I came out to my parents today!

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I came out to my parents today!

Post by rainbowcult »

My dad was cool with it. He just asked if there were any boys who had caught my eye, to which I replied "David Tennant."

My mom didn't care.

It wasn't exactly darting to the nearest place to buy a bisexual pride flag, but it was a generally positive response and I'm happy about it :)
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by Khemehekis »

Oh, cool!

My coming-out-story was rather . . . unique.

When I was 13, I already knew I was bisexual. Back then, I subscribed to a magazine titled Simpsons Illustrated. It was based on the TV show The Simpsons and its characters. A recurring feature was the Top 40 and Bottom 40 lists of various Simpsons regulars. Ned Flanders' Top 40, for instance, included "Traditional American Family Values", and "That heady mix of politics and religion". Principal Skinner's Bottom 40 included "Whoever keeps drinking from my flask" and "Student helpers who turn bad".

Inspired by these, I decided to make my own list, "James Landau's Bottom 40". It included such items as "People who worship hygiene as if it were a god", "Forgetting why I entered a room", and "Genetics lessons that teach about brown eyes and blue eyes but forget about those of us with hazel eyes". One of them was "People who disregard the existence of bisexuals".

I passed it around to my family members.

While I was alone with my 11-year-old sister Liz, who had just gotten her ears poerced that day, I asked her what she thought of my list. She said, "I don't understand what 'bisexuals' are".

"'Bisexual'," I said, "Means a person is attracted to both males and females. Straight boys are attracted to girls, gay boys are attracted to boys, and bisexuals are attracted to both boys and girls."

"Are you bisexual?", she asked.

Silence.

"You are? Ewwww, that is the grossest thing I've ever heard! I'm telling Mom that you're bisexual!"

She went on to ask me, "How can you say, 'Girls are cute, guys are cute'?" and even, "What can I do to convince you to be straight?"

I never heard my parents speaking to me about it. However, my parents had a meeting with my psychologist, Dr. Kirk, a few weeks to months later. When my parents finished with their meeting, my father told me, "I will always love you, James, no matter what. No matter what." I didn't know what he meant at the time.

However, a few weeks after the meeting, I was at a session with Dr. Kirk. While we were talking, I heard him say, "And you'll discover that it's not only a world of people, but a world of women".

"And also a world of men, since I'm bi?", I asked.

"Ah yes", said Dr. Kirk. "At the meeting, your parents told me that you think you're bisexual". I learned one thing that had been discussed at that meeting, but it was many more years that it would occur to me that that was why my father said he'd love me no matter what after their meeting with Dr. Kirk.

It was a strange sort of reversal of generational roles that my Boomer and Silent parents were more accepting of my bisexuality than my Millennial sister (although those Howe & Strauss dudes would say it was exactly what one should expect). Years later, however, Liz joined the Gay/Straight Alliance at her high school (and I, naturally, joined the GSA at my own . . . she and I attended different high schools). Although the jocks and rednecks would sometimes bash me and other LGB students and the preppies (those clean-cut kids who stuffed their résumés full of AP classes and extracorriculars so they could land a high-paying corporate office job) quietly stated that they believed homosexuality and bisexuality were wrong because society said they were, the majority of my classmates as I went through high school had no problem with my sexual orientation. We were quite a countercultural bunch of adolescents, OK with pot-smoking, underage drinking, curfew-breaking, LGBT lifestyles, premarital sex, long hair, beards, piercings, garage bands, and even public nudity.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by eldin raigmore »

The closest experience to this I’ve ever had was coming out as an atheist to my family and friends.
Not all that close, in other words.

.....

Some time ago my daughter came out as bi to me.
There’d been some hints so I was lucky I’d already thought about what to say if she did.
I told her I would be a lot more disturbed if she should be unfaithful to her lover, whoever that might be, than by her choice of her lover’s sex* or race or age (provided they were adult) or a great many other possible attributes of a lover.
*(in this particular discussion “sex” was a better word than “gender”)
I told her that because I realized it was true.
Life experience has left me with a strong distaste for infidelity.
But none of those other things bother me.
Especially not race; my daughter and I are not the same race, though many a person has called me racist, without ever seeing my daughter, because of my accent or because I’d read books they wouldn’t read or wouldn’t swallow whole books they had swallowed. My daughter OTOH obviously knows we’re a mixed-race family and doesn’t have to ask me if it’s OK to date a white or black or other-race partner.

