How did you come out?
April 21, 2005 2:58 PM   Subscribe

How did you come out to your parents / friends / family?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When I was 17, Christmas of the first year I went away to college. Came home, said "Mom, I'm gay". It didn't go well, I wasn't very patient with her. It got better.
posted by Nelson at 3:14 PM on April 21, 2005

With a real lack of grace. Turned 18, moved in with my second girlfriend, and called my dad and said, "I'm gay and I don't care what you think, and furthermore I don't need your stinkin' $ anymore, so don't call me about anything." My sweet dad came to my town, took me to lunch, later said it was the saddest day of his life, just because I was so defensive and unhappy. My mom asked me about it, and when I confirmed, she just got concerned about my future Junior League/sorority possibilities. That was almost twenty years ago, but everything got sorted out within about five years, and I was the only person holding normalcy back, because I was so Queer Nation about everything.

I imagine you're asking b/c it's time for you to come out, and I have three comments. First, you never QUIT coming out. Every time you start a new job, meet new friends, get a new moving company or doctor or bank, you come out again, if you have a partner.

Second, coming out is not about you. People generally already know and have made up their minds what they think, so if you want to come out, don't make a big deal about it, just be yourself.

Comment three - I went through a period (see above) where being gay was my #1 identifier in life, and I only had gay friends, would have liked to have had a gay employer, gay banker, gay hairdresser, gay professors and a big ol' gay car. It's important to some people to go through that phase, but please recognize that there's really nothing like that for young straight people - they don't immerse themselves in a whole new identity until they become parents, so if you're young, your friends will think you're gay-obsessed. That doesn't make them homophobic, they just miss the you that didn't have a rainbow flag tattoo on your forehead. Soon you'll miss the them that doesn't have damp diaper brain. It will all work out as long as you are patient with yourself and with them.
posted by pomegranate at 3:19 PM on April 21, 2005

I'm (mostly) straight, so I don't have any personal experience in this arena, but I can tell you how my sister came out to me:

I was visiting her at boarding school her junior year of highschool, and was hanging out in her room. She sat down and held my hands and told me she had something important to tell me. She said "I'm in love!" And I said, "Oh Cait! That's great! How exciting! Who is it?" And she said "With Maddy." And waited and watched my face. "Maddy-your-friend Maddy?" She nodded. "Maddy-the-girl Maddy?!" She nodded. "Oh!" I said. "Ohhhh!" Then I laughed and hugged her.

She later told me watching my face go through about five different expressions in five seconds had been great.

I don't think she was too worried about my reaction, since we'd been raised in a very tolerant household, but I could tell she was nervous. (I was actually more excited about her being in love than I was about discovering she wasn't straight.) She also had her best friend there, to lend a little support, which I thought was a great idea.

Good luck; I hope you are met with acceptance and joy.
posted by Specklet at 3:22 PM on April 21, 2005

Just a tip: try to be very very calm about it: not defensive, not angry, and certainly not drunk or on drugs. Any of those things can take something sensitive from awkward to combative and/or destructive. Best of luck.
posted by Tuwa at 3:27 PM on April 21, 2005

I wrote my parents a letter that was delivered just before Christmas. I've never had a very good sense of timing. They wigged out, with my father taking it the hardest. He stayed in bed for a week and threatened to kill himself.

He didn't and we eventually got back into speaking terms but it's been incredibly awkward ever since.
posted by pookzilla at 3:44 PM on April 21, 2005

I was visiting my parents for some holiday or other, my sophomore year at university. And mom went "so are you seeing someone?" and I went "weee-e-ellll, yes."

Didn't really make a difference, but I surprised them!
posted by kavasa at 3:56 PM on April 21, 2005

My brother said to me one day "What would you say if I told you something shocking about myself?" I said "I dunno, it would depend on what it was, I guess." "What if I said... I was gay?" I shrugged. "I'd be OK with that." "Well, I'm gay!" I must have had a pretty funny expression on my face; I truly didn't see it coming, although a lot of things made more sense once I knew. (The whole family reacted much better than he'd expected.)
posted by languagehat at 3:59 PM on April 21, 2005

My best friend at school (age 11-17) is gay, and he's never come out to me. When we were about 22, I asked him, and he sort of denied it. Three or so years ago I googled him, and there it was on the internet. Met him again a couple of years ago, and someone let it slip. He gave them the "secret-shut-up" face and we pretended nothing had been revealed. Everyone knows, and I'm sure he knows that I know, but there's something in him that won't allow him to tell me. I can't express how much this saddens me. I really wish he'd just tell me.

