My parents think its wrong to be attracted to the same sex…


Dear Alyssa,

Thank you for writing us. You say that you are attracted to boys, but

also

to girls, and you worry about how to let your parents know about your

sexual

preferences as they are against gay sex.

First of all, let me tell you that nothing obliges you to let them know

right away that you feel attracted to girls. You are young and might

realize that your sexual preferences can change over time as you become

older and experience new things in your life. You might later feel

attracted to boys only, to girls only, or to both genders; teenage

years are

a time of self-discovery. Telling your parents that you are attracted

to

girls at that age might prove risky, since they might not take you

seriously

and think that you will ”outgrow” that attraction with time. Since

they

are activists against gay sex, they might however become very upset

with

that revelation. All that hassle might be unnecessary if you later

realize

that you are in fact heterosexual or don’t wish to pursue relationships

with

girls.

If you do feel that it is necessary for you to talk to your parents

about

the way you feel about girls, then be ready to deal with the fact that

they

might react very badly. I would also like to mention that telling our

parents about our sexual orientation is never easy for anyone, but it

will

probably prove even harder in your case, since your parents are openly

against homosexuality. These feelings may in fact become even stronger

if

they realize that their daughter might be bisexual/lesbian ! They

might be

very angry, refuse to talk to you anymore, want to send you to seek

psychological help (even though it is now recognized by psychiatrists

that

there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, there are still some people

who

believe that it is something that we can ”cure” like a disease,

depending

on where you live and how open is the society in your country), etc.

Although these reactions are likely to become less strong with time and

they

might end up accepting your sexual orientation or at least not

discriminate

you for that, it is also possible that they will never accept it. An

unusual thing that could also happen is that by finding out that their

daughter might be gay, they might revise their homophobic thoughts and

decrease/stop their activities to discourage gay sex. This is however

very

rare and is more likely to happen quite a while after you would have

told

them about your feelings.

To summarize, you have the choice to speak to your parents or not about

your

feelings (you might decide never to tell them, and that can be totally

fine

if you can live well with it), and to decide when you want to let them

know,

if that is the case. If you do let them know, then you have to be

aware of

the fact that their reaction is likely to be very negative. Some ways

to

let them know that might be less ”brutal” could be to write them a

letter

telling them how you feel about girls and remembering them that you

love

them but can’t change the way you feel; telling them that they are not

responsible for your possible homosexuality and that you tell them this

not

to make them sad/angry, but because you love them and want to be honest

with

them, is also a good way not to make them feel ”guilty” and to set

the

ground for a discussion which I hope could be done in a respectful

manner

for all of you. But time will probably be your best ally.

You could also refer them to an organization for GLBT near your home

that

might be trained to deal with parents that have difficulty accepting

their

child’s homosexuality, and refer them to websites on that matter as:

http://www.outproud.org/brochure_for_parents.html

I hope that helps, if you have other concerns don’t hesitate to write

us

again !

Marilyn, for AlterHeros.

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