Every year is filled with holidays, and most people like to go back home to spend time with their families. For many straight people, they take it for granted that they’re going to be able to do that. For many gay teens, there is no teary hometown reunion. Many parents refuse to accept their children after they’ve come out, so many gay teens hope that everything will just run smoothly. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. What you must do is make sure that you are coming into your own holiday plans with the right attitude, especially if you plan on surprising your family in any way.
Maybe we’re being a little too negative. The truth is that for every outspoken loud family, there are a dozen quiet families that really do want to make sure that their gay children know that they are loved and cared for no matter what their sexual orientation happens to be. You have to believe in the good of people, after all. Unfortunately, this is being drowned out by all of the loud ones that hurt their children by disowning them, often cutting off financial support.
That type of cruelty makes our blood boil.
If you’re trying to confront an anti gay family member this year, so that they have to take stock of you… think about it before you do. The truth is that you can’t change everyone’s minds, and you’re going to be spending a lot of emotional energy. The outcome that we obviously want to see is them embracing you. However, do you really want to spend money on a plane ticket or pay for a full tank of gas to find out that they really didn’t care about you the way you think you should be cared for? That’s the hard pill that gay teens might have to swallow if they walk down this path.
You also have to realize that you can’t force them. No amount of campaigning can force a closed mind to open up and see. Some people are stubborn. It’s something that you’re going to really have to think about if you want to follow this path.
We might sound negative here, and that’s not our intent. We just want you to be aware that this isn’t automatically going to be the happy story that you’re looking for. You might have some pain involved. This might be something hard for you.
But if you really want to involve your family in your life, it might be something that you needed to do. If you’re going to walk down this road, try not to do it alone. You might want to involve your gay partner in this, or straight friends that form the bedrock of your own personal gay-straight alliance. It’s going to be completely up to you to figure out which step is going to be the best.
As much as we wish we could be there, we just can’t be. But we can give you all of the confidence and love possible to make better decisions. What choices you make from that point have to be your responsibility. But if you want our advice… don’t let them grind you down. If you’re out, you should still be out. If you let them make you feel inferior, you’re going to constantly be fighting for acceptance. Who needs that? If you can’t bring your family over to your way of thinking… maybe you should keep your distance. This is something that many gay teens struggle with. They really want to be good to the people around them, only to find that there’s no love lost between their parents and themselves. Letting go of family is a soul crushing decision that sometimes has to be made. At the end of the day, nobody is worth giving up your sanity. You have to remember that. Good luck!