Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Questions to Ask Yourself

Saw this on Mike's blog...questions you should ask yourself before coming out to your parents, or anyone for that matter.

Are you sure about your sexual orientation?


Are you comfortable with your gay sexuality?
More or less, yes. My comfort level has grown with time.

Do you have support? In the event your parents' reaction devastates you, there should be someone or a group that you can confidently turn to for emotional support and strength. Maintaining your sense of self-worth is critical.
Yes, particularly from MBA Man and that group, my blogger friends, Student Worker...whether he should know or not, he does.

Are you knowledgeable about homosexuality? Your parents will probably respond based on a lifetime of information from a homophobic society. If you've done some serious reading on the subject, you'll be able to assist them by sharing reliable information and research.
I'm not well-read on the subject but can answer the basic questions.

What's the emotional climate at home? If you have the choice of when to tell, consider the timing. Choose a time when they're not dealing with such matters as the death of a close friend, pending surgery or the loss of a job.
Climate is good, as is our relationship.

Can you be patient? Your parents will require time to deal with this information if they haven't considered it prior to your sharing. The process may last from six months to two years.

What's your motive for coming out now? Hopefully, it is because you love them and are uncomfortable with the distance you feel. Never come out in anger or during an argument, using your sexuality as a weapon.
Mike has it pegged here: "To stop lying to my parents, to be more truthful. To also be able to live my life more openly and perhaps pursue a relationship."

Do you have available resources? Homosexuality is a subject most non-gay people know little about. Have available at least one of the following: a book addressed to parents, a contact for the local or national Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the name of a non-gay counselor who can deal fairly with the issue.
Books? Maybe I'll call Country Girl, what with all the homo research she has taken to doing.

Are you financially dependent on your parents? If you suspect they are capable of withdrawing college finances or forcing you out of the house, you may choose to wait until they do not have this weapon to hold over you.
I am employed full time with full benefits. I have plans to move out in the next 6 months or so, and have been working on taking control of all my finances.

What is your general relationship with your parents? If you've gotten along well and have always known their love -- and shared your love for them in return -- chances are they'll be able to deal with the issue in a positive way.

What is their moral societal view? If they tend to see social issues in clear terms of good/bad or holy/sinful, you may anticipate that they will have serious problems dealing with your sexuality. If, however, they've evidenced a degree of flexibility when dealing with other changing societal matters, you may be able to anticipate a willingness to work this through with you.
Mom took it quite well, it seems. She tends to believe along the same lines I do...that homosexuality is not a choice. I worry more about Dad's reaction, which is why he does not know yet.

Is this your decision? Not everyone should come out to their parents. Don't be pressured into it if you're not sure you'll be better off by doing so -- no matter what their response.