Alex's Answer

My parents don't want me to be gay but I am

Your Question

What should I do if my mam and dad are homophobic and they don’t want me to be gay while I am? 

Answer

Hi, welcome to Ask Alex. 

Well done for reaching out to us to speak about your concerns and difficulties. It’s not always easy opening up about your feelings and experiences, and we see and celebrate the courage it took for you to do so.  

You have said that your mum and dad are homophobic, and they don’t want you to be gay, but you are. That must be difficult for you as it’s important for our wellbeing to feel comfortable with who we are as people and accepted by those we love. Feeling judged for being you can be very sad and lonely. 

Can we ask if you have had a conversation with your parents about your sexuality? Opening the conversation and expressing this side of ourselves can be so empowering but it can also be daunting and scary – for all involved. It can take time to process for those closest to us and it is important that we give them the space and time to do so because they are a big part of our lives and they do love us. Having this talk is so important because as humans we tend to make presumptions and build up images and thoughts in our heads about how other people will react or what they will think of us or how they may act around us when we disclose this information. The truth is, we can be completely wrong! Unless we talk to the people, we don’t know what their reaction is going to be and we should respect them enough to give them the opportunity to let us know what they feel rather than just guessing and feeling awkward and uncomfortable or feeling the need to not be our true self around them.  

It is really important that we have a trusted circle of people around us that support us in the decisions we make, the experiences we want to have, guide us when we need it and stay with us through the difficult and happy times in our lives. Having good friends who we trust and who are supportive people who want to see the best for us is essential to our wellbeing. Have you got friends like these? A trusted and supportive adult is also very important to have, someone to offer support and guidance as you go through various life experiences. This could be a grandparent, aunt, uncle, doctor, neighbour, teacher etc. This person can help you with the conversation with your parents about your sexuality; they can support you and also your parents.  

Have a look at the following websites to find out more about LGBTI+ community, groups and resources available to you along with helplines and online supports: https://www.belongto.org/youngpeople/help/; https://lgbt.ie/; https://spunout.ie/news/covid-19/lgbt-ireland-online-chat-service.  

If you don’t feel ready to talk to a trusted adult in your life at the moment then you are welcome to talk to Childline by phone on 1800 66 66 66, by text to 50101, or through our web chat on www.childline.ie. Childline is here for you anytime and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services are free and confidential. We are non-judgemental, and we will not tell you what to do. We can help you explore what options may be available to you. 

Thank you for reaching out to us. We hope this information has helped you in some way.  

Remember, we are here to listen, and we are here for you whenever you would like to chat. Please get in touch with us soon.  

Look after yourself,   

Alex.  

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