Jonathan P.

January 2000

Coming back is hard when there's nothing to come back to.

Being Gay is a wonderful fact of life. When you're safe and living at home but in the closet, you enjoy a bit of comfort. This comfort is in knowing that as long as you're in the closet, you'll always be safe and have a home. But what if you've come out of the closet, and your parents aren't the most susceptible people to your lifestyle. What now?

Fact is, you parents and the home you're living in right now, as the queer teenager half out of the closet, is your home base. Whatever you do in life, you will always need some place to come back to. Sure if you can invent some neat gadget or write a tear jerker bestseller, then you won't need your parents or their home to come back to. But if you like me, and every other gay teenager in the world today, you rely almost absolutely on your parents and the roof they put over your head. The last thing you want to do is make them angry, and God strike them down they kick you out of their home and into the street. So many a gay teenagers get in this same predicament. They have told their parents they're gay, but have never made that extra effort in helping their parents to understand their teenager more. Common signs that you and your parents, who know you're gay, don't get along:

(1) You have little or no communication with them. You talk to them only when absolutely necessary.

(2) You don't attend family outings or events, even when other siblings are going.

(3) You resent your parents and everything they have. You think they don't understand you, won't listen, and are just holding you back from your dreams.

(4) most of all, living at home makes you absolutely miserable.

If your life reflects any of these then you definitely need to get straight with your parents. When you go off into the world someday, out on your own and making your own decisions, what will you do when things don't go the way you planned them? What if you meet the dream date of your life and fall head over heals, only to be dumped later, your heart bleeding like a busted water balloon on the ground. Where will you go then?

I know too many college students in particular who face this problem on an almost daily basis. They have no one they can talk to, no place to go home to and feel safe and secure. They sit at their college dorms, or apartments, and do just that, sit. They don't wanna have to call their parents because the whole point of going off to a residential college was to get away from the parents. They have no place to go and nobody to talk to. Thus they're miserable and depressed and their friends start to slip further and further away.

Bottom line, you need to get everything straight with your parents. You may not think they don't love you, but in reality they do. If they didn't love you, they would simply say leave and never come back. They know you're gay and deep down they really want to understand, but they, like us, are people too. They're hardheaded, refusing to give in and unwilling to compromise. You have to make them understand the situation you're in and all about how you feel. Maybe they feel they've done the wrong thing, raised you the wrong way, let you watch Sailor Moon way more than you should've.

Don't try to talk to both parents at the same time, its too difficult to deal with one person's emotions than two at once. Start with your mom. Mothers are more likely to listen and be susceptible to their son or daughters feelings before the father will. If you like me, eighteen and raised in the wonderful eighties, then you're parents are probably around forty or fifty years old. They were raised back in the forties, and fifties at a time when to be gay was to go to jail! They're dead set in their morals and ways, probably if not for sure they were raised in the church. Every Sunday being carted off to the big building on main street to listen to how bad homosexuality is and what a sin it is. You have to break through these barriers in their mind and show them that no matter what, you'll be their son or daughter.

What you tell them is up to, but the most important fact to remember is you must let them know you love them and you just want to be accepted by them. Hell if you can make them cry then you've definitely hit pay dirt. When I told my mother she cried, but we talked about it and worked things out. I told her about all my relationships, that my friend Jeff than use to come around was actually an ex boyfriend. I told her all those things. She ranted and raved a short while about homosexuality being a sin, I was going to hell, and that in the next life she'd never get to live in entirety with me as mother and son. I assured her I believed in God and Christianity and then indeed we will be together again some day. But right now, in this place we called the world, I needed to be accepted by her or I'd never amount to anything. I told her she's my mother and im her son, and that I never want that to change. It all sorta just poured out, like water from a hose.

When it was over, we both went and told my dad. He was angry at first, but the more we talked about it, the more he understood. It was the first time my father and I ever shared a good cry. Ever since the three of us have never been closer. Now that they understand me and know who I really am deep down inside, we can sit and have the most wonderful conversations. I've found a side of my parents I never thought existed: understanding.

This is what you need to do with your parents. You've told them you're gay now make them understand why and assure them it's not their fault. Being gay is something your born with, its not something you can change, outgrow, overcome or be treated for. Its your life, they're your parents, and one day you will need them again. Weather its for a loan for a new car, a helping hand moving into that dream house, or simply a shoulder to cry on when things don't go right. They will be there for you.

If you think your situation is different, please email and I will do everything I can to help you. A few days ago my friend Tommy (not his real name) had the same problem. We talked on the phone for 13 hours straight (my long distance bill is gonna be a killer). He'd been a real ass to his parents and siblings because he thought they didn't understand. And so I told him, his life is a like a book, he needs to write that first chapter and get started on a new slate. Go to his mom and tell her its not her fault, that he has been a total ass and all he wants his for her to love him. When we hung up at 9am he did just that. They cried a long time and hugged afterwards. The enormous guilt and weight of being gay was lifted from his shoulders and he had never felt better. It's worked for me and for so many others.

Before you can go anywhere in life, you need to set a foundation. Why not start with your parents right now and assure that one day, if you ever need them, they'll be there.

Any questions, comments, or pleas for advice can be directed to i3mk7h@hotmail.com I will be most happy to help anyone I can.

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