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Ugawa
07-21-2009, 05:35 AM
I've just got to a stage in my novel where my MC's sexuality (he's gay) is discovered by his guardian (older sister).

Now, she does accept it eventually, but she's sort of in the shock stage and they're about to have an argument about it. (I know everyone reacts differently, but this is just how his sister is going to react.)

My question is:

Has anyone came out to their parents slash guardian/had their parents slash guardian find out about your sexuality and have it ending in an argument? If yes, then what sort of things were they saying?

Thank you.

x

Red-Green
07-22-2009, 02:48 AM
Ugawa, since no one has chimed in yet, and since what you're asking for is really external observation, I'll go ahead and respond.

I have not personally come out, but I was a requested witness for a college friend of mine who came out to his parents. He was worried about what would happen and asked me to be there. Specifically, he was worried about his mother being very upset and his father becoming violent. His father had a history of drinking and "corporal punishment."

Basically, what happened was that they found a love letter written to him by a boyfriend, S. His parents interpreted this as "some pervert" pursuing their "sweet little boy," and were planning to call S's family and make a big fuss.

We were in the kitchen and his Mom was saying all the things she planned to say to S. How he should be ashamed of himself, preying on confused young men, etc. Then finally R got a word in edge-wise.

R: I love him.
M: He's your friend. I understand why you want to protect him, but he needs help. He's sick.
R: If he's sick, so am I. I'm gay.
M: Don't, just don't. There are better ways to help S.
R: Really, I'm gay.
M: It's his fault. He got you into all that awful music and now he's tricked you into thinking you--you--you
D: (staring disbelief, had said nothing.)
R: He didn't trick me. I've always been gay. Always.
M: No, you weren't! Don't say that! We raised you right! We didn't raise you to act like that.
At that point, Dad started crying. This was pretty much NOT what we'd expected.
R: Dad, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
M: Take it back! Take it back!
Mom went on a tear, dropped her glass of ice tea, broke every where. She ran into the family room and started ripping open the cupboards next to the fireplace. Pulled out a pile of family photo albums. Dragged them into the kitchen and began flipping through him.
M: You're telling me you were gay here? Look, your third birthday party. You asked for a Big Wheels.
R: Mom, it doesn't change anything.
M: It changes everything! There, were you gay there? Kissing that little girl under the mistletoe.
R: That's Missy, Mom. (His cousin.)
M: Why are you doing this to me?

Then it just became this mess. R's Mom started ripping photos of the albums and tearing them up. Dad still crying finally pulled himself together a little and tried to calm Mom down. She did not want to be calmed down and smacked Dad a couple times, knocked over the other glasses on the table, spilling them on the photo albums.

At that point, R bailed. He was so upset, he couldn't take anymore. 16 years later, I think his relationship with his dad is okay. I mean, he talks to his dad and his dad has met his boyfriend of the last 9 years. His mom, not so much. She's still very angry.

Sage
07-22-2009, 02:59 AM
Oh, wow, Red. That's like something out of a novel right there!

Oberon
07-22-2009, 06:25 AM
I second Sage. I don't think most of us would be able to invent such a scene. It's interesting that the father was the least concerned, not in denial. Someday maybe people will understand that homosexuality is not a choice, and I wish they would stop using the phrase sexual preference. How about sexual identity?

Ugawa
07-22-2009, 07:21 AM
Wow...

I feel sorry for you, you must've felt so awkward sitting there.

Thank you so much. To be honest, I didn't think parents actually acted like that because mine are so accepting. It's a real eye opener, and will definitely help me with my scene.

Thank you :)

x

Kenzie
07-22-2009, 07:31 AM
I think if you can understand what might be underneath the sister's reaction, it might be easier to figure out what she might say. What exactly would be the thoughts or feelings that would cause her to have a (at least, initially) negative reaction? Is she religious? Hasn't known any gay people before? Is scared for the prejudices her brother may have to face in his life? Is angry because it's a secret he kept from her? Worried that her brother might have a whole other life she doesn't understand and isn't part of? Had dreams of him marrying a nice girl in a beautiful dress and then having children with her? She doesn't need to explicitly say any of these things if they are the reasons behind, but her reactions could point to them.

Red-Green
07-22-2009, 07:52 AM
I believe that's exactly what my friend's mother meant when she said, "Why are you doing this to me?" He was their only child and I think she felt like if he was gay, she'd never have a daughter-in-law (a role she was sizing me up for) or grandkids.


