, or they are selfish and want their children to be some kind of a good example in society and represent the parents well.
    You should approach a subject relating to how parents accepted their children's sexual orientation and say "isn't that great for the kid, to have such good parents?" stuff like that and see how she reacts when talking about the parents. There are lots of cases you can show her, but if you keep doing that, she might figure out alone.
     
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  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    @Just Me hits the nail on the head here.
     
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  6. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    I pay for my own schooling, but she does help me from time to time. I have an on-campus job, but yeah it's not really enough to support myself with.

    She really is a loving and supporting person, but I guess the fear stems from the idea that they my react differently about their OWN child.

    Your post has helped a lot, thank you so much. :) I will think it through some more.
     
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  7. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    My school has a therapist, unfortunately I've been on the "waiting list" for a whole semester now, despite at the time being put as a priority waiter (because of medical reasons). I honestly think they just forgot about me or something, because at the beginning of the semester when there wasn't a wait list I tried to make an appointment and for some strange reason they could only look ahead three days into the week availability wise. So I asked if they could call me back when they could see Friday's and they never did. So yeah, not that reliable, but I'm still going to try.

    There's also an LGBT support group on my campus and I was thinking of going, but my anxiety kept getting the better of my. I think I'm going to try and go this coming semester, though! If I don't have class conflicts, that is. Heh.

    Anyway, thank you. Your comment was helpful. :)
     
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  8. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    Your experience is the exact experience I'm afraid of.
    I've already hurt my mom's chances of ever having children (I don't and never did want any, despite her constantly trying to guilt me into wanting some so she can be a grandmother).
    I've also never really loved the idea of having sex with or marrying a man, so honestly I also wouldn't be surprised if she said that she was kind of expecting it.

    That is great advice, thank you! I will definitely do that. I've kind of done that already, to see her views on the subject, but I don't think I've ever mentioned that subject. Thank you. :)
     
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  9. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    I'd say call and make sure they didn't forget you. Doesn't hurt to try.

    When I was coming out, I saw a therapist. Mine was this kick-ass older lesbian. I had tons of anxiety, fear and conflict about coming out. Just seeing her and seeing how - normal - her life was really helped me.

    She did desensitization with me. Like I took little baby steps. First I'd just go somewhere were there were gay people - like a concert. I had to like - report back what I saw. Which forced me to look at gay people and question my own fears. "Do they look happy, is anyoneharassing them, etc..." As I got more comfortable she had me do more and more - go to the LGBTQ group, go to a bar, etc...

    Aside from your mom, what anxiety do you have about coming out? And why were you nervous about going to the LGBTQ group? Not blaming you, just trying to see if we can make it a little easier for you.
     
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  10. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    The others gave you great advices, I got really nothing to add - mine was 'uneventful' when I told my Dad (my mom passed away when I was young.) But my gf is struggling with the idea right now and I know how hard that must be for you. I just want to tell you that we're here for emotional support and just ask questions or even if you just need someone to listen, everybody's here for you. A lot of people here can give you insightful advices and what to do or not to do when you need it.
     
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  11. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    My mom is really the only anxiety I have concerning coming out. I'm just nervous to go to the group because, well, I'm a very shy and not so social person. Going to meetings, especially alone, is something that just scares me. No matter what group. The only reason I go to the current club I'm in is because my best friend is also apart of it. I don't really fear being harassed (as it's not new to me) and I don't fear what the public thinks. I just fear losing the small amount of family/friends that I have.

    As for the other thing I would love to do those, but where I go to college there really isn't anything like that in the area (plus no car). I think when I go to the group I might ask some people if there's any kind of events nearby that I don't know about.
     
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  12. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Well, you're light years ahead of where I was. Maybe your bestie would go to the group with you?
     
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  13. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    I was thinking about that. Last semester she worked during the meeting, but if she's not this semester I will definitely ask.
     
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  14. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    PFLAG also might be able to help you. Looks like they have some free downloadable books and such.

    http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=268

    Though the benefit of your campus group is you might also meet a cute girl...
     
