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Brother has come out gay and no one dealing with it very well

(56 Posts)
Star2015 Sun 22-Nov-15 21:06:11

Hi all, thread attached, any comments would be helpful and greatly received.

pocketsaviour Sun 22-Nov-15 21:13:48

Are your parents very religious or something?

Why don't you know how you feel? Are you one of these women who say "oh I have gay friends" but actually you treat them like fashion accessories because it's all a bit yucky really, eww bum sex? Yeah that's okay for my "friends" but not my brother hmm

Star2015 Sun 22-Nov-15 21:31:45

No my parents aren't religious, but they are old fashioned and have very set views of what they believe is right and wrong and being gay falls right into their wrong box.

I wouldn't like to think I treat anyone like a fashion accessory let alone my friends (whom I have lived with, so not just acquaintances but really close friends). I can't explain why I feel a bit weird, I just do. I'm hoping it's just the shock of his announcement, not only that but the fact he's been living a life we didn't know anything about for the last few years and now he has a partner he's been with for the last few months.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Sun 22-Nov-15 21:52:42

There isn't really anything they have to deal with. Your brother is gay. The end. Whats the problem exactly?

tilliebob Sun 22-Nov-15 21:55:37

My brother is gay. So is my brother in law - DH's brother. I don't get the big deal. My brother told us when he was quite young but to be honest, it's nothing to do with me who he fancies and who he wants to spend his life with. Ditto my brother in law.

Mintyy Sun 22-Nov-15 21:55:55

I don't think you need two threads on this subject.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 22-Nov-15 22:01:54

Mintyy: someone on the other thread posted:
I think as well you may have more response if you post this on relationships rather than here as this is aimed at children who are lbgt.

What obtuse comments you've had, OP. 'I don't get the big deal'. For the older generation especially, it is a big deal. Things have changed a lot in the last 50 years.

FFS it's still big news when a footballer comes out.

And why are posters being snide to the OP, when she's said that she's being positive and supportive, and worried about her parents saying something they won't be able to take back.

WatchedFrozenWayTooMuch Sun 22-Nov-15 22:03:38

Did you think this would happen?:

Brother "I am gay"
Star and starfamily "noooooo"
Brother " oh! I won't be gay then"

He is still the same person he's always been it's just he's told you something else about himself.

Star2015 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:05:45

Thanks biscuitmillionnaire I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of a really sensitive situation and I was hoping someone will have been through something similar hence my post(s) (suggested I do two), but I wish I hadn't posted anything now. Your support is appreciated, thank you X

AtSea1979 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:07:08

All seems a bit strange to me. I also don't get the big deal. Older generation? Are your parents in their nineties and unable to access a television? If not then they should be used to the idea of people being gay. Generation thing is a cover for bigots. My parents are old ish but they aren't homophobic. Would you be this shocked if DB told you he had a female partner he hadn't told you about?

Error404usernamenotfound Sun 22-Nov-15 22:10:13

OP, have you spoken to your brother about what he wants, in relation to how you can help him with your parents' unacceptance, and the more short term issues like what he wants to do about Christmas? Do you have other family who are supportive?

I do think you need to deal with your own ambivalence around your brother's sexuality; obviously you want to help and support him, but you do seem to have an issue with it at some level.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sun 22-Nov-15 22:15:33

How lovely that your brother has met someone who he loves enough to want to introduce to his family.

In your position I would be 100% supportive of my brother. He obviously knows your parents are homophobic but isn't hiding who he is.

If they are going to be ridiculous I would tell them that I won't put up with it and spend time with my brother rather than them, and let them know the reasons why. I would absolutely give them the ultimatum of either being supportive of your brother or losing both their children.

It might not be easy for you, but I wouldn't want to be around, or have my dc around, anyone who says homophobic things especially about their own son.

