Ten Minutes Could Rid 10 Years of Self-Hatred
The hardest part about coming out of the closet is telling your parents. Many kids dread the thought of being disregarded by their families when they find out. But, what if instead of getting upset, parents had a chat with their kids about being gay—kind of like the sex talk”—before coming out? Wouldn’t it make coming out easier, at least for the kids?
I was a 19-year-old closeted boy living in a small island where homosexuality was more of a taboo than the norm. Only a handful of people were educated about what being gay was, that it’s not something you “choose” or a “disease” or any kind of “demon.” Unfortunately, because of this only a handful of people ever came out in my town.
The parents on my island are still adapting to the fact that there are gay guys and girls in society. But, instead of thinking “how is my child going to manage as a gay man or lesbian?” most are too busy thinking how their child could be gay at all. If parents only knew the chaos and madness kids go through trying to get their approval before and after coming out.
It’s traumatizing when mothers or fathers drop comments like “man up” or “please don’t be gay” or “no (surname) can ever be gay.” I know a set of parents who told their kid not to hang out with his long time friend because he is gay. Why can’t people just be more educated? Why can’t they think about the children rather than what the society is thinking?
Instead, when parents decide their child is mature enough for the “sex-talk” why not add in a “gay-talk” too? They talk about sex, condoms, girls, boys, contraception, etc. Why not something about being gay?
How about a talk about sexuality and what being gay is really like? This way the kid isn’t afraid to talk about it, even if they don’t realize they’re gay. They would know what the parents are thinking. At least relive the unnecessary stress of wondering if they will handle it OK or not. And if the parents aren’t OK with gay people, at least the kid doesn’t spend years wondering if their parents are OK with it and he knows how to handle the situation before coming out.
This idea may not be popular at first, but parents need to accept the fact that there is a possibility that their son/daughter is gay, bi, or trans. They need to be informed that being gay is not a choice or something you become. And, kids shouldn’t have to feel like they’re cheating their parents or disappointing them for being who they are.
We as a community know what we go through. Parents should know as well. It may not make their lives easier, but it makes a big difference for their kids.
On my island there is very little awareness and children are being tortured inside without knowing who they are. We love our parents and we’re scared we might lose them, but just a 10 minute chat can relieve 10 years of self-hatred, agony, and mental torture.
Think today for a better a tomorrow, I say. Parents should have the chat and see what surprises they stumble upon. The ideas about life parents and children have may not be as far apart as either think.
[Source: About.com Gay Life]