However hard it is for you, (and it is hard), you just have to tell them.
posted by seanyboy at 4:15 PM on April 21, 2005

I got my mom smashed on a couple homemade Cosmos while I did some prep work for the birthday dinner I was cooking her. We got to talking about my brother having a twinkle in his eye about a girlfriend at college, and she asked me if I had been seeing anyone who puts a twinkle in my eye. Being a little tight myself, I told her I was dating my current boyfriend, talked a little about his line of work, and then moved on to the cooking. She has been cool about it, much moreso than I was expecting. She asked me, so maybe I wouldn't call it coming out. But I'm out to her.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:23 PM on April 21, 2005

Badly. Came out to my dad courtesy of my younger sister calling him at work and telling him (long story short, we had crushes on the same boy, though she denied it. He was gay. She was... upset.) Came out to my mother during an argument about my marks at school.

So... my advice... don't do it that way :) Realistically, you know whoever you're coming out to the best, and how to approach them best. Be prepared for some very negative responses, of course.

If you want to talk privately about this, my email is
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:31 PM on April 21, 2005

I seriously recommend not mentioning it to your parents while you're in college if they're paying for your education.

Otherwise, they may completely freak out, attempt to force you to change schools so you can live at home under their watchful eye, and hold over your head for the rest of your time at school the possibility that they will disown you, thus bringing your possibilities for higher education to a standstill (student loans for people with well-off parents, even if the parents have cut off contact, are almost impossible to get). Also, they will randomly write cruel e-mails or call you to scream at you when you're trying to concentrate on getting work done or writing papers, and then will bitch about your sagging grades.

Also, especially if you are bisexual, be prepared that they will not believe you when you claim that no person in particular was the motivation behind your coming out; they will assume you are dating someone who "turned" you, rather than believeing the truth, that you (stupidly) wanted to be honest with them and trusted them, and that you actually aren't dating anyone of the same sex.

Still, I think it was by far one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:37 PM on April 21, 2005

Seanyboy - same thing with one of my cousins. Check it out ... I've even gone to gay clubs with him (he was a regular and I tagged along) several times.

He denies it and acts all "why are you talking about this kinda stuff to me" when I mention gay stuff.

I dunno what to do and it saddens me as well, that he has to hide something from me.
posted by redteam at 4:39 PM on April 21, 2005

Nice story, AlexReynolds. The tip off is that you made her a Cosmo; you hardly had to say the words "I'm gay". Seriously, often parents already know or suspect. Coming out can be a kindness, a clearing of the air. Your parents' attitude towards gay and lesbian people makes a big difference.

My mom was reasonably gay positive, but being the product of her times (born 1937) still saw gayness as something wrong. Her words to me the first morning after I came out were "I dreamed you died". That made me very angry at the time. Later, on more mature reflection, I realized how hard my coming out was for her. She expected her son was one thing, then he told her he was another thing, something she wasn't too happy about. She worried I'd be lonely, or get AIDS, or end up like the miserable alcoholics her gay friends were. It took her awhile to adjust, but it got better.
posted by Nelson at 4:41 PM on April 21, 2005

...and now that I'm in an opposite-sex marriage, and thus can "pass" as straight (thank you, het privilege), it's fun to mess with people's perceptions and come out at random opportunities. As pomegranate says, the fun never really stops.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:46 PM on April 21, 2005

Mom: I came out to mom as a way of getting her to stop prying into my life. I think I screamed it at her in the midst of an argument when I was 23/24. It didn't work - though she really HATED my girlfriend of the time. I think she was probably a little too much like my mother for mom's comfort.

Sister: We were out enjoying a game of pool at Muddler's in Chicago and on the way out there was a copy of OutLines - a gay paper. I picked it up and told her this was something I read religiously. She didn't say much that night, but called the next day to ask if I had someone special in my life and hoped that I did, because she didn't want me to end up like my mother.

Brother: Took him out for beers, sat him down and told him I liked girls. He asked which of my "friends" that he's met has been "more than friends". He was annoyed to find my girlfriends were cuter than his. Then he asked me if I wanted to go to a strip club some time.