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  15. TADinUS

    TADinUS Well-Known Member

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    Talk to her for sure - to attend the meeting with you. That way she has you scheduled. I already sounds very supporting and a great friend to have. Also check out some books on shyness. I used to be horribly shy myself... I still am a bit. But when I decided I wanted to GO OUT THERE... I asked a friend who took me to clubs. I watched others. I drank some beer to "loosen up" - actually, I still do :) I watched how people interact, how they would simply dance with others - giving visual clues to welcome a dance (Yes / no / don't care). A big one is, drunk people don't care how you dance anyway. :)

    Since you are 21, having a few drinks (not DRUNK) will relax you. Try something that is tasty like Woodchuck (apple cider). It may take you a while - but you can beat shyness.. and laugh about it. It really is *EASY* to simply say "hello" to a stranger... even easier when you have a friend who can get chit-chat started. So yeah, baby-steps, observation, reading books, join the support group is all good for you. And when you go to a club with a friend, watch as much as you can. And allow someone else to say "hello" to you... for all you know, she could be slightly less shy than you. :)
     
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  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Drinking with an anxiety problem is poor advice, it is dangerous to add alcohol to mental illness.
     
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  17. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    This is terrible advice.

    Jesus, Mary, Joseph and a handful of the Apostles wept.

    I do not advocate that the OP belt down a few Woodchucks and go come out to her mother.

    Using alcohol as a crutch to overcome anxiety doesn't work and is a great way to wind up addicted and making your anxiety worse.

    Shyness is not the same thing as anxiety.

    The OPs main concern is anxiety about coming out to her mother, not being shy in social setting.

    I hear St. John wailing in the background.

    Alcohol is a depresant. Using alcohol actually depletes our body of certain neurotransmitters, which leaves us more anxious and depressed. This creates cycles of feels good - crashes - needs more - feels slightly less good - crashes harder.

    Fortunately, I think the OP is mature enough not to follow Tad's terrible advice.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Holy type people to console.
     
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  18. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    What they said: don't get tipsy.

    That said, here's my take, because information gathering always helps me come up with a plan:

    Coming out is the most awkward, anxious 30 seconds of your life... and then it's over! If you are relatively confident that the reaction will be positive and you will be safe, I would encourage you to do it. But you don't have to do it in a way that involves direct confrontation - you could write a letter, record a message, send smoke signals, whatever. If you want to do it in person, invite your mom some place you feel safe and go out for ice cream afterwards.

    As to your mother's reaction - she might need some processing time, but she probably already knows something is up. My mother predictably said, like all mothers, "I just worry about your life being harder because of this." Her fears and uncertainties for you, and any negativity in her reaction, will be motivated by care for your and worry about what it's like to be queer in this world. Keep that in mind, and assume that she's coming from a place of love if she reacts with less than perfect pride. "Mom, I wanted you to know, and I'm happy to talk about it if you need to - but I want you to know that I'm sure and I'm happy." And when you tell her, you can also help her know how to react by what and how you tell her - sharing something with her to be honest and caring, rather than asking for her approval. Bad reactions to these conversations are usually not all the parent - it's us feeling rejected and hurt, and demanding more from our parents than they're ready to give.

    I get your anxiety, but I actually think that coming out will make you feel better. Think about all the conversations you won't have to avoid, the boys you won't have to fake girltalk about! Being open with people you care about is way less crazy making, and you will get to relax and stop worrying about who knows what.
     
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  19. Jemstone

    Jemstone Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    A little update;
    I found out my night class ends 15 minutes after the club meeting starts, however I believe I will be getting out early due to how my professor teaches. So there's a high possibility I will go to the club meetings when they start up again. I'm a mixture of anxious and excited about it.

    As for the drinking, I'm almost 22 and can say I've gone out for a few drinks before with my close friend. Hard cider being my choice beverage, but it does nothing to 'loosen me up'. In fact I prefer it that way. I usually only have a couple drinks (maybe like 2-3, not even enough to get a slight buzz) and then that's it. I'm not a clubber (not that I could be, there's none where I am) and even thinking of going to one makes me freak out.

    Tad I feel like you were only trying to help, but I have to agree with everyone else and saying this wasn't good advice. Anxiety and shyness are not something that is easy for me and many others to just get over. It's just not really that simple. Also, be careful with such advice as drinking even if the person doesn't have anxiety. Alcoholism can run in families (such as mine, which is why I do try to be careful about how much I drink).

    lorienczhiu: Thank you, beautifully said. I will keep this in mind. It was very helpful advice! :)
     
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  20. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    I agree very much with Kaiden. My parents had gay friends and were totally okay with anything not straight. As soon as I came out, however, that all changed. Suddenly "gay" was the biggest taboo in the house hold, and my sexuality became a very real and very big issue.

    I am not saying that this will be the case for you. I hope that things will go swimmingly. But I think that sometimes we can have instincts and doubts for a reason. I hope all goes well and wish you the best :)
     
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