I also told her I’m proud of her and I know her late mother would have been too.

.....

When I told my daughter I’m no longer a Christian she sat up suddenly straight and looked at me wide-eyed and said
“WHAT!?! You’re not a Christian?” And I said “I haven’t been ever since your Mom died.” And she calmly sat back down and hasn’t mentioned it again.
Most of my religious friends and family just don’t talk to me about it.
My atheist sister and my Christian best friend do talk about me taking my daughter to church whenever she wants to go.
My sister suggests I’m a hero of religious tolerance. (I don’t feel like a hero, but I do feel most of the people I know from church are nice people. God Himself would be a major exception; but since I’ve decided He’s never there I don’t have to worry about running into Him.)
My friend kinda smiles and calls me a “churchgoing atheist”.

I’ve lost only one FB friend over my not feeling that God could ever be justified doing to my daughter and her mother and my mother and me what has happened to us, and not being willing to allow Him to shift the blame to someone like Lucifer or Satan (in whom I also don’t believe). I can’t help wondering if we would have stayed friends if we could have settled everything face-to-face instead of through FB.

....

So those are my “coming out” stories.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by Khemehekis »

Also: Who's David Tennant? I'm guessing he's related to Neil Tennant?
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by eldin raigmore »

Khemehekis wrote: 11 Oct 2020 06:28 Also: Who's David Tennant? I'm guessing he's related to Neil Tennant?
The 10th Doctor Who, and apparently also Casanova. A Scottish actor, in other words.

Neil Tennant is a Pet Shop Boy? I didn’t know that.

I think we have a new way to classify people;
Those who know who David Tennant is but have never heard of Neil Tennant,
vs those who know who Neil T is but have never heard of David T.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

Awesome [:)] I came out as bisexual in high school. I knew there was nothing to risk in doing so because my parents had already said they would love me if I was gay or even trans. That's the kind of message I want to signal to my kids so they won't feel apprehensive about coming out if they need to.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by lsd »

in my day we didn't talk about sex with our parents...
and their judgement when we introduce a relationship that had become serious was no less problematic...
even if the sex of the partner was not in question (in this case there was no introduction), many criteria allowed the parent to oppose it to the point of exclusion...
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by Khemehekis »

eldin raigmore wrote: 11 Oct 2020 16:38
Khemehekis wrote: 11 Oct 2020 06:28 Also: Who's David Tennant? I'm guessing he's related to Neil Tennant?
The 10th Doctor Who, and apparently also Casanova. A Scottish actor, in other words.

Neil Tennant is a Pet Shop Boy? I didn’t know that.

I think we have a new way to classify people;
Those who know who David Tennant is but have never heard of Neil Tennant,
vs those who know who Neil T is but have never heard of David T.
Those who know of David Tennant would be the Whovians. They would be the nerdy types, who have a lot of knowledge of nerd and geek pop culture.

Those who know of Neil Tennant would be the Youth Culturalists. Knowledgeable of popular music, especially the alternative and indie artists. And, given the Pet Shop Boys' sexual orientation, many of the Neil people are quite likely to also be LGBT themselves.

Then we have the preppies.

These are the clean-cut, forties/fifties-era throwback, "Mom and apple pie" people who aspire to a corporate office job in a suit with 2.5 kids and an opposite-gender spouse. Like the soldiers of the Greatest Generation, they are Boy Scouts who love God and their country. They would gladly serve in uniform if they were drafted.

They know only of Lou Tennant.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by kiwikami »

rainbowcult wrote: 11 Oct 2020 01:12I came out to my parents today!
Congrats! [:D] I'm glad it went well (and happy National Coming Out Day).

I finally mostly came out (at least, as a man - sexuality is another kettle of fish) to my department/friends/coworkers a couple of weeks ago; a good number of them either already knew or had guessed, since I've not been exactly subtle about going from an alto to a baritone over the last year and a half, but it appears to have gone well for the most part. A good percentage of students (not so much professors) in our department are LGBT, so at least I'm not alone.

