Happy Birthday to Me!!

So, I know this is completely self-glorifying, but I feel like all of y'all are my friends! I've been on here for a while, and you have all helped me with a bunch, whether ya know it or not! Thanks for that!

So, 23 kind of sucked. It was hit or miss -- either really good, or REALLY bad. I have been eagerly awaiting 24, hoping that it brings good things (and much more prosperous knitting! Maybe discipline and focus...)

Anyway, I want to start out this year as honestly as possible...and I'm not exactly sure how to go about that. Namely, telling my family that I have a boyfriend. He's fantastic! I mean, if it were just me, then it wouldn't be an issue living a double life. At least, is hasn't been that unbearable for 23 years. Now, I can't imagine hiding that part of myself! He makes me feel alive, he makes me feel like I'm breathing again! He makes me want to paint in bright colors -- how can I deny that?

Please forgive me for bringing this up on this site, but I'm sure others have had to deal with this! Me and my mom have a great relationship, but being gay isn't something that's acceptable. It just isn't. I tries talking to her once, and it wasn't good. Lots of stress, lots of prayer. I mean, it's not like I haven't tried that before! I can be a Christian and be in love with the most amazing, fantastic boy in the world! ::sigh:: It's just really weighing on my heart that I have to keep such a joyous part of my life under wraps.

Any advice?


NoNewWitticisms's picture

No advice, no. I do want to tell you, though, that it'll be the best decision you'll ever make. And good luck. And congratulations.

And happy birthday!

fuzzed's picture

I'll offer up a few bits...

When you tell her, don't go in unarmed. It sounds like religion is important to you and your family, so do some research and give her good examples of gay priests, gay churches, etc. Be ready to show her that you can be gay AND a Christian and that they aren't mutually exclusive. If possible, research someone that you know she admires and respects and see what their view on being gay and Christian are. If they support it, then that's a point in your favor. You could also look up info about gay support groups that are run or sponsored by a local church. Perhaps even have contact info for her so she could call them and talk to someone herself. Or better yet, if your family regularly attends services, you might want see if you can get the help of your pastor, assuming they're not against it.

Also, it would be best if you didn't introduce her to your fantastic boy just yet. Certainly you want to tell her about him and how he makes you feel and such, but meeting him is probably more than you can expect her to handle at once.

Be strong and honest. Show her that you're not confused and it's not just a phase and that prayer hasn't helped. Show her that this is who you are and that you're happy with that. Be prepared for her to ask personal and possibly uncomfortable questions. She may not, but if she does and you answer honestly and confidently then she might be less likely to think there's something wrong with you and begin to accept it.

All too often the children think that the parents are clueless to their orientation. They think they do a good job of hiding it and fooling people. Well, sorry to say most of the time this just isn't the case. Most parents, if they're any sort of parent at all, will have some idea. When you said you tried talking to her and it wasn't good, that tells me that she probably already had an idea, but she wasn't ready for confirmation. But you can't really wait for her to be ready because he probably won't ever be truly ready. But you can be ready to tell her, and you can be ready to help her understand and hopefully accept.

Also keep this in mind. After you tell her and whatever happens happens and things smooth out again, things will be much more relaxed. You'll be lifted of the burden of worrying about what she'll say or do and just be able to live your life. It will be worth it in the end.

My parents found out when I was 17. Mom and I were arguing and I blurted it out as a response to something she said. Not the best way to do it. *grin* But I hope that for you it will be all good. You're older than I was, and it's more accepted now that it was 23 years ago when I blurted it out. And with the internet, information is much more easily gathered than before. If she's computer savvy she can do her own research and confirm what you tell her.

I wish you the best of luck with this. Let us know how it goes. *hugs*

potterdc's picture


One thing I would say to you from my own experience: things change. Relationships change. People change. Even parents change. My parents are retired Southern Baptist missionaries who had high hopes that I'd be a missionary doctor to India or Africa.

My mom quit talking to me the year I came out to them. My dad tip toed around the issue. When my mom did talk to me, she said "You can be gay but you don't have to act on it. Keep yourself pure for the Kingdom of God." (I didn't bother to tell her that by that point, it was a bit late for me to be pure....).

Since that time, my mom has been heard to say "I love gay people. They are simply the most creative, thoughtful people I have ever known." My mom and dad and the rest of my family love my partner. My parents have sought out a church that was open and affirming. I don't go to church anymore, it's not part of who I am, and while they'd prefer I was a church goer, they respect that.

Don't stop being yourself, Coty. As much as we'd like to, we can't control how parents, etc will react, feel, think. Continue to work on be who YOU are, and live that. It can be quite painful, and if you face the pain and not run from it, it will actually enrich your life. Most importantly, cultivate as much integrity in your life as you can. Integrity brings both enormous strength and wisdom. And knit like a fiend.

You're walking the Hero's journey. Don't forget that.

Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

No advice, but a very happy birthday and a GREAT BIG HUG from me in my Mom role.

crmartin's picture

I really can't add anymore than what has already been said except, life begins when you are true to yourself.

Happy birthday!



YugiDean's picture

Happy birthday!

