Grab the Meic: Dad Not Happy When I Came Out
What if you came out to your parents but it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped? This is the situation in this week’s Grab the Meic. Here’s our advice.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.
I’m twenty years old and recently came out to my parents, but my dad didn’t take it well at all. He told me that I couldn’t bring anyone to the house.
It was really difficult to tell mum and dad that I was gay. I told my mum first and asked her to tell my dad, but she insisted that I should tell him myself. She thought this was far too big an issue to come second hand. I was convinced that my mum already knew, so I was shocked when I found that she didn’t.
Thanks for getting in touch with us; this is a situation that many young people find themselves in, and it’s often not a very easy one. But firstly, may we congratulate you on your courage when you came out to your parents. This was very brave of you and you should be proud of yourself. Hopefully our advice will help you talk to your parents about this.
Although your parents’ reaction may not have been what you would have wanted, I’m sure that finally coming out to them has offered some relief to you. Remember, their initial reaction is not necessarily how they will truly feel about this once it’s sunk in. It may have been a shock to them at first, so don’t judge them for how the reacted when they first learnt about it.
From what you said, it sounds as though your mother was more accepting. Perhaps you could talk to her initially and tell her how your dad’s reaction made you feel. This was obviously news to them, and it’s quite likely that they will have talked about this together since you told them. Although your mum felt it was your place to tell your dad, you may find that she will help you to talk to him about this now that he knows.
The important thing now is to keep the dialogue open. Don’t let it be one of those things that is never spoken of again, making everything awkward. Continuing to discuss it will help bring normality to the situation. This is likely to be awkward but you must remember that this is a discussion, not an argument. Explain to your dad how you’re feeling. Listen to what he has to say and try not to take everything to heart. This is a learning experience for both of you.
If your dad says not to bring anyone to your house, then respect his decision for now. At the moment this is not a priority. You need to focus on your relationship with your parents. This will take some adjustments for all of you, and you need to allow time for this. It’s important that everyone, including you, keeps an open mind, listens to one another, and tries to understand the other person’s point of view. Allowing you to bring someone home is something you can discuss again once your parents have become more accepting of the situation.
Knowing that you can’t bring anyone home might make you feel a little caged or trapped, but you don’t have to bring people home to spend time with them. You can turn to your friends or join any groups, charities or societies to meet like-minded people. You’ll be able to talk through your issues with other people who might have been through a similar situation to you. If you don’t want to talk to someone face to face, you can always call, text or IM Meic for some further advice.
Read about the experiences of others in this Coming Out guide by Stonewall Cymru. It’s full of coming out stories by LGBT people from across Wales.
Stonewall Cymru’s aim is to get equality and social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Wales. Check out their Coming Out as a Young Person page.
LGBT Cymru helpline – A free helpline for LGBT people in Wales. Information, advice, support and counseling. Open 7pm-9pm Monday and Wednesday. Call 0800 840 2069
RUComingOut – this website is full of coming out stories and interviews with public figures sharing experiences of when they came out.
If you need to talk to someone about coming out, or if there’s anything else worrying you, then call Meic to talk to a friendly advisor.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.