It Hurts to Come Out

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I knew it was going to hurt.  I definitely don’t like pain.  And maybe it’s just that I’m feeling a little bruised about all of this right now.  But I just have to say that coming out hurts!  One of the reasons it hurts is because there are people who will not understand and who are not supportive of your decision.  And I now know why that is so painful:  it is because those who express their unhappiness at your decision are basically saying that they don’t value who you are.

I don’t expect everyone to understand.  It just hurts when they express that.

A few months ago, I opened up to the guy who was best-man in my wedding.  His response (coming from a conservative Christian perspective) was pretty harsh.  He basically told me that I needed to repent.  Ouch.

This week, I have had three people express their disappointment in me…and one of them is a family member so the sting of that one is harder to deal with.  On one hand, I can take it.  I don’t live for the approval of others.  I expect disappointment and disagreement.  But on the other hand, it still hurts.  It hurts because I feel devalued and all of my old codependent issues kick in.  I begin to second-guess myself.  I question if I am going off the “deep end”.   I literally have to talk myself out of that negative thinking and remind myself of what I know to be true.

I know this is just the beginning.  There are going to be TONS of people who are going to express their disagreement and even distaste to me.  I guess I just need to toughen up and start to get used to it.  There will be people who will choose not to associate with me any longer.  I’m trusting that those who make that choice will not be people that are close to me.  It’s a bit scary.

I know many people go through this and have already been through this in their lifetime.  But I am new to this…and it hurts.  I trust there will be a time in the not-too-distant future when I have gone through this whole process and I don’t have to keep getting hurt by people who don’t understand.

But that is probably fantasy-thinking.  😦

 

 

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Comments
  1. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

    I use this verse out of context to tell you this: yes, you will find out that some people you care dearly about will disappoint and hurt you. They are human, and can’t help it. And I know that you will show the love and respect that you can. God will help you with that.

    But those hurts and slights will not begin to compare with the times when someone surprises you with love and acceptance. You are on a journey now that will lead you to unexpected places. Keep your eyes on God, and reflections of God’s love that are waiting in your path.

  2. toujoursdan says:

    I lost quite a few friends when I came out. You’ll make a new group of friends and some of these “old” friends will come around… eventually. But learning that some of your friendships are conditional is hard.

  3. Alan says:

    It must be extremely difficult when this intolerance comes from a family member or close friends. It must be a very isolating feeling. Biological evidence suggests that you likely were gay or bi right from the second month of your mother’s pregnancy with you. God chose to make you this way, if you will, so what is there to repent?

    I’m sure compounding the problem is that (I’m not from there, so I might be wrong), there is a lot less “gay acceptance” in the South, in smaller towns and in the USA generally and in particular amongn conservative Christian believers. The chances of being accepted by some of the most intolerant people is “zero”, so maybe just swallow the pain and move on.

    The only people that really matter are your children and their mother. The kids might have difficulties with your “gayness” at first but you must not give up hope; eventually they will come around.

    If you haven’t done so already, I strongly urge you to email http://mindthebear.blogspot.com as he commented in a previous post. I think his experience and advice will prove to be invaluable to you as your situations are amazingly similar…. except he is a few years ahead of you in his journey. We’ve started e-mailing a little bit, and he is fantastic!

    Best of luck! Remember, you have a lot of supporters in the blogosphere who have some idea of what our going through.
    Alan

  4. It hurts. Big time. Never having had many friends (till I came out) I’ve not had the same kind of rejection you’ve faced (at least, not to my face).

    The pain I have felt has been the grief and sadness – all the “if only . . . .” questions. There is much mourning to do, for the dreams we had, the straight life we hoped for, the ‘normalcy’ we craved.

    We didn’t choose this. And there are times, still, when I wish it were not. But it is what it is.

    For forty years I knew something. But i did not know what it is I knew. I’ve wanted to lead my life with honesty, integrity, and authenticity. And mostly I had. But then there was this secret, this reality that I (finally) came to understand.

    While the pain has been great, at times, the relief is immense! The grief and mourning still hit on occasion. But the reality of the Truth has set me free. The years of misery were of my own making. It is what it is. And it is much better.

    Check out the It Gets Better project, online. The videos are aimed at preventing teenage suicides, to give adolescents a sense of hope. But I tell you, they have helped give me hope, too.

    It will hurt. But it will get better. Write me. beartoast@gmail.com

  5. ocpilgrim says:

    I’ve just come across your blog and have so much empathy for you, as I am in a very similar situation, but not as far out of the closet as you. It sound like you might be in SoCA? More next time.. I’d love to chat, and maybe sometime in person.

  6. Pomo says:

    The pain eventually passes. Though there is always a pang of hurt when someone disapproves, we eventually learn to be confident in our identity in Christ. Peace to you friend!

  7. QueerCatholic says:

    Hmm… I’m not seeing a way to send you an email on your page… I guess I’ll just write a little here and see if you email me. I grew up in an evangelical/baptist family, but left that all behind many years ago. I moved to San Francisco… have been working with homeless queer youth for years. I’m very ‘out of the closet’… everyone knows and yet I have never actually spoken to my evangelical parents about it. Of all things to end up doing after living in San Francisco for 10 years… I became Catholic! Why would I do something like that?! Bizarre eh? Well… Jesus drew me with His love. I experienced His love… and He accepted me as a queer woman.

    The last few years have been a time of healing for me and I’ve come to a point where I feel the need to ‘come out’ to my parents (even though they’ve known for many years). I couldn’t come out to them when I was younger because they are hardcore followers of Focus on the Family and I would have been sent to some Exodus type program. That’s no longer an option because I’ve been independent for years now. I feel the need to tell them for me… not for them. I need to do it as part of my healing. How they react is on them.

    My priests are extremely supportive of me. I was telling one priest how I had decided to write my parents to tell them… this was 2 weeks ago. As I started to write it was revealing how much anger and hurt I have over this… I wasn’t aware of this really. I’m very comfortable with my sexuality and so it surprised me how deeply I’ve been impacted by this. I have deep resentments and anger towards evangelicals (no offense… it’s not towards all of them) that I still need to come to terms with. This forgiveness teaching is difficult!

    I have yet to finish my letter to them. I am determined to do it, but I want to be able to tell them without speaking in anger (or from my hurt). But as I read what you wrote I am reminded what I’m in for. I know it will hurt, but I have to do it!

    Well… I’m not really sure why I wrote this to you, but I happened to run across your site and it caught my attention. I guess I just connected to what you were saying.

  8. I’m dreading this. I am well-known in my small denomination and I have so many friends. I’m extroverted and opinionated and… Not only does this out me, but it outs my rather introverted and private wife and my kids! I know I will lose friends. And as a people pleaser, I dread feeling people’s disappointment. I’m not thinking of the super conservative people… I can handle that. They *need* to have their minds ripped open. But it’s the sweet and loving people who will just be hurt and confused.

  9. Maybe you talk about it more. I’m reading from the bottom up… But I’m very interested to know how your church responded. The sweet, salt of the earth, do anything for you people.

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