Friends: Um, I've only ever had to come out to one. Most people are pretty aware based on the language I use and that I'm pretty damn open.
posted by FlamingBore at 4:51 PM on April 21, 2005

My sophomore year of college I told my godmom in an email first because I was 100% sure it would be cool with her and wanted reassurance that my family wouldn't freak (my parents are fairly liberal but I was still nervous). I brought my then-girlfriend home with me on the next trip. That trip I came out to some old friends and, since I was worried about them finding out through gossip, I told my brother & sister too. They were 10 & 15 at the time and completely normal about it. That trip I didn't tell my parents.

The next trip down with the girlfriend my mom happened to walk in on a simple peck type kiss. My then-girlfriend made eye contact with her and watched her face fall in shock. About 30min-1hour later my mom came back in completely regrouped and things were cool.

A month or so later my mom & I got into a fight on the phone, not about me being gay but about me being so publicly out. After we aired our differences we closed that topic and disagreements about my sexuality have never come up again.

Even though I grew up in a liberal family I also grew up in South Carolina and I was really afraid of coming out. However, my experience telling my extended circle of family and friends from my hometown has been almost uniformly positive and supporting. I really got lucky.
posted by smash at 5:09 PM on April 21, 2005

I came out at age 27, after having been married-with-child. I told each member of my family, in individual conversations, very soon after I figured it out. Conversations began a little like this:

"R. and I are separated. And I went on a date last nite. With a woman."
posted by houseofdanie at 6:30 PM on April 21, 2005

My two best friends in high school came out to me together while i was driving them around senior year. Not recommended - i didn't care, but I was certainly shocked enough to almost total the car.
posted by muddgirl at 6:55 PM on April 21, 2005

Seriously, often parents already know or suspect. Coming out can be a kindness, a clearing of the air. Your parents' attitude towards gay and lesbian people makes a big difference.

Definitely. I would add that I feel grateful my parents and I still get along. Even so, it feels nicer to be honest about myself around them, to not have to worry about making an inappropriate statement about someone else in my life, or about gay rights or other related issues. Honesty above all else. Life's too short to be miserable.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2005

Mum: Funnily enough, in the same conversation when I told her about Eli (my online boyfriend, now my husband, she didn't know I had met someone online). She was a little confused but was okay with it. She confessed that she thought I was asexual. Ha! Not even close. At the same time I told her I was quitting my job of 15 years and moving to Seattle. I think she was rather stunned about the whole thing. It certainly was a lot for me to lay on her at once. She handled it all rather well.

Siblings: I think my older brother knows, but I haven't "come out" to him or any of my other brothers. I'm not hiding it, I'd tell them if they asked or it was appropriate to a conversation.

Co-workers/friends: It's come up on occasion. If the situation/conversation warrants it, I'll offer up the info. They're usually quite surprised but I've never had anyone be upset by it.
posted by deborah at 7:28 PM on April 21, 2005

My coming-out process went quite well. People either didn't care, and those that did care thought it was awesome. My brothers were very excited that their sister was a lesbian--my little brother thought it was cool, and my older brother got to brag because his background was now more sophisticated. The closest thing I got to anything awkward was when my dad called me up a week after I came out to him drunk and tried to have a very awkward conversation about the nature of homosexuality. I think he was trying to make sure I didn't hate men.

But I wouldn't recommend my method of coming out. You should try to sit down with the person and be prepared with support materials and stuff and ready to answer questions. I told my dad over the phone, my friends and brothers over AIM, and my mom in a gas station parking lot just before we split up into different cars to continue a Thanksgiving car trip to a family reunion.

Once I told the people close to me I've tried not to make a big deal of it. I generally don't tell people unless they ask or become interested, but I don't hide it either--I don't have any problem pointing out girls I find attractive or discussing it or whatnot. I figure on just treating the subject as about as important as straight people treat their heterosexuality.
posted by schroedinger at 7:35 PM on April 21, 2005

First, you never QUIT coming out.

So true. I remember feeling such a relief the first time: THERE! IT'S DONE! No more wondering whether to come out, to whom, how to phrase it, what their reaction would be, tra la la all that is over and done with.

Nope. However, for the most part people have been extraordinarily nonchalant about it. One important relationship was affected for the worse, while several others were unexpectedly strengthened.

