reaction to cousin coming out

(33 Posts)
Ilovetea82 Sun 26-Jun-16 07:22:55

So my cousin has come out and I am now unpopular as I didn't make a huge deal of it. To be honest I have no feelings what so ever on the matter but my family doesn't seem to think that remaining neutral in the same way I would if I'd heard she had a boyfriend is acceptable - apparently I should be changing my fb to rainbow flags etc.
Surely treating her as not special is in no way discriminatory and actually treating her like an equal! Aibu?

PlonkerFace Sun 26-Jun-16 07:26:35

I agree, what difference does it make. What do they want you to do, throw her a coming out party? hmm

YorkshireCurly Sun 26-Jun-16 07:26:39

When my cousin came out, i don't think anyone cared. No big fuss was made. He has a lovely bf now, no different from him having a GF.

I think if people are making a fuss it's still not normal. I couldn't care less about other peoples preferences - its none of my business.

Angrybird234 Sun 26-Jun-16 07:27:04

YANBU, your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

Nowthereistwo Sun 26-Jun-16 07:27:20

I would be like you. It doesn't change my life who they're seeing. Maybe they're being over the top to 'prove' how ok they are (when maybe they're not).

Ilovetea82 Sun 26-Jun-16 07:28:17

Exactly my thoughts, who she loves has nothing to do with me!
Apparently I should be sending her a present!

TiggyD Sun 26-Jun-16 07:29:02

"I am, am what I am, don't want your praise don't want your pity."

DeathStare Sun 26-Jun-16 07:29:11

Maybe just send your cousin a message to let her know she has your full-support and that you only didn't make a fuss because you see it as a non-issue, in that you never assumed she was straight and you still see her as exactly the same person she always has been.

If she's fine with your response - which I expect she will be - then it's perfectly reasonable to point that out to your family and tell them where to stick their condemnation.

Basicbrown Sun 26-Jun-16 07:29:33

Yanbu I think real equality will be reached when there is no need to 'come out' and people just have relationships with who they want to.

Ilovetea82 Sun 26-Jun-16 07:32:27

I've already spoken to her and said I hope you meet someone lovely and that I had no issue with it!

I'm not especially close to her, my mum and brothers are though and therefore I should be too despite only seeing her about 5 times in the last 10 years!

twirlypoo Sun 26-Jun-16 07:33:51

When my brother came out he was giving me a tour of the new house he had bought and said "would you be suprised if I said this is mine and X room?" I said not at all, admired the curtains and he moved on to showing me the bathroom. That was it! He later said it was the best reaction I could have given because it showed i accepted them completely because it wasn't a big deal to me. Maybe send the email the pp mentioned about how you hadn't assumed she was straight and hoped she was happy in her new relationship smile

babybythesea Sun 26-Jun-16 07:39:44

Definitely not BU.
I have a family member who we all know is gay but won't come out in case it causes a reaction - he can't face it. Older guy. He has confided in one person who said "If you think anyone will treat you differently or even care, you don't know us very well. You are who you are and everyone loves you, whoever you bring home to meet us." But it had no effect and we are living this pretence that he just hasn't met anyone yet (in his 60s). It's so sad. We have to respect it but I think he'd be so much happier if he would honestly just see that we don't give a shit. Your sort of reaction would be what he's looking for, not the fuss. Because it shows it really really is irrelevant, other than that it leaves them free to love how they wish without worrying about how others think.

Nanunanu Sun 26-Jun-16 07:53:19

To go against the grain slightly "that I had no issue with it" is less than fulsome support. Although I hope you have met someone lovely is a nice sentiment.

The rainbow flags etc may be a little ott, but 'I have no issue with it' reads that there is something worth having issue over and you are magnaminously not having an issue. A nuance and probably an unfair one as I doubt that's what you meant.

And it is still a big deal to have the confidence to come out to family. A practice for all the thousands of coming out you will do the rest of your life as people assume homosexuality.

A congratulations on meeting someone lovely (if appropriate) or even a thank you for sharing this with us. I'm so happy that you don't feel you have to hide this part of your life from us. Of course this changes nothing between us. I love you.

It is still scary coming out to extended family.

My favourite was my great aunt who met my dp at a family funeral and engulfed her in a big bear hug and said 'I'm your Aunty Edith, so happy to meet you'. So normal for her, but such a demonstrative acceptance

SpookyRachel Sun 26-Jun-16 08:00:51

Hmmmm. There is of course no need to hang out the bunting. I have been out for over 30 years, and neither expect nor want any fuss when people find out - and don't get it either. That's how it should be.

However, within the family I think there's also nowt wrong with a little gesture of love and support. It's all very well saying you are behaving exactly as if your relative was heterosexual, but of course people don't 'come out' as heterosexual and there are no penalties to being heterosexual. Coming out to your family is still difficult and feels dangerous for many people. Many families still do not react well. Your family recognises and seems to feel that a small gesture of positive acceptance would go down well. Is that really so hard? Are you really refusing to do so because you are oh no non-discriminatory, or is there a deeper motivation here?

thisisafakename Sun 26-Jun-16 08:21:50

I agree with previous posters. There's a tendency these days for people to say 'why do gay people assume that we care about them coming out? You don't see straight people 'coming out''. Well, the difference is huge. It's not the same as your cousin having a boyfriend at all. Being straight is assumed, expected and there are absolutely no negative repercussions of telling people that you are straight. Even in 2016, the same cannot be said for being gay.
Equally, being straight DOES involve a public element of coming out. You might say 'i don't care who she sleeps with'. However, until very recently, marriage was a very public, exclusively heterosexual institution. With marriage, people DO care who you sleep with. Thankfully that is changing with same sex marriage being introduced, but it's not an overnight change.
So yes, if your cousin wants it, there is nothing wrong with public support and solidarity because she has done something that takes a significant amount of courage, much much more so than simply introducing a new boyfriend.