Mintyy Sun 22-Nov-15 22:18:58

Star, my brother came out when he was about 30 and I was 25. It was a shock to my parents but no surprise to me. He told me first. I didn't feel there was anything I could "do" other than encourage my parents to get over themselves if they wanted to talk to me about it. Other than that I didn't feel it was my place to do anything or interfere in any way.

babybarrister Sun 22-Nov-15 22:19:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MajesticWhine Sun 22-Nov-15 22:19:18

There is only one course of action. If there is any risk of something hurtful being said, then you speak to your parents in advance of them meeting DB and his partner, and make absolutely sure they don't say anything out of order unless they want to ruin family relationships. You have to take your brother's side here and take a zero tolerance approach to homophobia. If you can't do this, and it is bringing up difficult feelings for you, then maybe you do have more of an issue than you think. Find someone neutral to talk to about how you feel.

Mermaidhair1 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:24:19

Op, you and your family are struggling to deal with your db. I think it's admirable you have come on here to get some advice. If you didn't love him or care you wouldn't bother. My best friend is gay. I really struggled with it being a Christian. I got flamed on here for feeling that way. You can't help how you feel, but you can try to educate and learn how to change how you feel. I have done that and now I understand and am supportive. My views have now changed. Your db needs your support and to feel unconditional love and acceptance. I think if you can do that it would help him immensely, and then you can help your parents.

allthekingsshoes Sun 22-Nov-15 22:25:00

I can empathise with your situation my BIL came out officially 18 months ago and PILs find it difficult. Or certainly found it difficult to begin with. They are completely lovely people but just a little uncomfortable I think. I think tgey feel a little sad for BIL - both their other children have very traditional relationships and are very settled and happy and I think they think BIL has missed out on this. I'm sorry things are hard for your family right now but I'm sure with time things will change.

BIWI Sun 22-Nov-15 22:33:18

I sympathise with you, Star2015.

My son is gay, and I outed him when he was 17. (Not in a malicious way!)

I have absolutely no issues with him being gay, but it was nevertheless a shock to deal with, simply because it's not what you expect, and as a parent you have a whole narrative that you build up about your children - in particular, that they will give you grandchildren. But that's, ultimately, a selfish view. It's not about me, it's about him!

I'm in my late 50s, and so obviously my parents and PILs are considerably older. We were worried about telling them, but they have actually been fantastic. Ironically, the only person who's been in any way 'odd' about it, has been my brother, who's younger than me.

I think it's difficult for people who are younger to appreciate how much attitudes towards lesbians and gays have changed over the last couple of decades. I think it's fantastic that it has, but it does seem that there are a lot of posters here who simply don't get that until very recently, being gay was seen as something totally shameful.

goinggrey1978 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:42:31

2 out of my 3 brother's are gay, both have partners, both are still my brother's, they are no different, if anything i'm closer to them now than i've ever been!!
when my brother that's 4 years younger then me, first came out over 8 years old, my mum was very funny about it, when my brother 2 years younger came out last summer its wasn't a shock, my dad said as long as he's happy its really doesn't matter what gender his partner is!!

Catsize Sun 22-Nov-15 22:45:49

I agree with BIWI.
I am in a civil partnership and we have two children.
I stop breathing everytime my 3yr old outs us to random stangers (just by introducing us etc.).
His innocence about the whole thing is a joy, but I still fear the reactions of others.
I cannot click on or copy your original thread, but I gather this process must have been very hard for your brother. He would have anticipated a negative reaction.
Times have changed, but they are far from perfect. I cannot bring myself to call my partner my wife, but everyone under about 25 does this as though it is the correct thing to call her. Still grates on my old-fashioned ears.

Cookingongas Sun 22-Nov-15 22:46:13

I'm bi. My family treat it as something if a funny party party trick. Not a real thing.

My brother once told me that he felt uncomfortable with it. He couldn't say why, and , like you he was uncomfortable that he didn't feel 100% comfortable with my sexuality. But he is/ was supportive. It means more to me that after I "came out" he was honest with me, and it helped to work out our relationship again with different rules and understandings. Perhaps if you speak to your db and be honest, but supportive- you and he might have the chance to re establish understanding. Please don't feel like he'll think you a bigot if your honest about your own confusion. He may welcome it when the rest of the family are being stiff and awkward.