ME: I'm really scared that this will affect our friendship, but need to talk to someone and you're the person I trust most in the world. I think...maybe...I'm gay.
BEST FRIEND: *shrug* Yeah. That makes sense. I think pretty much everyone is at least somewhat bi. Wanna go get an ice cream?

ME: I have something important to tell you. I'm gay.
MOM: (dramatic sigh) Yes, well, you always did need to be sooooo dramatic about things. (beat.) Of course, you know we have that cousin who's gay too. She and her girlfriend have been together for 20 years or something.
ME: Whaaaaa??

It took a year or two for her to accept that it wasn't a phase, or college experimentation, or a dramatic flourish (LOL). Basically, it was never a trauma moment but she did need some time to wrap her head around this being an unwavering fact of her child's life. Then around the time I brought my first girlfriend home, she got involved with PFLAG and became quite the proud flagwaver for a while. We've done Pride booths together a few times. Gotta love her.

ME: blah blah I'm gay.
VERY COOL (DIFFERENT) COUSIN: That's great. I have a lot of lesbian friends. Is there anyone you'd like me to set you up with? Not necessarily for dating, just y'know for getting to know the community, and talking about stuff?

Five or so years later, that same cousin turned around and came out to me. I was honored to be the first person she trusted with that, especially since she was coming out very late in life and had a much tougher experience. It brought us even closer. So now there are at least 3 lesbians in the family, though thanks to the broader family policy of "don't ask, don't tell", I wonder if more than a few members of our very large clan are cognizant of that fact.

Grandma was the hardest one. I really struggled with that, because her faith firmly condemns homosexuality yet she's such a personal hero that it felt worse to have a huge unspoken lie standing between us than to take the risk of losing the relationship.

ME: blah blah I'm gay blah blah Wonderful girlfriend blah blah Love you always blah blah Still the same granddaughter blah blah...(there was much babbling)
GRANDMOTHER: I had a feeling. Of course I love you. And don't worry, we'll never speak of this again.
ME: (belatedly registering that last part) Whaaaa--??

That's the one that didn't work out so well. I had this fantasy that honesty would close the gap between us. Didn't happen.

NEW CLIENT: blah blah hot boyfriend blah blah So what about you? Any special guy in your life?
ME: No, no girlfriend at the moment.
NEW CLIENT: Girl, you've got to get out there! There's some fabulous woman just waiting for a catch like you! blah blah back to tales of my latest studmuffin...

ME: (sniffles through a retelling of the coming-out-to-grandma story)
OLD FAMILY FRIEND: Sorry it didn't go so well with her. I know her too well to believe she won't come around eventually. Meanwhile would you please move back over here? I have have so many fantastic lesbian co-workers to set you up! Hmm, there's [starts ticking off names and traits...]

ME: blah blah Oh and you know about me being gay, right?
AUNT: Yep.

In short, it gets easier with practice. And people can keep on surprising you.

For those who don't react well initially, I think--give them time. Don't try to persuade them, or get dragged into an argument, just state what you want to say, express your love for them, then just let them take it in. We spend months, years, sometimes even lifetimes working up the comprehension and courage to utter those few words; it's unfair to expect that everyone will be able grok that info in just a few seconds. Especially when it's a parent or spouse, who is perhaps flashing through a list of dreams they'd had for you that are now (they assume...) rendered impossible.

Props to those who can turn around in an instant and give you the perfect response, but don't let your heart get crushed by those who aren't able to get it right on the first try. If they love you, they WILL eventually find a way to express that, however clumsily it might be.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:24 PM on April 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

(I'm a guy.)

I was out on the internet long before I was out to any of my friends, which was sort of unique because it was 1995 and I was 14... or 15. I can't remember exactly.

Either way, I actually ended up coming out to two close friends of mine also over the internet, in a chat session on a BBS one night, probably at 3am or something. We were telling "secrets" that, you know, consisted of silly this and that. So I was just "Oh, well, and I'm gay." Even now typing that again makes my heart race a bit. It was very exciting. As was the next day at school, when everything was exactly the same as it had been the day before, and would be the day after. It was all rather un-extraordinary, but very liberating.

I slowly came out to the rest of my friends (on IRC and email mostly -- which made it a LOT easier) over the next couple of weeks. My "real life" friends, that is. All my online friends of course knew because that was the reason I knew them to begin with.

