My family is a Christian home and everyone is anti-gay but me. I’m Pansexual and I prefer girls to guys. My mom and dad have recently found out about this because I dated this one girl for about 3 months. The only thing is I’m really scared that they know. I’m afraid of getting yelled at of never getting to go to friends’ houses, because I may do something with them. I don’t really know what they think. Most of my friends are okay with this, because they accept gays and accept me for who I am. But it’s gotten to the point where if I get yelled at about my sexuality, or get triggered, I’m afraid I may do something stupid.
Letter submitted by:
Like your friends and you think, there is certainly nothing wrong with being gay and I can assure you that the feelings you have are completely normal. Being comfortable with oneself is a very good place to start, regardless if one is gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight and it sounds like you are accepting of yourself. However, if you feel like your family is anti-gay, then this can definitely make you feel afraid and not sure what to do. Although you may feel that in a religious family environment, you will not be accepted and that your family will be mad and yell at you, it is possible that family members love you more than you might think. The feeling that you might get yelled at or be prevented from seeing your friends is still a big concern. Our desire that our family acknowledge and care for us in spite of being different is a very strong feeling. Your feelings are normal and certainly understandable. In spite of what you may have been taught to believe, it is perfectly natural and normal to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or straight for that matter. In fact, there are many people who are not straight or heterosexual who practice Christianity and continue to attend religious services. Please note that you can continue to be Christian and still be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or any combination. If you’re not aware of it, there are many religious leaders and members of religions who are very supportive and welcoming of people from the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning). Even with supportive people out there who live in a similar environment as you do, it is still important to you that your family treat and accept you just as you are and not feel a threat of being yelled at or being restricted in your relationship with your friends.
The acceptance of our friends and family is very important to any of us. Rejection and the fear of how they will react to us are certainly understandable. We want for those around us to accept us for who we are as well as to be accepting to our points of view. You do not think being gay is a bad thing, which it isn’t, and are hopeful that your family feels the same way. If you are afraid that they don’t feel the same way as you, then there is actually some hope for both you and them.
I’d like to share with you some other resources that may offer some information for both you and family and friends. Here is a site for youth in the Dallas area:
Here is a page from PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) that addresses some concerns about acceptance and religion:
This is a site that offers information about welcoming religious groups that may be helpful when dealing with any religious aspect that your family may have:
The following is a list of welcoming churches in Texas that may be helpful to assist you as well. It’s nice to know so many gay-friendly churches exist in Texas alone!
Also, if you are curious about how people deal with coming out, here is an excellent resource for you to look at:
The important thing is to feel yourself safe in breaching the topic with your family, should it come up. There is an organization that is also designed for families and friends of lesbians and gays, called Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays or PFLAG for short. They offer support and guidance for family members to understand and cope with their loved one. Their web site is: http://pflag.org.
We are always here for you at The Trevor Project and I offer you to write us with any questions you have or to join our Trevor Space, our social space to meet other young people who are dealing with questions and issues such as yourself. If you have any emergency situation, please do not hesitate in contacting us for immediate assistance at 1-866-488-7386.