Actually - has anyone else with experience in the linguistics side of academia experienced the phenomenon of ling departments being overall very not-straight? It's been commented on at my university, at my undergrad, and by every prospective student I've ever hosted that the percentage of LGBT people in each new class/cohort is often much higher than the expected average (e.g. in my cohort there are two gay men, one lesbian, the token straight person, and me). I know this is probably just the result of the overlap of linguistics > humanities > LGBT-friendly spaces, and perhaps it's USA-specific, but it's still amusing. And it's nice to know I at least have support at the student level, regardless of how the faculty feel about it.

I'd been living in some variety of denial since my early teens, and my mother actually picked up that something was off before I did, so close family is already in the know, while my extended family is (as far as I know) entirely oblivious. That's fine. Gonna be interesting at the next post-COVID family reunion if I turn up with a beard, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. My mother is very supportive. My step-father is tentatively accepting, though he doesn't really understand it, which I'll happily take over a negative reaction. They've both indicated that they'd be fine with whoever I became involved with romantically, if/when that should ever happen. So even if the rest of the family doesn't take it nearly as well, at least I've got them.

...You know, come to think of it, I just realized I've been on this site since a couple years before I realized I was trans and never actually technically came out here, just quietly updated my post on the You thread. Whoops. Surprise? Actually a guy. High school graduation photo of me in a dress notwithstanding.
Khemehekis wrote: 11 Oct 2020 01:45"Genetics lessons that teach about brown eyes and blue eyes but forget about those of us with hazel eyes"
Oh I feel that. Had a mini crisis as a kid learning about genetics and thinking that, as the hazel-eyed kid of two blue-eyed parents, the doctors must have mixed up the petri dishes and given my parents the wrong baby. Eye color really isn't a great way to teach kids about dominant and recessive genes.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

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kiwikami wrote: 13 Oct 2020 19:34 Actually - has anyone else with experience in the linguistics side of academia experienced the phenomenon of ling departments being overall very not-straight?
At our university, this is true for the students, but not so much for the faculty. And we also guessed that this is because people in linguistics do not usually stay in the closet for long, compared to other fields which I have experienced as less LGBT-friendly.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by Khemehekis »

kiwikami wrote: 13 Oct 2020 19:34 ...You know, come to think of it, I just realized I've been on this site since a couple years before I realized I was trans and never actually technically came out here, just quietly updated my post on the You thread. Whxxps. Surprise? Actually a guy. High school graduation photo of me in a dress notwithstanding.
You kind of came out here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6765&p=290899&hilit ... on#p290899
Khemehekis wrote: 11 Oct 2020 01:45"Genetics lessons that teach about brown eyes and blue eyes but forget about those of us with hazel eyes"
Oh I feel that. Had a mini crisis as a kid learning about genetics and thinking that, as the hazel-eyed kid of two blue-eyed parents, the doctors must have mixed up the petri dishes and given my parents the wrong baby. Eye color really isn't a great way to teach kids about dominant and recessive genes.
My mother is blue-eyed and my father hazel-eyed, like my two siblings and me. We all figure we got it from our father.
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

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Creyeditor wrote: 13 Oct 2020 19:49
kiwikami wrote: 13 Oct 2020 19:34 Actually - has anyone else with experience in the linguistics side of academia experienced the phenomenon of ling departments being overall very not-straight?
At our university, this is true for the students, but not so much for the faculty. And we also guessed that this is because people in linguistics do not usually stay in the closet for long, compared to other fields which I have experienced as less LGBT-friendly.
Same, many of the student cohort at my uni in Australia were LGBT+.

I dunno that I've discovered anything revelatory about my sexuality or gender recently. I'm easily demisexual, maybe a bit bi? But mainly hetero/gynesexual still. I suppose I like the idea of being female, but I've never had any strong dysphoria or distaste for me being male; I just have always had a mix of masculine and feminine tastes over the years and I think it'd be cool to be female if an easy full transformation back and forth were possible. I've never really disliked my masculine body per se, except generally annoying stuff like sex drive. If I've had dysphoria, it's been autodysphoria, just hating myself in general. [xD]
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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by kiwikami »

Khemehekis wrote: 14 Oct 2020 02:00You kind of came out here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6765&p=290899&hilit ... on#p290899
Good catch - I forgot about that!
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: I came out to my parents today!