I was more or less "out" for a couple years before my parents caught on. I was in that pride/rainbow sticker phase and had them stuck on my computer and my pager (ha!). One night I was chatting on IRC with my friends in bed with my laptop and my mom came in and sat down on the bed. She picked up my pager, looked at the rainbow sticker, and then got her weird goofy "I know something and don't really know what to say about it" grin.

I'm furiously typing at the time "Holy shit! My mom is outting me to her!" She was just like "I know, it's Ok, be safe, do you want me to tell your father?" "I don't really care, I said," knowing that it wouldn't likely be a very big deal. And it wasn't. As far as I know, anyway.

Thanks mom and dad! My sister, on the other hand, was going through her own liberation phase and I think she found out through the grapevine somehow. We never talked about it much, and in retrospect I really regret this as she was going through some of her own related stuff. Sorry, Sister. :-(

I've actually become much worse at "coming out" since back then. I'm at times a bit awkward socially anyhow, so all of a sudden saying "oh, I'm gay!" to all the new people that I meet doesn't happen very often. Generally this leads to awkwardness later when some discussion comes up and I don't really know how to bring it up, and it's been so long since I've known the person that it seems rude to have not brought it up already.

Complicated by the fact that I actually do like girls from time to time and thusly probably qualify more towards bisexual than all-out gay. And that has a whole other set of weird, weird, weird baggage with it.
posted by treebjen at 8:50 PM on April 21, 2005

I grew up in a very liberal family and somehow assumed no one would care that I was bisexual. I think I mentioned it around my mother and she didn't seem to care. I never talked to my dad about personal stuff at that time, but likewise assumed it would be a non-issue.

But the test came about in a sort of surreal way. My parents had a very messy divorce and didn't talk for about ten years afterward. Then one year, they both invited me to thanksgiving dinner. I had been planning to have thanksgiving with my then-girlfriend J. We ended up all having dinner together, and it was way more awkward than I'd expected with regard to J (less than expected with regard to the parents...). My mom was apparently fine with lesbianism in theory, but she was definitely disappointed that I was taking it "seriously". My dad just avoided eye contact. I was with J for almost four years, and was very aware that my family never really accepted her as equivalent to the SO's of straight members of the family. She was always my 'friend', and often made superfluous, and my mother still asked about ex-boyfriends, etc.

My own generation were totally cool though; my cousins & sister, etc, never missed a beat.

So, I never properly 'came out' to anyone by sitting them down and having a talk, mostly because I was somewhat naive about how much it would matter to anyone. But I'm not sure I regret that, either. For me it is not a huge fundamental part of my identity. It just happens that gender differences are way less central to me than they apparently are to most people. The stupid thing is that I still feel slightly awkward whenever I'm dating someone new because I feel like different people around me are sort of "rooting" for one side or the other to win out and will respond accordingly to the gender of the new person; in this sense I feel like I still have to "come out" to some portion of people no matter what... But I guess my thought on it is you should do it in the manner which reflects what it means to you, rather than trying to match what other people want. Just be honest and present yourself as you are.
posted by mdn at 8:59 PM on April 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

I had a friend in high school that on reflection I am pretty sure was/is gay. At that time I really didn't think about the issue that much. But in thinking about it now I can see points in which hints where dropped and I was too obtuse to notice. We have lost track of one another and I wish I knew how to reconnect, but his name is a very common name so such an endeavor would be monumental. Near the end there seemed to be some hesitancy on his part to communicate much (my dad was fairly anti-gay and I could see how that might have caused concern that I too may have shared this malaise) and I cant help but wonder if he had come out that hesitancy would not have been there and we would have stayed in touch across the miles. *sigh*
posted by edgeways at 11:07 PM on April 21, 2005

My childhood best friend came out to me the summer after my junior year in high school, so it was the summer before his first year of college. I'd been away.

Him: So I was seeing someone while you were away.
Me: Oh? Was it fun?
Him: Uh, yeah. Nik, I'm gay. (Begins freaking out)
Me: Yeah, honey, I know. It doesn't matter to me. You're just who you've always been.
Him: Oh. I was scared.
Me: Don't be.

