My Parents Are Pretending I Never Came Out

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say, “my parents just don’t understand me” without smirking and laughing about how silly of a statement that is. With the situation I’m living through, it is very much the truth.

For those of you who don’t know my story, I came out to my parents this past Easter and received a rather negative reaction from them (much to my surprise). My family identifies as Catholic but we barely practice and aren’t very religious so I knew they would never pull a “let’s pray the gay away” card on me. And because we aren’t very religious, I didn’t think coming out to them would be terrible. I did, however, expect both of them to be disappointed which is why I never wanted to come out to them in the first place.

During our long conversation on Easter, they did their best to hear me out but I knew they weren’t happy with what they were hearing. I think (or thought) they learned a lot during our talk but I was still faced with really frustrating comments from them like, “How do you know you like guys if you haven’t even dated a girl yet?” and “Why don’t you kiss a girl just to make sure that isn’t what you really want?”

How was I supposed to answer that?
I know what I want and what I don’t want.
It’s really that simple.

After that night, I knew my parents weren’t happy with me but I also knew they were going to have to come to terms with this as it is a part of who I am and it’s not going to change- though I may have failed to convince them of that last part based on what I later found out.

When I was back at college, I was told both of them were taking the news pretty hard. I had a feeling our “talk” was far from being over.

Now I’m back home for summer vacation and nothing at all has been said up until one comment two days ago. It was really weird.

I legitimately thought my mom forgot I came out.

My mom, sister, and I were sitting at the kitchen table. I was talking to my sister about how her best friends are crazy and she was giggling while saying how she doesn’t get why her friends are so obsessed with me. She went on to say, “and (xyz) even wants to date you!”

I laughed. She laughed.

My mom jumped in, “Yeahh! Did you know the age difference between you and her is the same as the gap between Dad and I? Oh my god, you could totally end up dating her friends!!! How crazy is that!?”

Awkward silence and I became instantly uncomfortable.

My head was spinning again. Did I really need to remind her that I’m gay? Tiff’s friends are all girls and she definitely didn’t mean the few guys she talks to. Could my mom really have forgotten? Is that why no one is saying anything about it? Or are we back to avoiding it again? The elephant in the room.

I considered saying something along the lines of, “Who? Like Michael?” but decided not to. I didn’t want to instigate any trouble.

Later that night, my sister was explaining to me that my mom didn’t forget what I told her and neither has my dad. My parents are in denial and they are choosing to pretend like I never came out to them. My mom thinks she can convince me to become straight. Her comment was a subtle way of pushing heterosexuality upon me.

They must really think I’m choosing to be this way. 🙁
And even if being gay was a choice, it is disappointing that they are disappointed. Plain and simple.


  1. Being disappointed that they’re disappointed is okay, Rocky. But don’t fixate on it. The adage time heals is tried and true. Consider giving them space to come to align with the reality. They will. Nearly all parents eventually come to terms with who their children are – at their honest core.

    This is your life, not theirs. Spending your valuable time, energy and love on trying to make them comfortable – rather than on being you and living your life (which goes well beyond your sexual orientation), is wasteful. You are a being with abundant potential. Allowing others opinions and personal biases to influence your life is counter productive to your flourishing and personal growth. Tap into your own strengths, gifts and beliefs and move forward with all that you are. Not what they feel or want. It’s really quite easy once you sidestep the drama. 🙂

  2. Oh I’m sorry. I know how glad you were to get that off your chest. Don’t give up on them yet though. They probably just need more time. I hate the idea that if you dateda girl you might feel differently. By those standards, they should make every straight guy hook up with another guy ‘just to be sure’. They’ll get there eventually.

  3. j

    Hi Rocky, I know exactly how you feel…I came out to my parents as bi and i’ve been in a serious relationship with someone for the past 2 1/2 years…yet they act like she never exists/she’s nothing more than one of my friends, and literally every week they make some offhand comment about me marrying “some guy” in the future, or how I’ll find my “husband” at uni…it’s really frustrating but there’s very little I can do about it unfortunately..:( they’re probably in complete denial because they still think there’s a chance I could break up with my girlfriend and date a guy instead in the future, but I wish that they would actually acknowledge her existence instead of making me feel so guilty all the time! anyways best wishes to you and your boyfriend 🙂

    1. Hi J! Yup, that’s very similar to what I’ve experienced. I’m sorry that your parents are responding to your relationship like that. Since I wrote this post a lot has happened and my parents are much more accepting of me now. My dad takes an interest in who I’m seeing and my mom is slowly opening up to. I know this probably sounds generic but I truly believe time is key. In the meantime, try to demonstrate that your relationship with another girl is no different by treating it as if it weren’t- bring up stories to your parents and make it clear through the story that the two of you are dating BUT don’t allow yourself to hesitate or even hint at the fact that you’re guilty about it.

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