Post by Vlürch »

This the coming out thread, then?

I guess I "came out" as bi when I was about 20 or so, although I only had my parents, brother and two IRL friends to come out to haha. Everyone I knew online already knew, I think. The first time I accepted I might be bi was when I was 14 or 15, there was this one boy in the same school who I'm pretty sure made all boys question their sexuality because he looked like a sexy rockstar or something with gelled-up spiky hair and punk pants and all and acted like he was too cool for school. At first I was in denial, but I kinda had to admit to myself I wasn't 100% straight, you know? It took a while to get over the feeling of shame, of course. Now I'm obviously fine with myself how I am, although I am into some fetish porn that I don't want to get too public about since I don't want to be seen as a total weirdo... and being a virgin at 26 is a pretty shameful thing, I guess... but in terms of who I'm attracted to, no problem.

My mum "always knew" I'm bi, thinks it's not even an issue and believes that no one is 100% straight or 100% gay (which I agree is true, especially if transgender people are in the equation), so that's nice. Sometimes it's actually gotten a bit annoying how "supportive" she is, but even in the most annoying cases it's preferable to the "wHERE ARE MY GRANDCHILDREN??? I WANT GRANDCHILDREN!!!" she was like at one point, though. :roll:

My dad still doesn't really believe or understand that I'm bi... it's not that he doesn't accept it, he just doesn't really believe or understand what it even means. I tried to explain it to him a couple of times but he was like "n-no but... u liek big booty big tiddy qt grills, rite?" and I was like "yes, hence I'm bi, because I also like dudes" and I could see the confusion and frustration as he tried to process it. Sometimes he talks about his disgust for LGBT people and I'm like "but I'm bi", and by now he just goes "sure, but you know what I mean" and I'm like "not really, but whatever". I think his confusion partially stems from the fact that I told him I'm usually only attracted to men who're feminine in some way, and he probably only thinks of like visual kei bands who look indistinguishable from women. :roll:

My brother hasn't really said anything about it AFAICR, but he's obviously fine with it. My one IRL friend once said he was gay when we were like 15, and years later I asked if he was serious when he'd said it and he said it was just a joke, after which I told him I'm bi and he was like "yeah". Obviously he's fine with it too, he probably always knew. The other IRL friend was like "yeah!" and I think she's probably at least bi herself as well? We just drifted apart as friends, though, for unrelated reasons... honestly I don't think there even were any reasons except her being really busy.
Khemehekis wrote: 12 Oct 2020 04:02Those who know of David Tennant would be the Whovians. They would be the nerdy types, who have a lot of knowledge of nerd and geek pop culture.
Not necessarily, since David Tennant has been in a bunch of other stuff too, not just Doctor Who. I mean, at least I first saw him in that one Harry Potter film he was in and only later in Doctor Who, since I had no interest in Doctor Who until I was like 15 or so and just thought it must be some cringy shit... I mean, I'd watched one or two episodes at one point before then but those were ones where Christopher Eccleston starred as the Doctor. The first time I saw David Tennant as hot was in Doctor Who, though, because when that one Harry Potter film he was in came out I was 11 and didn't yet really have a concept of sexuality.

And oooohhh boy, when I saw him in Fright Night, boners were had... [:$]
Znex wrote: 14 Oct 2020 07:13I suppose I like the idea of being female, but I've never had any strong dysphoria or distaste for me being male; I just have always had a mix of masculine and feminine tastes over the years and I think it'd be cool to be female if an easy full transformation back and forth were possible.
Same lmao, mostly for perverted reasons I guess... [>_<] But I don't know, it'd also be genuinely interesting to be able to switch back and forth between being a man and being a woman depending on how you're feeling. Periods would scare the shit out of me, though, I know it's such a stereotypical dude thing to say, but like... the thought of blood coming out of my dick is terrifying, so the thought of having genitalia that blood comes out of once a month as a regular occurrence would be doubly terrifying. Then again, it's not like magical transformations like that are even possible, so...
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