It sounds cliche, but that's almost literally the conversation. His mother, on the other hand, threatened to hang herself in the shower, but she's always been a nutcase. She will occasionally call him up and be nasty. He just tells her he loves her. He amazes me like that. So, I suppose my two cents are, don't be afraid of telling your friends. If they really love you, it won't matter at all; and always be patient with people who are shocked or freaked out. Sometimes people have a lot invested in another person, emotionally speaking, and coming out sort of bends the road in a direction they're not expecting. Mostly, they're not trying to be horrible about things, and they will usually come around.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:44 AM on April 22, 2005

It was parent/teacher conference night, 11th grade. My Independent Reading class teacher had showed Dad and Stepmom my straight A work, saving the best for last: my book report on Christine Downing's Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love (actually a very scholarly examination of Greek mythology...). She asked them, "Did you know your daughter is reading this?" After the meeting, the parents related the conversation and asked if there was anything I wanted to say. Very flustered, I answered, "Well, yeah, what do you think this means?!?" Then I looked up and my favorite teacher (French class) was standing nearby with a knowing smile... Obviously this was news to no one, as I openly flirted with girls & guys and wore thrift store mens' suits to school everyday... :-)
posted by ibeji at 5:52 AM on April 22, 2005

p.s. when I told my grandma and very cool uncle, my grandma actually said, "Well, I don't understand this, I mean girls and girls, well, they can't really BE together like a man and woman..." And I tried to address it with, "Well, it's like how you love your sisters, you know, but *more so*..." My uncle laughed and said, "Oh don't even go there..."
posted by ibeji at 6:11 AM on April 22, 2005

My brother came out to me over IM (AIM, of all things). He had been, up to that point, engaged to be married. He came out to me, first, I think, to get my reaction. All I remember from the conversation was an immense feeling of relief and happiness.

I know now that I'd known all along, but just like he wasn't willing to admit it to anyone, I wasn't willing to admit it to myself. I have specific memories of being out "with the guys" when I was young and saying something particularly heterosexual and juvenile about the girl with the miniskirt that just passed us. When my brother was with us, I felt uncomfortable. Most of the time, I put it down to having difficulty associating my family with having sexual feelings at all, but now I know better.

He went on to come out to my mother. His fiance at the time had to return the wedding dress. I felt sorry for her, but, according to him, she seemed to know that he was having trouble as well.

He never told my grandmother, as she's 85, and has made a career out of being judgemental and passive-aggressive. Everyone in the family has agreed that she can just go to her grave not knowing that.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:29 AM on April 22, 2005

Probably not by posting anonymously to a community Weblog. Are you the same person who did this before?
posted by joeclark at 6:38 AM on April 22, 2005

All right, that was harsh. But still.

Should you have asked for advice rather than inviting us to share anecdotes?
posted by joeclark at 7:02 AM on April 22, 2005

I find lots of us gays go through a phase where we tell our coming-out story over and over again, to any sympathetic ear, and eventually it loses its hold and we can move on. Maybe anon just wants to help us process that phase...;)
posted by pomegranate at 7:09 AM on April 22, 2005

joeclark, although these are anecdotes they easily translate into advice. "Here's what I did and the reactions I got..."

My statement upthread was a little misleading. One of my brothers is a Christian and very conservative regarding social issues. Up until a couple years ago, I probably would have avoided letting him know. He might have made sure that I wasn't allowed to see my niece. Well, my niece is now 18 and can make her own decisions about being around me.

I've debated "sitting down" the rest of the family and coming out. But, you know, they didn't sit me down and say, "hey I'm straight." Do they really need to know? And it's not that I'm ashamed, shy or embarrassed about my sexual status. I guess I just believe that my being bisexual is as relevant as their being heterosexual.
posted by deborah at 10:06 AM on April 22, 2005

*deep breath*

My girlfriend's mother and I were extremely close: I called her Mama and loved her very much. She sent me care packages when I went to college and would call me to check up on me. I loved her more than my own mother. She didn't know that her daughter and I were in love.

To the daughter and I, it seemed to be the only natural progression in our relationship. We loved each other deeply. Her mother saw us kiss one day: completely by accident. The next morning she threw me out of her house, swore to tell my parents, forbade me from coming near her or her family again, and threw a rock at me as I left. The romance couldn't take the strain and it fell apart. I lived in terror of the girlfriend being killed (her father would literally have killed her) and of being disowned by my own biological family should Mama tell them (I depended on an inheritance from an aunt to get through school). Neither ever happened, but none of us ever got over it.

You don't have to come out to your family or those you consider your family if you really think it might not go over well.
posted by honeydew at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2005

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