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Lesbian in a family of homophobes

25 replies

tworoundsofwaterplease · 16/08/2018 23:49

Ask me anything :)

OP posts:
DeadDoorpost · 17/08/2018 00:20

Are you out and if so, how did it go down?

tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 00:28

I am. I have been out since day one to everyone apart from family. My friends were unreactive-I never had to 'come out' . It was always just this is who I am. To family, quite recently (I'm late thirties). It didn't go down as badly as I expected in a way, there was no big row, no being disowned however it went down very badly in another way-on the surface family accepted it, which I was sceptical about.

I found out I was right to be, their treatment of me has always been dubious (I've been the 'black sheep' since as long as I remember) but it has become worse now. And my Father says he doesn't believe me. I am not sure how much more proof he needs, I am living with another woman who he knows and has always known is a lesbian.

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DeadDoorpost · 17/08/2018 01:01

As a cis (I guess.. never really thought I was anything else) I can't relate but it must be difficult. I've watched a cousin of mine only recently come out despite me and other family members just knowing for years. It's been tough because while we're ok with it his own parents have struggled. It's a real shame. They obviously love him but it's the acknowledgment of it I guess.

Do you find they make comments or is it more of a distanced relationship now? And which family member has been the most accepting?

tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 08:27

They make some awful comments. Imnjot really 'allowed' to mention my partner or their (adult) children (whom I'm involved with) but rather than being overtly awful, it's more the erasure of our existence, our relationship. It isn't seen as real to them because same sex relations aren't right, and people who have them have something wrong with them. If I protest I'm told how much they've been through with them having to deal with learning I'm gay, and how I should be grateful. I think I'm cis too? Unless I've misunderstood the term, I thought it was more to do with gender.

It's many small things together. We have a family whatsap group for example and if any of us do anything (days/nights out usually) we add photos and everyone comments/questions. If I put any up, they're ignored unless it's just me by myself (others are with my partner and/or her children, I rarely go out with anyone else). When her children visit I'm told not to bring them to my parents under any circumstances, they want nothing to do with anything to do with her.
I am trying to distance myself but I'm finding it difficult, I don't think I'm ready to fully do it yet. It's not easy.
Most accepting, my sister. Although I've learned she's said things to other family members that aren't nice so I don't know.

I'm basically not seen as a real person.

OP posts:
tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 08:29

What have your cousins parents been like?

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Ariclock · 17/08/2018 08:29

Coupd you go low/no contact with them op? They sound really toxic Flowers

tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 08:34

Im really not sure. Deep down I cling on to wanting to be accepted, despite knowing it might be better to go low contact. When I'm feeling very affected by it I avoid them, other times if I'm in a good mood I am OK with being around them, if that makes sense. Today for example they've arranged a day out. I want to go, but I'm not feeling up for being questioned and I don't like leaving my partner whom I know if was male, would be welcome to come. (We both work shifts and are off today).

OP posts:
Livinglavidal0ca · 17/08/2018 08:54

When you meet new people do you think in your head I wonder if they care if I’m gay?

tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 09:41

Not as a first thought living.. Because bring gay to me is as much me as being tall or having long hair. But the thought process does come when I'll get onto a relevant conversation (if someone asks am I married or what does your partner do or something like that). It's surprising what things people ask where I'll know I'll be mentioning it and then yes,I do think that sometimes. Not always, it's so odd to me that anyone would be bothered by it that it can slip my mind.

OP posts:
DeadDoorpost · 17/08/2018 10:19

tworounds I'm not so sure about his dad as they've split in the last year but his mum struggled but has accepted it. My great aunt, who I thought would be the problematic one, was totally fine with it. More accepting and offered her house as a place to stay if needed.

Livinglavidal0ca · 17/08/2018 11:15

Thanks for answering! My partners aunt (in law) is a lesbian and we were at a family barbecue and her and her wife mentioned they’d been talking about having a baby whilst playing with my 10monthold but said it’s a long process, and were talking about all the different routes to go down. I think that was my lightbulb moment realising that actually yes they are a gay couple and it’s not just bish bash bosh.
I realised how nice it is that actually these days, quite a lot of people don’t think twice about gay couples anymore! (I know there is still prejudice).

tworoundsofwaterplease · 17/08/2018 21:58

Sometimes it is the ones we least expect to have a problem who do, and vice versa.I tried coming outto my (Very liberal in other ways) mum when I was younger and she hit the roof.

Living there is still prejudice obviously but I hear you, I used to be scared of holdin hands in public, going to certain pubs/small towns etc

Society is much more accepting now.LONG way to go , mind :)

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WeightorWhite · 18/08/2018 07:13

I must live in my own bubble, because I cannot believe that people are still prejudiced. I was watching coronation street and thinking the current storyline was rubbish as no one would disown a child due to their choosing a same sex partner, obviously I'm wrong.

