Hi, my name is Anna and I’m bisexual and haven’t come out yet. I go to an Anglican school so most people I know hate the LGBTQ community and I don’t feel like I can talk to my friends about who I am, as they often express their hate for same sex couples. My mum says she doesn’t have a problem with gay’s but I’m pretty sure she would loose it if I told her I was bi. She’s completely set on the idea of me getting married to a man and having children. My stepfather often makes fun of Gay people and uses derogatory terms to describe anyone of the LGBTQ community. Today my stepdad started say horrible things about bisexual people, it really upset me but I kept my mouth shut, until he said some really horrible phrases. I started yelling at him, and said that he can’t say that and stormed off. I really don’t feel ready to come out yet, what should I do?
Re: Bisexual Problems
Welcome to ReachOut It's so brave of you to post on the forums today!
Homophobia is such a challenging thing to deal with, especially if you identify as LGBTQ+. I'm really sorry this is something you're experiencing right now.
For my early high school years, I too went to an Anglican school and at that stage was questioning everything about my sexuality. I remember it being so tough, and really added to the confusion, thinking and feeling in a way that was so openly opposed, especially when you spend so many hours a day at school. Do you have any friends outside of school that you think might be more open minded to same sex relationships that you could spend some time with?
I can definitely relate to family members being set on you getting married to a man and having kids. I know I find it super frustrating whenever relationships come up with family and friends and they automatically assume because you're female that you've got/are looking for a boyfriend.
I can only imagine how hurtful it would've been to have your stepdad so openly say horrible things about being bisexual. That is absolutely not ok. How are you feeling after that altercation with him today?
I think what really stood out to me was your final line in saying that you don't feel ready to come out. I think that's something really important to listen to. Coming out (if that's what you want) is such a personal decision and something you should do when you're ready, comfortable and it's safe to do so. While you're not ready to come out yet (which is 100% ok), you can absolutely be yourself here
Re: Bisexual Problems
Hey @anna_ambushed, welcome to the forums, it's great of you to express your concerns with us -- everyone here is very supportive
It's terrible having to exist in an environment where you feel personally attacked all the time, I totally get that. I'm gay and go to a Catholic high school, the kids there are merciless when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues.
It's also very understandable to feel that your mum would be upset if you came out. It's really hard to look at it from this perspective, but parents in general tend to have a 'mould' in their head of how their child will turn out -- it's challenging for them when that vision changes.
I haven't come out yet, and my mum is like this as well. Whenever we're out she'll point out girls to me, and occasionally even ask me if I have a girlfriend. I've considered coming out to her (and my dad) and have written up a few things that I promise myself to keep in mind when I do:
- give them time -- they need to stop and think to wrap their heads around it, just like other big things in life.
- explain!! -- many people who have never had a need to look further than LGBTQ+ stereotypes won't understand that your life isn't limited anymore! At the end of the day, you'll still be able to get married and have kids, with either a male or female.
- remind them that you're still their child -- there isn't much to explain here, but there is more to a person than their sexuality, even though it may be so consuming at times.
- if need be, distance yourself -- I know this is really hard, but at the end of the day it isn't your job to make them accepting of your sexuality. For this, I definitely suggest you have stability in your life as well as strong support. It's almost impossible to distance yourself from your parents if you're still living with them, so only come out if you feel safe.
I couldn't imagine how frustrating it would be to listen to your stepfather being rude and unsupportive, but I would say to be immensely proud of yourself for saying something, that takes a lot of courage. Don't feel pressured to come out after that incident (if that's what you're referring to), people who aren't in the community also stand up in the ways that you did
However, again, come out when you feel safe. Personally, I'm waiting until I finish high school because being openly gay in a religious setting isn't safe for me.
I hope I could have been of some help, I'm around for a chat now if you wish
Re: Bisexual Problems
@anna_ambushed Thanks so much for sharing and welcome to the ReachOut forum.
It sounds like you've been through an awful time building up the strength to come out and then to have your confidence shattered by those awful words. The hard thing is, no matter how progressive we attempt to be as a culture with our acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, sadly there are a number of people who are intolerant and frankly violent in their views. These are the sorts of things that I think will be the challenge as you've just described. In saying that, I do think like what @Sunflower18 was suggesting, that having a community of friends to support you is super important if that's possible. Even more importantly, as @unwind said, when you're ready and feel safe then you can start to come out. I would even suggest start by talking to people you trust. Even practice what you could say with a counsellor or someone more experienced who has gone through the same thing. You certainly have our support and already I've read the lovely support people here have offered. So at least you have us who have your back. Keep us in the loop if it helps.
Re: Bisexual Problems
Hi Anna, welcome! It seems that quite a few of us on ReachOut who identify as LGBTQ+ have found ourselves in religious schools (myself included), so you're not alone! I haven't directly experienced homophobia myself so I can barely imagine how you must be feeling right now. It must be gut-wrenching.
Sunflower, unwind and Tom have already given some fantastic advice, so I'll try not to ramble too much! When I read your story, there was a particular line that stood out to me: "most people [you] know hate the LGBTQ community". I was wondering whether you know this for a fact, or whether you're assuming this because your school's religious? It's fair enough if you've made that assumption -- most of us would! That said, I've found that most teens in our generation -- even religious folk -- actually tend to be quite accepting of LGBT stuff (despite the insensitive jokes they tend to make), so your classmates might be more supportive than you'd initially expect. Plus, statistically speaking, at least 1 in 20 people identify as LGBT+, so there's probably others in your class that feel similar to you! Maybe that'd provide some peace of mind for the meantime?
As it stands, if you don't feel ready to come out, then I think you should follow your gut. I've also found it helpful to really consider these questions: "WHY do you want to come out?" and "What you intend to achieve by doing so?". I wrote up a few examples in a previous thread, so I'll put a copy of that in a spoiler below if you'd like some food for thought.
Are you just wanting to get this off your chest? Maybe openly discussing your sexuality in an online space like this will suffice?
Do you feel like you're lying to the people around you // it's your duty to come out?
I think first and fore-mostly, it's really important to remember that being bi isn't the only thing about you. We're so much more complex and interesting than that! I'd imagine there's quite a few things that people don't know about you, in which case, maybe your sexuality should be treated no differently? Either way, try not to feel pressured by other's expectations when making this decision. This is YOUR life which means that coming out is entirely about YOU -- you should only do it when you want to and feel comfortable.
Do you feel you can't act like the 'real you' until you come out? If so, how do you want to express yourself instead? Is there a particular way you want to dress or act, but would feel too 'obviously gay'? Just like whenever we hold onto a big secret, sometimes we can get paranoid and overthink how people perceive us. You might notice all these idiosyncrasies regarding your LGBT side -- what you say, what you wear, who you like etc -- because you're closeted, but often those dots are too vague for people to draw connections! Maybe you can act like the 'real you' without coming out, in that case?
Do you want to change people's homophobia / mind about LGBT stuff? If so, then realistically, will you coming out actually change their mind? Is it worth sticking yourself 'out there' right now?
Are you wanting to get into a relationship? This can be tough because obviously you'll need to come out before you can have a relationship. Maybe think about whether there is anyone at school who might reciprocate one? If not, it may not be worth coming out yet and especially if you don't feel safe. Do remember that there IS a life after school too, where you can explore with much more freedom.
I hope this might be a bit helpful! It can be extra tough sometimes, but you should be proud that you're marching through it all.
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