Coming Out Over The Holidays

Dear Too Real Women:
How do I break it to my family that the significant other that I am bringing to Christmas dinner is actually a man. They don’t know that I am gay.

ANSWER

JILL:
I cannot help but wonder why you want to use the family holiday dinner to ‘come out’; it seems a bit dramatic. It would be much better to get together quietly with your parents before hand. You want to be listened to and treated with respect and I suggest that you give them the same courtesy.
Maybe you should also consider that although your partner is going along with this because he cares for you, perhaps he would prefer not to be the centre of a family discussion.

You are feeling vulnerable and nervous but I urge you to take into consideration the other people involved and by doing that you allow for more honest interaction. The outcome of which will provide you and your partner a more authentic foundation to build a future on.

VICKI:
Congratulations! Just asking this question says that you are ready to come out to your family and that you have someone so special in your life that you want to share him with your family.

I would love to tell you that there’s an easy way to tell your family, however I can’t do that. I can tell you that from my friend’s and client’s experiences most of their parents already knew intuitively, and the difficulty for everyone involved was more just being able to finally say it out loud.

You don’t mention your age and whether or not you’ve had girlfriends, which your family knew about, in the past. Yet certainly the older you are the more the odds say that your family does know deep inside that your gay. After all there are always clues. Past girlfriends can be a great argument for family members that chose denial over seeing the clues for what they really were.

The bottom line is that the only way to tell someone something is just to telling the family. I do suggest telling them before Christmas dinner.

One suggestion that I do have is if you have specific fears about their reactions I would let them know first thing that you have been worried about ____, _____, and _____.

On a spiritual note most people forget that as souls we have no sex/gender. Male and female are part of the duality that is an element of our existence here on Earth. Most importantly we are all one. Because of that there is beauty in every loving relationship that exists.

I wish you and your partner every happiness.

Too Real Discussion:

VICKI:
Uummmm Jill – aren’t you being just a bit hard here?

JILL:
I have a problem with people wanting to use the holiday season to bring up things that may cause a disruption – it’s just not the right time.

VICKI:
Where I do agree with you that bringing it up before the holidays would be beneficial to all, I’m pretty sure that it isn’t Anxious’ intent to cause a drama. I would bet that he’s presently not thinking about the others and more just his own fears around this is the right time to come out.

JILL:
Assuming you’re right and he did ask us how the best way to break to the family at this time – let me say this, first he should make every effort to arrive at the gathering early, before everyone else, so he can talk to his parents as privately as possible. Secondly he should ask his partner if he wants to be there or not. Anxious has to remember that this is going to affect his partner too.

VICKI:
I think that’s sound advice. And for all we know that was his intention. What’s difficult is that in the e-mails we don’t usually get all the information. As a spiritual psychotherapist I just really want to honor Anxious’ feelings.