My own experience with coming out to my parents was sloppy and unpleasant. Good Southen Baptists as they are, I ended up being guilted into applying for a "gay rehab" place (Love In Action). Long story short, I ended up not going and finally just accepted myself...this was in 1999 just before I turned 19. Parents didn't speak to me for several months, and they were always preaching to me about "getting right with God." After some time, though, it became less of an obsession and more of an afterthought. They still don't approve or accept it, but they listen when I talk about the important parts (i.e., my partner or the gay support group I started in my second college). I think it becomes about compromise. Their compromise was to accept that they have a gay son and can't change it...and that my spiritual walk is my own, whether they think it's "right" or whatever. My compromise is accepting that my parents aren't (and probably never will be) okay with my sexuality. I've had to understand that loving and approving parents are wonderful, but not obligatory to live a full, happy life. For a while it bothered me. However, after nine years of being out to them, more than two of which have been spent with my partner, it really IS an afterthought. I do not have an extremely close relationship with anyone in my family like my partner and most of my friends do, but I used that as an opportunity to learn how to make my life mean something on my own. In psychology, they call that an internal locus of control. LOL

See? My degree was worth something!

I guess my long-winded rambling could've really be summed up like this: Be happy whether anyone (including family) approves of it or not. Ultimately, your relationships (including the one you have with God) are your business.

I'd tell you to be careful in how you deliver two blows at once (that you're gay AND that you have a boyfriend), but I think that goes without saying.

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright


Kerry's picture

There's good advice given already. I like to remember that a family is something we are born into and did not choose it. Some families are warm and loving, some are not. Make the best you can with the family you've been given, if they have difficulties accepting you and your partner it is not your fault.
Lots of hugs and warm wishes.

ksmarguy's picture

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great year.

Now...for the other stuff.

I remember it well. My mom asked me on April 1 1994 what it meant that Jeremy and I had matching necklaces....

April Fools Day, she hoped for a joke

we sat and talked, cried alot, I was a freshman in college and told her I was going into town for class and was not going to come home if she told Dad. She said she had to tell Dad. It turned out ok and they love my partner, although it was very hard for them at first. I went through the uncomfortable questions, etc. but we weathered the storm together and it turned out. That is not always the case as I am sure you know and only you can decide when and if the time is right. For me it was...I did not know it until my mom asked but when she asked that, I just knew I had to let it out.

My partner, on the other hand, never told his mom. She died of Cancer in August of 1999 and he regrets very much not having told her. He takes some comfort in the fact that he did at least tell her that he found someone special. He wishes that he would have told her everything, even though he thinks that she suspected.

So, long story short, find your time, like the others have said, find stories, find groups...PFLAG has some wonderful resources...GLSEN has great resources...

My mom found a priest that helped her ALOT, then she joined PFLAG, she is now a GAY MOM.

PS...if anything goes awry and you need a mom, mine will adopt you no questions asked :D

Take care and know that I'm thinking of you and supporting you :)

Awww.... you guys are simply fantastic!

I wish that I could sit down and write each and every one of you the detailed appreciation that you each deserve... but alas, I'm a working actor on the road (currently in PA). However, it REALLY means sooooo much to me that I can throw my problems onto a bunch of strangers, and get such a positive response!

I've come to realize that my life is just that -- it's MY life! In the same way that you can't knit something for everyone all the time, you can't please everyone all the time! Furthermore, if I'm not happy, my family won't be happy (when it comes to me). I have to accept that it is a difficult pill for them to swallow, that either I'm happy with my amazing boyfriend, or I'm not happy. End of story.

Ughh..... I love my mother, really I do... I suppose all of this is just a part of "growing up". Not even "coming out" (I'm so the "anti-gay"... not that I have a problem with it, it's just that I think that I am who I am, and that labeling it with "gay" and a big ol' rainbow flag cheapens it some how... I guess that's just not me...), it's just part of being independent and thinking for yourself.

Ok, so I've dragged out this OT WAY tooo long.... at least my WIP is a blanket for some lesbian friends' mother... that's ok, right? lol!

If any of you read this, thank you SOOO much! You've helped out WAY more than you could ever know! I told her, it wasn't pretty, but we're kind of working through it. She's still in denial, I think, but we'll see.

I'll get on the ball and actually get to work soon guys.... I promise!


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

Aaronknits's picture

Okay, first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Even though that may be a bit late.

Now that the cat is out of the bag so to speak, keep in mind what others have said about people and relationships changing but you cannot force that change to happen. Me being gay and coming out wasn't the easiest thing for my father to deal with. Wasn't the easiest thing for him to deal with when my oldest brother came out ten years before me either. But dad is a different person now. He accepts us the way we are and we accept him the way he is. He's also come to realize that my brother and I really are good people and that he can actually say he's proud of his two gay sons.

My mother (now deceased) had a much easier time with it. In fact, I think she knew before we were anywhere near ready to tell her or anyone else. She has a gay sister, a gay aunt and uncle, and a few gay cousins. She was so accepting it was almost uncomfortable (does that even make sense?) Since her passing her other sister's twin sons have come out, as has my own sister's son. I'm convinced there's something hereditary there.

Anyway, just take things day by day keep your head up and most of all, be proud of yourself!

Kilted Knitter's picture

Happy Belated Birthday!!!!!
Sorry that I missed your Birthday, hope it was a great day!
As for the subject at hand, I don't have much advice, other than to say you are loved, your mom may not like the fact but she will never truly stop loveing you. If she is truly a christian then she will come around to the fact and slowly wrap her mind around all of this. Especially if she dosn't want to lose you as her son.
You know that you have friends here on this site and will be loved and accepted by all on this site. Some of us have skeletons in our closets and live very happy lives in spite of what is in our closets. Love and HUGs!!!!
Barry the Kilted Knitter