Had dreams of him marrying a nice girl in a beautiful dress and then having children with her? She doesn't need to explicitly say any of these things if they are the reasons behind, but her reactions could point to them.

Rabe
07-22-2009, 11:22 AM
Thank you so much. To be honest, I didn't think parents actually acted like that because mine are so accepting. It's a real eye opener, and will definitely help me with my scene.


What I've seen with parents isn't so much non-acceptance but anger. I think most people are able to suspect/tell (and really, there are clues everywhere). They lie to themselves for so long about what they know to be true that the confrontation is less about being told what they know to be true but rather that someone is shattering that lie.

Sounds like the Mom in Redzilla's story. Dad probably knew all the time and had come around to accepting that his son was gay just couldn't admit it.

My father had a pretty easy time learning that his daughter is gay. He thought *we* would have a harder time with it. He thought - for whatever reason - *I* would have a hard time with it. Don't know why, I've been an advocate for equal rights for *all* people (and honestly, I hate the term 'gay rights' because it's basic rights for all people).

So, he finds out on a trip when he is introduced to her girlfriend (a very sweet lady whom I love like the sister I wish I had). He tells me on the front porch and is surprised when my response is "Okay."

He figures I didn't hear him, so he repeats it. "Okay," I say again. He says it a third time.

"Dad, I've known since she was twelve." I finally answer. His response?

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Now? I'm waiting for my older brother to come out.

I think the person in your story would probably handle it better than others, because as siblings there is less pressure to have a 'perfect child'. Plus, they pick up on clues and meet the friends of siblings more than parents do - so they're usually less shocked/surprised.

Now, those are just my thoughts. I have met some whose siblings were "you'll burn in hell and I'll have nothing to do with you!".

Rabe...

Parametric
07-22-2009, 11:41 AM
I think if you can understand what might be underneath the sister's reaction, it might be easier to figure out what she might say. What exactly would be the thoughts or feelings that would cause her to have a (at least, initially) negative reaction? Is she religious? Hasn't known any gay people before?

My little brother was the first family member I came out to, and it went like this.

Brother: *ramble ramble ridiculously uninformed negative opinion about gay people*
Me: You've never (knowingly) met a gay person.
Brother: Well, I don't mind them. I just wouldn't want one in my family, you know?
Me: THERE ALREADY IS ONE IN YOUR FAMILY GRR HULK SMASH.

Not a cheep out of the brother thereafter. :tongue

Red-Green
07-22-2009, 07:53 PM
And even families that seems supportive can harbor those kinds of attitudes. My best friend was out before I ever met her, and her family always seemed to supportive and accepting. They were nice to her girlfriend and never seemed to disapprove. Imagine my shock one Easter when best friend's older sister said to her: "It just breaks my heart to know you won't be in heaven with us." :eek: So....supportive, but also convinced that she was living in sin.


Now, those are just my thoughts. I have met some whose siblings were "you'll burn in hell and I'll have nothing to do with you!".

gophergrrrl
07-22-2009, 09:41 PM
I know this won't exactly answer your question, but it's an experience that maybe you can draw some inspiration from.

My best friend, since 9th grade, came out to me when we were about twenty. Before this, I had never, (and I really mean NEVER), suspicioned that he was gay. For a while, I even had a bit of a crush on him, and he was very flirty with me, as well. So, the forthcoming conversation was a bit of a shock.

He calls me up one night after an outing with college friends; which he'd spoke of planning in the week before. I asked how it went, being that some of the attending party were slightly eccentric folks-- he and I had both joked about the potential atrocities that would await him on this highly anticipated outing.

So he tells me that it went good, and that he'd met a lot of interesting people. I asked him if anything crazy happened, and I'm paraphrasing here, and he said that something did, in fact, happen.

He says, "Morgan's cousin, who is gay, told me that he really liked me. Like, THAT kind of 'liked' me." So I say, "OMG! For real?" and he replies, "Yeah....And I sorta told him that I liked him, too."

It didn't process, right off, I guess it went over my head for the first few seconds, and then I 'got it'.

So I reply, "Wow... Really?" and he says, "Do you think it's bad?". I then asked him if he was telling me that he was gay and, of course, he confirmed that he was. So I asked him if he had just realized it or if he had felt that way for a long time. He told me that he had first realized it when he was around thirteen, which was completely shocking to me, moreso than hearing him "come out", was the fact that he had been concious of (and hiding) his identity for that long.