Do you feel you have to tell people you meet and become friendly with? I would hope you wouldn't as it shouldn't need to be announced but maybe I'm wrong?

tworoundsofwaterplease · 18/08/2018 09:55

A lot of people are surprised weight. My situation is by far not the worst, I have had friends be literally disowned for their not being straight, as in family won't have anything to do with them at all. I've not seen the current storyline of corrie-what is it? :)

I don't feel I have to but when we meet people we naturally mention our partners and lifestyle, I guess straight people wouldn't think about it. I sometimes feel like I should though, as in, I am not presenting my true self if I don't make it clear. This is a problem I guess? I shouldn't feel like that at all.

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WeightorWhite · 18/08/2018 11:45

@tworoundsofwaterplease no you shouldn't feel like that, it should not come into anything! Sadly though people are still bigoted and unenlightened !

BitchBadgerPlease · 23/08/2018 16:06

Last night we had a family dinner out. I've always been told my partner wouldn't be invited to things like this not because of prejudice but as 'she's not family'. I managed to keep my mouth shut about the fact my 17 year old nieces' boyfriend was there. That must be somehow 'different'. …

Oobis · 23/08/2018 17:50

I'm so sorry, that's really sad. Have you ever actively sought out or seemed to stumble upon alternative parental figures? Not the same, but my FiL is a father of 3 boys but an awful dad for various reasons. 2 of them have ended up with very close friendships with "dad aged" men. The 3rd has emigrated 🤷‍♀️

tworoundsofwaterplease · 26/08/2018 18:56

Not really oobies. I can't think of any. Then again when I was younger and estranged, I did adopt my friends mum. Tht was only indirectly to do with sexuality though, perhaps more closely related than I think One thing I miss is, me and my Mum are both open people who will talk about anything and everything.

Or we were, since I came out she has a sideways glance when we talk. It's as if she doesn't quite respect me any more. If I was to ever have a relationship problem or such, I know I wouldn't have my Mum for support. And that makes me sad.

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RaingodsWithZippos · 26/08/2018 19:11

My sister is a lesbian, and my parents had a lot of adjusting to do when she came out at 17. For a long time they didn't acknowledge it outside the house - it was weird because they were incredibly welcoming to her girlfriend, who moved in with them after a very short time, and was still at school so didn't pay any keep, but didn't tell anyone she had a girlfriend. They were 'just friends' - even to their oldest friends who they went on holiday with, and took my sis and her gf! It took a very long time for them to stop ignoring the situation, and start taking the piss out of her (a sure sign of acceptance in our family, I knew they loved DH when they gave him a mildly derogatory nickname - 'young Jack Duckworth'!).

It's true that sometimes the most surprising people can be the most accepting - our 95 year old great aunt was never told as such but didn't miss much, and she told my dad to get over himself and that my sister being gay is no reflection on him, but it's just part of who she is. We were all amazed.

Strangely, my sis is a little homophobic herself.

tworoundsofwaterplease · 27/08/2018 21:05

It sounds as if their public image was the concern rather than them having an issue with it themselves Raingods ? Did they think it was a phase?

How is she homophobic herself? :) that's interesting.

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Oobis · 28/08/2018 11:42

How sad. I hope you are never short of love OP

RaingodsWithZippos · 28/08/2018 16:42

I think you're right, they thought that it might make them look like they had failed in some way. They still flinch a bit if someone mentions it outside the family, one of my dad's friends asked how my sis and her "lady partner" were last week, and my dad was a bit uncomfortable. I think my mum thought it was a phase and my dad thought she was just being contrary for attention at first.

She is homophobic in that she is quite judgemental, and will often mutter "lesbian" quietly if she sees a woman wearing, for example, a plaid shirt with a shaved head. She's also suspicious of bisexual people. We also know a trans woman (who is part of my stepson's extended family) and my sis is quite nasty about her, calling her a "shim" and ridiculing her appearance.

tworoundsofwaterplease · 29/08/2018 18:59

Thank you, oobies.

I find many homosexual people to be suspicious of bisexual people to be honest.

When I am amongst gay friends we do take the mick out of one another, using gay slurs in humour. We've all experienced prejudice and It's our way of reclaiming the words. I wouldn't ever do it to someone who I didn't know, though. Trans is a different issue altogether, to me, not to do with sexuality at all.

I think my parents feel a sense of failure, too.

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Italiangreyhound · 27/09/2018 14:52

Thanks for being willing to post an AMA.

Italiangreyhound · 27/09/2018 16:14

tworoundsofwaterplease I think your parents are very lucky you have not abandoned them.

Sad that they are not interested in your life with your partner.

Are they religious? I am (Christian) and I do know some Christians of all denominations can struggle with the whole area. (Luckily, I don't).

I've got a couple of questions. What's the best way to support a young teen who is gay?

What do you feel about women who are bisexual, if you were not attached would you date bisexual women?

Ate you interested in having children?

Last one, uber nosy, how old are you, roughly?

Cake that was meant to be Flowers but I will leave it there for Macmillan Cancer Relief Day!

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