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Family Problems

Question:

I need some advice. But first here is some info about me. I am 22 and am living with my parents while completing my internship so I don’t have to pay rent. I am from a small midwest town in Nebraska where things like this is said to be a bad thing. I have been attracted to men since I was in 7th grade and started going through puberty. I fought the feelings until I was a freshman in college(about 3 years ago) and it was then that I admitted to myself that I was gay and said it out loud. I recently came out to some of my family members. About a month ago I came out to my sister and she told me she knew but didn’t want to ask. We are closer now then we ever have been. I also came out to two of my best friends who are also my cousins. They are both seem very accepting about it. Here is where it gets bad and any advice would be helpful, and it is a very long story and very complex so I will try to narrow it down some. Five days ago I came out to my mom while we were kind of arguing about why I am so moody all of the time. I told her because I can’t be myself and she kept asking what I meant so I just told her. As soon as I said it she just looked at me and said “No.” with a disgusted look on her face. She then said “That is sick, how can you like guys?” my mom just started crying and said I can’t know if I’m gay because I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone. Then I reminded her of a girl I dated sophomore year while trying to push my feelings for men out of my mind and she said “how could you have been attracted to her she wasn’t pretty.” My mom’s a peach when she’s angry, isn’t she? I then informed her that I had two different chances to date girls who were interested in me in college and I was in no way interested. She said a lot of hurtful things. The ones that hurt the most were “You’re not telling anyone because I don’t believe you. How can you call yourself that?” “Could you imagine what grandpa will say? He is against it. It took him a long time to even accept your cousin like a normal person. I hope he’s dead before people find out because this will kill him.”(my cousin came out as a lesbian I think 6 years ago and she isn’t one I told) “Are you telling your father? You think your brother will accept this?” “How can you be like that?” “What did I do wrong in raising you? I did not raise you this way! You are not gay!” Each comment was like a knife hitting me in the gut, but I just sat there and let her finish. Eventually she just said it will take her time to deal with it. She hugged me and said she loved me and I said I was sorry. I honestly thought everything was going to be ok. Then Yesterday she got home from work and got tears in her eyes every time she looked at me. She said she was tired from working the night shift at the hospital so she went to bed. That is when the text messages started. My cousin was here so she didn’t want to confront me in front of her. She said the same stuff she did the day I told her plus some. Like how she doesn’t believe me, her life sucks and she just wants to die, how she has cried every night, how the dreams she had for me are ruined, and how she will never hold my children because I will never have any. She then said I can’t be gay because I’ve had crushes on girls which I tried to explain was just me trying to stay in the closet. Don’t get me wrong I know what a pretty girl is, but I am not attracted to them. After she woke up from her nap she came downstairs to my room and started yelling telling me who I am. I tried to stay calm and just let her finish but it was hard. She said the same old stuff and then said she wanted to beat the s*** out of me, but she didn’t. Then she said that the TV show Glee turned me gay.I started crying at this point because that TV show is what made me confident in telling my family. I don’t know where I would be without that show. She has seen one episode and claims it makes a gay lifestyle look glamorous, which is not true. If your familiar with the show Kurt had to go through so much to get where he is now, and this made me see you have to get through the bad to be rewarded with the great stuff. I was so lost before that show. I even admire Chris Colfer more than the character he plays. I have watched hours and hours of interviews watching how happy and confident he seems and I keep telling myself I can be that too. In January I sent him a letter through his fan mail address telling him about myself because I just needed someone to hear me. Kind of like a “Perks of Being A Wallflower” thing, like how Charlie sent letters to someone as therapy. I never heard back because it’s obvious he’s very busy and I don’t even know if he got the letter because i assume he gots thousands of letters from fans everyday saying how much they love him. I sent him another one two days ago about what happened with my mom. It just feels good to talk to someone who isn’t related to me and is the same as me. I know I will probably never hear from him but he is my guardian angel, along with the character he plays. I also wish there was a way for him to tell my letters aren’t fanmail of me gushing about him, but about what I’m going through and how he’s helping me just so he would have a better chance of reading them. Anyway, back to my mom, the last thing she said is that i’m not gay because that is disgusting, I don’t know what I want because I have never even kissed anyone (boy or girl) and that I am only saying I am because I don’t think a girl will love me. You see, I am also overweight so I have never been confident in myself. She says I can never live where I do now and have a relationship and I will die alone. I even suggested we go to counseling to talk about it and she said I am the only one that needs help. She then stormed upstairs and acted like nothing was wrong. Then right before I went to bed she texted me and said “Even though I don’t agree or accept it, I still love you.” Then today she acted like nothing is wrong. Is she in denial? Why is she acting like it’s her life that is over? I mean I am the one who had to come out. Also why can she be accepting to my cousin who is a lesbian but she says two men together is sick. She claims I said it so easily, when it took me 7 years to accept it myself and three more to come out to anyone. I just want to find someone to love and bring him to family events and holidays just like everyone else brings their significant others, even my cousin who is out is in a relationship and she brings her girlfriend all the time. I’m just lost and confused, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. What do I do to make her see that I am 100% sure I am gay without her telling me how disgusting I am for feeling this way. I’m scared she will try to talk my sister into thinking i’m not actually gay too. I am so concerned that she isn’t going to love me. She said very hurtful things and I can’t be around her without feeling she is going to lash out again. It also seems like she’s trying to convine me I’m not gay or she’s trying to scare me back into the closet. Advice?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Thank you for your letter.

Abuse can take many forms and you have the right to be safe and cared for–not just physically, but emotionally.  Coming out to someone is a very emotional process and takes incredible courage.  Being rejected for who you are may feel lonely and isolating , but there are people who care about you and want to help.

Living with your parents to save money during your internship may make you feel restricted.  You may want to come up with a plan should your living situation become untenable.  You mentioned that you have already come out to your sister and two cousins, they may be able to provide a safety net should you need it.  You should talk to your sister and cousins–or any other trusted friends or advisers–about your situation.  They may not be able to take you in, but they may be willing to offer you some emotional protection.  If you ever feel the need to talk with someone immediately, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor.

In addition to the Trevor Lifeline, you may be interested in learning about Trevor Space: a safe, online social networksing site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24, their friends and allies.  It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same issues you are.  And when you are ready to discuss your sexuality with your mother again, you may want to review this resource:  http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout.

The most important part of the coming out process is finding a safe and comfortable way to do it.  No one has the right to make you feel less than or unsafe.  We hope that you will remember that we are always here for you through the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, or TrevorSpace.

Trevor Staff