A few things to consider here, to put emphasis on this being the big deal that it was and still is; he's the son of an Eastern Kentucky preacher. The man is very "old fashioned" and has lived in this tiny world where even something like cultural diversity means you're from one region of the county as opposed to another, but of course, you're still caucasian. I mean, there is no diversity of ANY kind here.

Another thing that made this situation more shocking was that my friend had always been such a hopeless romantic; chasing after a new girl every day of highschool, writing love letters to said girls, walking girls to their classes, having a crush on Angelina Jolie, drawing sexy anime girls for every art project, etc., etc. Girls, girls, girls! Also, at some point, I might have thought that he and I would end up together. *Cheeks turn red*

Ok, sorry, I'm writing a novel here. I'll get this wrapped up.

As of now, we are twenty-five and he still hasn't come out to his parents. There have been some situations, and IMO, they know. They seem to have avoided voicing this thought, and have been pushing it out of their minds, but they know. His sister was the first to question, and she seemed to get the emotion stuck in the act of questioning. It wasn't the normal formula; question, receive answer, form opinion. It was almost as if she questioned with anger, and wouldn't try to open up the conversation any further, just repeated vicious questioning, sort of like she didn't want an answer.

So, there's my experience, hopefully this perspective can give you some ideas, maybe get you into the mindset of different personalities for your story!

Best of luck! :)

Rarri
07-22-2009, 11:07 PM
Ok, weird reply, i'll apologise now...

A friend of mine, lovely guy, is gay; we were 16 when he came out to us and we kindly had to tell him we already knew. He wasn't 'camp' and didn't appear stereotypically gay (that term doesn't sit well with me right now, but i can't think how else to phrase it) but we had an idea that he wasn't straight, so it wasn't a surprise when he came out. However he did tell us of what had happened when he told his Dad (his mother having died a few years earlier) and it wasn't the immediate aftermath that struck as being so terrible as what his father told him the following day; that he'd been at work, thinking about what his son and told him and that it made him physically sick and vomit, to think that his son was gay.

Perhaps that isn't shocking in the grand scheme of things, but this guy is such a wonderful man and i don't think any of us had envisaged his father giving such a response.

Your question has also reminded me of something else, i'm not totally sure if this is allowed, so apologies if not, but here's the link to a discussion from a parenting forum i use, asking parents how they'd feel if their children were lesbian or gay, it makes for interesting reading. http://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/coffeehouse-chat-514/wine-bar-494/214803-your-child-becoming-lesbian-gay.html

Forbidden Snowflake
07-22-2009, 11:11 PM
Uhm, my mom's words:

It's unnatural. Something went wrong with you while you were an embryo in the womb.

That's the summary.

Kitty Pryde
07-22-2009, 11:59 PM
Very shortly after my partner came out to her family (in her 20s), at a family dinner her little brother (18-ish) started in on some terribly clever line of reasoning like "It ain't natural" and "That's f***ed up" and "There shouldn't be any weirdo homos in our family". She stood up at the dinner table, leaned over the mashed potatoes, and punched him in the nose. He's 5 inches taller and probably 40 pounds heavier, but he was still due for a proper stomping. Lucky for him her older, bigger, and smarter brothers (who take their upbringing in San Francisco seriously and have always embraced the LGBT community) separated them after a brief scuffle. After that there were no issues with it from anyone in the family.

Ugawa
07-23-2009, 07:32 AM
Wow.

Thank you so much everyone. This has really helped me with characterising his sister and brother.

I know a lot of this was personal, so thank you so much for sharing it with me. I really do appreciate it.

The only two gay people I know both have parents who accepted it right away.

Both my friends told me about them coming out to their family.

Sister and brother would obviously be their names.

Friend one: Over breakfast

Him: Mum, Dad, sister, brother. I need to tell you something.
Dad: And that is?
Him: I'm gay.
Dad: Okay.
Mum: that's nice, dear.
Sister: pass the milk, would ya?
Him: Are you all okay with that?
Mum: Yeah, I found the mags under your bed a couple of months back.
Dad: We all already knew.
Him: What? How could you not tell me?
Mum: It didn't seem important.

(He was the one that ended up angry. Go figure...)

Friend 2:

Him: Mum, I'm gay.
Mum: Yeah? So's your Dad.

(they were separated. That was the day he found out why.)

So, as you can see. I didn't really have anything to go on with the whole argument thing... but two very ineresting novel ideas. Hmm. *thinks* lol

x

padnar
07-23-2009, 10:09 AM
somehow people think gay is some sort of disease. we have wrong notions,
Parents can accept a handicaped person , but gay somehow it sound weird.
padma