Ilovetea82 Sun 26-Jun-16 11:07:58

I'm not refusing to support her, I've told her she is brave and courage etc and congratulated her on her decision to make it public.
The reason I don't want to do any more than that is because it would feel insincere particularly as I don't really have any sort of relationship with her and feel like I would be jumping on the bandwagon a bit, (like when people suddenly want to be your friend when you announce you are expecting)
I also don't think my cousin wants any more from me, it's own immediate family who think as I don't live close to home I should do something public for everyone to see.
No one else in the family has done anything like this so I'm not sure why I should have to...

Thefitfatty Sun 26-Jun-16 11:16:29

What exactly does your family want you to do?

My brother didn't come out till he was 28 and I don't think he's actually out to our extended family (other than my aunt and her son & his husband), so other than a hug, and a we really don't care and we're proud of you because we know how difficult this is for you, we didn't really "do" anything.

That being said, I'm very supportive of LGBT issues and I'm vocal about that on FB, so I don't think my brother or my cousin/his husband doubt for five seconds that I support them 100%. But if you don't normally do that type of stuff, I'm not sure why you would do that now?

MidniteScribbler Sun 26-Jun-16 11:23:31

So yes, if your cousin wants it, there is nothing wrong with public support and solidarity because she has done something that takes a significant amount of courage, much much more so than simply introducing a new boyfriend.

But not everyone is a flag waving type of person. I don't put anything political or religious on my facebook page. I don't 'share if you hate cancer', I don't 'share this puppy or an animal will die' posts. I will privately support the causes that are important to me either through donations, volunteering or by my vote.

The OP is not stopping her cousin or her family from putting anything they want on their own social media pages. But they don't get to decide that the OP needs to make a grand public statement.

LilQueenie Sun 26-Jun-16 11:25:08

is it your cousin that expects a gift? people are gay. big deal. Why do people still make a big deal of it.

branofthemist Sun 26-Jun-16 11:26:20

But her a present? Really?

I totally agree that true equality will there when people don't come out. I have a few gay friends they would have all thought it was odd to have a huge fuss.

One friend told me at a wedding he said he was getting engaged, I remarked that I didn't know he was seeing someone he said 'yes his names marks' I said 'can't wait to meet him'

Job done, no fuss. And then we got more drinks. The only present they got was a wedding present.

UnGoogleable Sun 26-Jun-16 11:46:25

This is a Facebook thing isn't it? They want you to make your support public by changing your FB picture to a rainbow flag?

Do they think you are showing your disapproval by not being overly gushing in your support? Can you tell them that you've already congratulated your cousin and you don't need to do any more.

It could be that your cousin has had a hard time coming out, and needs support. Or it could be that it's really no big deal. In which case just say "I've talked to Cousin, I'm happy for her. I don't need FB to prove it" and leave it at that.

Nanunanu Sun 26-Jun-16 11:52:58

Hang on. So who is saying you should do this?

If we take it at face value your cousin is happy with your lovely of support. You aren't that close anyway. No one else in your family has been demonstrative on Facebook but someone (who?) Has criticised you - how? Where? Said what?

But it is someone close enough to you that you have felt their criticism deeply enough to doubt yourself enough to ask for clarification on here?

thisisafakename Sun 26-Jun-16 11:53:20

No, if she doesn't want it and if OP has already privately spoken to her and congratulated her, that's absolutely fine. I just wanted to challenge the tendency where a lot of people now say things like 'it's no big deal, you don't see me banging on about MY sex-life'. It sadly is still a big deal to LGBT people and there is still a lot of prejudice. However, it sounds like the OP handled it fine.

peachpudding Sun 26-Jun-16 12:09:10

Buy her a cake with a big hairy vagina on it.

She is gay, big whoop. Was the family homophobic before she came out? Maybe the rainbow flag thing is a way of disguising their true feelings.

OurBlanche Sun 26-Jun-16 12:28:14

SIL come out to me, decades ago. She asked to meet me in a pub... unusual in itself. Sat and looked nervous, said she had to say somethng. I responded "If you are going to tell me you are gay, I know. The next round is on me"

She wanted help telling the rest of her family. My DH didn't bat an eye lid, her DM was bemused. BIL was angry, PoisonousSIL screamed at me "How could I be such an evil liar", they both ranted at me for quite a while. Apparently lies like that can ruin families.

Whilst knowing this is why SIL spoke to me first I remain bemused why 30 years on, given they also spoke to her like that, she remains resolutely out of contact with us and best friends with them!

Ilovetea just be sure that you do, sort of, toe the family line, it can ocasionally be made very difficult for the most accepting family member - it's a bit like your total acceptance is a loud and negative judgement on the other family members who may have hesitated!

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