OhPillocks Sun 22-Nov-15 22:53:25

OP, maybe it feels a bit strange for you at the moment but I'm sure if you give yourself some time you will get used to it. Make sure you say and do all the right things and make sure your parents do too (if you can) I'd be very pissed off with my parents if they were homophobic.

Hopefully you will all get used to it soon enough and get to be a nice supportive sister.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Nov-15 22:58:21

My PIL are homophobic. Their relationship with my BIL, absolutely my MIL's favourite, has been strained for over a decade, and it has affected DH's relationship with his brother in a roundabout way too. He and his partner got married without telling his family. DH is really upset not to have been invited. I can see why they did it, particularly when FIL's comment on finding out was "at least they did it without a fuss". I feel cheated of the fuss, but more importantly, DH missed out on a huge event in his brother's life, because to have invited all his family risked refusals, and inviting just some of us would have been just as problematic. PIL keep going on about being a different generation, but in reality they are just prejudiced (sadly not just homophobic...)

BTW BIWI, baby is on the way. Complicated process certainly, but happening.

Italiangreyhound Sun 22-Nov-15 23:01:46

Star2015 I am really sorry you have had some very unhelpful and some downright rude comments. What a shame as mumsnet is for support.

I think Error404usernamenotfound has some good advice, ask your brother how you can be supportive and how he would like you to help your parents.

Mermaidhair1 great advice.

*Star2015, please can I ask how old your brother is? The fact he has not chosen to tell your parents before and that he didn't mention the relationship when it started probably tells you that he did know that your parents would not be accepting.

It can be a big deal for any family to find out any news they did not know, especially that to some degree your brother has had a life they did not know about a partner etc who they had not met. Although, of course, I am sure if the partner were a female it would be less of a surprise. They are thinking about this and are unhappy, whether others can understand this or not, this is the reality you and your brother have to deal with.

I feel very sorry for your brother, it must be very hard. Please do assure him of your wholehearted support and find some way to address any ambiguity you feel. Be aware he is also probably very happy to have met someone special. So join with him in this, meet his partner and treat him as you would any new special partner of your brother. His boyfriend is probably feeling very nervous too and hoping you will like him.

Be clear yourself, it must be hard - but you are not in the middle. At least you do not need to be. You can show a great deal of love and care for your brother and for your parents, listen to everyone, show love for everyone but make it clear you will not tolerate homophobic comments around you! Perhaps having to hold their comments to themselves around you will help your parents to be ready to be around you brother and his partner. Not tolerating any cruel comments is a first step, but really changing their hearts on this matter will take a while and ultimately only they can do it! So you do not need to be in the middle, you can be a friend to all but not tolerate cruelty.

Please ignore any rude comments. The fact other posters do not understand it or don't get it is really of very little help to you, of course! So they don't understand how a family may struggle with this information. That is fine but it doesn't help you to be able to help your parents to an accepting position. Just ignore the rudeness.

Italiangreyhound Sun 22-Nov-15 23:09:45

PS I am a Christian and for a long time lots of people I knew were very unaccepting of gay people (I was pretty ambiguous). Over the years many people have educated themselves and changed their views (including me) but I still know people who are not affirming of gay relationships. I don't just cut them out of my life but rather aim to educate them. I hope you and your brother can work towards that with your parents.

This site is very interesting/sad and you may feel your mum would like to read it. She may be the one most able to understand how incredibly destructive it can be for gay people not to experience acceptance from others and how very awful it can be for gay people to be unable to accept the fact that they are gay themselves.

I've not been in your shoes and all the resources I know of approach this topic from a 'religious', as in a Christian, viewpoint. So I can't much help you but do pm me if you want to chat.

He is the same brother you have known and loved and the same son for your parents, they will hopefully find a way forward and you will be a great help. It is sad that they have reacted in this way but it isn't the end of the story.

My only advice is 'divide and conquer'!! He may find it easier to chat to your parents separately, and so may you - as it sounds like your dad is more affected by it all. Once your mum is more understanding your dad may well follow suit.

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