November 8, 2012 7:03 AM Subscribe
I'm completely in the closet, but would like to know how to come out as a gay person of colour? I could use any sort of advice whether that's in the form of academic articles, anecdotes, words of wisdom, etc.. Also, what happens after coming out?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm gay. I've known this about myself for close to a decade if not longer now, but I've never disclosed this information with anyone in person.
People have speculated things about me including family members. My older sister has asked me if I was gay quite a few times over the years. My brother has mentioned various celebrity figures, artists, talked about the gay village, etc.. My conservative & religious mother even asked me if I had a girlfriend once. But, I choose not to discuss this information because I'm scared shitless of how they'll react. I come from a family that's made up of two immigrant parents who are strongly firm in their religious, cultural, and conservative beliefs. While my siblings and I were born in NA, my siblings are not as open-minded as I am and tend to share similar ideologies as my parents. They also have negative views towards the LGBTQ+ community, at least that's how it comes across.
I'm also scared of how my parents will react, what they'll say, or what they'll try to do once they find out this information.
My family is quite hot and cold with their emotions. In other words, they're quite unstable and if one person such as my mom is angry then the whole house will feel hostile and unpleasant. When my mom gets upset she does things like yells, pounds on her chest, and sobs which makes for an incredibly difficult situation. My dad has alcoholic 'tendencies' for a lack of a better word and my mother was physically abusive if someone disagreed with her on certain matters.
Today, my relationship with my parents and family has improved and I see them regularly (about once a month or so), but I still feel like I have to tread on very thin ice whenever I'm around them. They also feel the same about me (well at least some family members do) because I have been told that I'm too sensitive about things like equal rights and being politically correct (in the sense that I'm mindful of how people refer to others...).
I've realized this aspect about my family for years, so I always just assumed that I would move to a different continent where nobody knew me in order to carve a new life for myself. I realize how many people think this is strange or crazy to think, but that's what I always dreamed of. So, I didn't take the risk required to come out because I figured I wouldn't have to share my life to such an extent if we were worlds apart. Pretty sad now that I think about it, but it was a means of mentally escaping and telling myself that things would get better.
I'm no longer at the point where I want to move so far away. I want to get to know my family members, share my life with them, and in turn have them share their lives with me. But, I realize that I'm going to have to come out in order to do so. The problem is that I don't know how to do this. I realize that there are different ways to do it and that there's no right time to come out, but I'm still truly at a loss. I feel like the longer I wait, the more difficult it will be to come out.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. I don't know how to frame this question beyond asking for help with coming out. I am open to anecdotes, resources, or words of wisdom. Thanks!
(P.S. Sorry if this is an incoherent post, I'm incredibly exhausted from work. But, hope you can understand this post...)