by: Stephannie Guzmán Piñero
Have you ever feel like you are living on the dark side? Tired of hiding your true self to your parents? For sure, living in a metaphorical closet is not the most comfortable thing over the Earth, and it’s because it includes a humongous list of contras. For example dealing with the most hated question by the Narnian community: Do you have any boyfriend/girlfriend yet?, or parents bribing you to dress more feminine or masculine, visits to the psychologists, religious fans trying to exorcize the demons of lust and abomination in you, homophobia, etc.
Deciding that is time to come out of the closet can be a very difficult situation to manage, even when you think that everybody can see a rainbow emanating from your skin pores. You’ll start asking yourself which words could work better when the time to confess comes. This article is going to try to give you some helpful tips based on the “coming out” experience of other persons which share the same Greek tragedy with you.
You better than nobody know how dramatic, severe, or comprehending your parents can be based on their beliefs, ideologies, culture, age, etc. For example: In the best scenario, if your mom has radical political views, is atheist and feminist; you should stop reading at this point because my friend, she already knows and she loves you. On the counter part, in the worst scenario, if your father is a “macho-man”, catholic and defends the right corner of the politics, you should either change your name and take a plane to Holland or continue reading this article. Obviously these are extreme situations, derived from generalizations, and the world by definitions is very relative. To do or not to, that’s the problem.
Four girls from different concentrations, towns, and beliefs were interviewed to contrast and compare their experiences. In that way the recompilation of the better moves to conquer the giant was easier. Including some web sources that develops the same topic. As told before, a perfect formula to escape emotionally unharmed of this situation does not exist, because humans are made of feelings and everybody reacts differently to life issues. We can only try to be delicate when the game starts, understanding that your parents are humans that can make mistakes just like you.
Ninoshka Montañez, 21, Professional Paramedic, lives in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. She come out to Zory (her mom) since she have 14yrs. Her mom was mad about it and started to penalize her sexuality taking away privileges as having a phone. “When she asked me if I was gay, I ran out of my home crying,” Ninoshka said. She was mad with Nino (Ninoshka’s nickname) for around a year. In her 15th birthday the young woman meets her first girlfriend. When Zory realized that the relationship was causing some problems in the couple family, she tells Nino that she already knows it, and comprehend that it isn’t anything bad. Zory only wanted that Ninoshka becomes a professional and a good citizen. That’s just one of the examples of the stories given by the interviewed girls.
“She’s my daughter, I love her and I don’t allow anyone to offend her.” – Zory Gómez
How to come out of the closet to your parents:
1. Learn to love yourself as you are.
If you are going to confront your parents, yelling to the winds how gay you are. You must be ready for any verbal insult that may hurt your feelings and the best way to embrace that is to love yourself in every aspect.
“Coming out to oneself is a subjective experience of inner recognition, one that may be charged with excitement, trepidation, or both.” said Dr. Jack Drescher, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
2. Double-check your homosexuality
Imagine yourself provoking a chaos for just having the curiosity of experimenting with a person of the same sex but nothing more after that. So, before telling your parents about your preferences, be sure of what you really want to avoid future regrets.
As an example of this: “Both of them thought that I was confused, that it was only a phase […] My dad found a diary with the description of my first sexual experience with a girl, then he knew that it wasn’t just a phase,” said Paola Estrada Negrón, 21, Sylvester Life Manage sub-graduated student of the University of Puerto Rico – Humacao
3. Find a job
“If you come out, what is the likelihood that your parents will throw you out of the house and/or withdraw all financial support including money for college? If the chances of this happening are strong, you might want to consider “holding off” until you have finished school, are financially independent, and have your own place to live,” said Michael C. LaSala, Ph.D, LCSW in Gay and Lesbian Well-Being.
Finding a job is going to give more confidence because of the economical release that it means. Being able to pay the rent of your lodging, food, college, etc. make the “If I pay your bills, I make the rules” argument automatically invalid.
4. Be sure to be the first person who tells them the truth
Nothing bothers more your parents than hearing another people saying bad things about you. For this reason, be sure that untrusted people are no aware of your preferences before you talk about it with you parents. In case that they already know or suspect, do not deny it, lying face to face to accept it later, would make you look as a liar.
5. No matter what, stay strong
No matter how much words hurt you, stay strong and think about how they really love you, all the things they have done for your well-being. Probably they are not having a good time hearing your confession. If you want comprehension, comprehend them too.
“You must be strong, because this is going to change your relationship with your parents forever. It will never be the same, because you won’t wake up straight one day,” said Jeff Lincon in the Thought Catalog of WordPress.
6. Continue your life
If they accept your sexuality, ¡Bravo! for them. If not, the show must go on. Find support in your friends, couple or other relatives but never quit on life, university, school, etc. because x or y person does not understand your way to see the world.
“In events like the Queer Film Fest, people with struggles of coming out of the closet can notice that they are not only ones facing this kind of problems. This is about being supportive with each other” (Image from the short film “Alex y Fabio Ya No Estan” )
According to a study made “by a group of researchers of the University of Montreal […] Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals all tended to have lower stress levels and a smaller chance of depressive symptoms if they’d come out to friends and family than those who’d kept their sexual orientation a secret. “Coming out,” the authors write, “may no longer be a matter of popular debate, but of public health.” Earth tends to be a scary place, but it cannot be worse than a cold and dark closet.