Coming Out As...
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15-03-2012, 09:23 AM
Coming Out As...
Hey peoples,

I wasn't sure where to put this, so I stuck it here. I remember Seth musing, a while back, about the possibility of a podcast dealing with the similarities and differences between coming out as atheist and coming out as gay/lesbian. I'm wondering whether that mutated into the "Religion and Sexuality" podcast, or if I can look forward to the subject at a later time.

The reason I ask is this: I came out as atheist many years ago, I recently came out as transsexual (M-to-F). My personal experience was that coming out as transsexual was a far more hellish experience than was coming out as atheist, at least where family was concerned. Specifically concerning my parents: They are nominal Catholics. I like to tell people that they raised my sister and myself as Roman Catholics, whereupon she found Jesus, and I found Carl Sagan. To my parents, my atheist philosophy was a convenient excuse to berate me. They would give me the lines of "Don't you like your religion" and "At least your sister has a religion". Well... No, I don't like Roman Catholicism; I do not consider it "my religion". Yes, my sister had (she died five years ago) a religion, and she was a thoroughgoing ass about it.

On the other hand, when I finally came out as transsexual, the last words that my father spoke in my direction were "You humiliate us", and my mother issued a distinctly final "Goodbye". There were some family who had already known about me, who had been supportive, and who had urged that I come out to my parents, because "they love you, no matter what". Strangely enough, when my parents wrote me off, those people dropped me like a fetid sack of shit.

I would very much like to hear from others who have dealt with this "double coming out". I'd like to know whether or not I am alone.

Thanks as always,
Diana

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-- Sheldon Glashow

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15-03-2012, 09:36 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
For I have not come out to my family as a "fence-walker", but I came out recently about my sexuality.
Thus I know that being lesbian is not as serious as a MF transition, it's the fact of the matter.
My dad is a Christian through and through, as are his parents. He accepts the fact that I'm dating a girl, but he believes that it is just a phase and he spites it. He only accepts it because he knows that Lindsay makes me happy. His mother on the other hand, when I told her she literally handed me her phone and said "call her and end it now". I was most definitely not doing that, so I told her "no" and asked her politely to leave.
Your family may have spited the person that you've became physically, but you're still the same person on the inside. The person that they raised. And the person that they love/d.
I'm here for you, if you need someone to talk to and I will do my best to relate to your situation.
-From a caring TTA teen; Sarah.

"You don't disappoint me.... I think your much braver than you may believe."
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15-03-2012, 10:16 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
I came out as gay first, and probably I won't tell my parents I'm an atheist, that may be too much for them and I had more than enough with one coming out story. My family is catholic too, luckily for me they are drifting away from religion since a few years ago so it's not something that bothers me too much and they're also quite rational so when we talk about things like religion they think I play the devil's advocate when I'm actually saying what I really think are true (I'm so cunning Tongue )

I know it's kind of coward from me not to tell them, but I think I already added my share of problems to the my family and I don't want to cause another, my parents almost divorced, in part because me telling them I'm gay, so I won't risk it Confused

I see that for you is more complicated, being transsexual is not something you can leave unnoticed, it's sad that your parents didn't support you Sad

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15-03-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
I'm sorry it was so rough, I wish that your family was more supportive. Sad It's sad that even those that pressed you into coming out to your parents backed away too. I can't see doing that to any of my family.

I've only told some of my family about my atheism. My dad asked me directly if I still believed in God, which is probably the only reason I "came out" to him as an atheist. I still haven't told my mom (they're separated), and I'm not sure how much of a big deal it is to her.

I haven't told any of my family/friends/coworkers that I'm bi aside from my wife and here. But to me that's not a big deal because I'm married and monogamous.

I wish I could offer you more first-hand experienced support- but just know that we're here for you however we can be. I'm sure that there are others on these boards that can offer more knowledgeable support too. Smile

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15-03-2012, 03:27 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2012 03:36 PM by dclarion.)
RE: Coming Out As...
(15-03-2012 11:06 AM)kineo Wrote:  I'm sorry it was so rough, I wish that your family was more supportive. Sad It's sad that even those that pressed you into coming out to your parents backed away too. I can't see doing that to any of my family.

I've only told some of my family about my atheism. My dad asked me directly if I still believed in God, which is probably the only reason I "came out" to him as an atheist. I still haven't told my mom (they're separated), and I'm not sure how much of a big deal it is to her.

I haven't told any of my family/friends/coworkers that I'm bi aside from my wife and here. But to me that's not a big deal because I'm married and monogamous.

I wish I could offer you more first-hand experienced support- but just know that we're here for you however we can be. I'm sure that there are others on these boards that can offer more knowledgeable support too. Smile

The bit about those who would have me believe that they were supportive turning tail and running really torqued me, but I suppose that that is to be expected.

As I was going for my hormone level check and coming back from it (I've been on hormone therapy for almost two years), I was thinking about my "father's" over-the-shoulder "You humiliate us." (He was too much a coward to address me directly.) Is there a parallel in the coming-out-as-atheist paradigm, where non-believing might be seen as shameful? As an aside to that, where does this "humiliation" thing come from, anyway? Mister father-in-name-only-person, I have been out of your house for thirty-two years, and out of your state for twenty-three. (I believe that I neglected to mention, in the original post, that I am fifty-four years of age.) How does anything I do shame you?

I've got plenty more, but let's just chew on that one for a while.
Diana
(15-03-2012 09:36 AM)xLegendofLink096x Wrote:  For I have not come out to my family as a "fence-walker", but I came out recently about my sexuality.
Thus I know that being lesbian is not as serious as a MF transition, it's the fact of the matter.
My dad is a Christian through and through, as are his parents. He accepts the fact that I'm dating a girl, but he believes that it is just a phase and he spites it. He only accepts it because he knows that Lindsay makes me happy. His mother on the other hand, when I told her she literally handed me her phone and said "call her and end it now". I was most definitely not doing that, so I told her "no" and asked her politely to leave.
Your family may have spited the person that you've became physically, but you're still the same person on the inside. The person that they raised. And the person that they love/d.
I'm here for you, if you need someone to talk to and I will do my best to relate to your situation.
-From a caring TTA teen; Sarah.

Something I want to know, seriously: How is my situation any more (or less) serious than yours? We both deal with being outside the "norm". Perhaps, I am a bit more visible than you, but only until you and Lindsay hold hands while walking down the street. Don't short-change yourself.

Besides, I am lesbian, also. My parents were too busy wailing and gnashing their teeth to hear me say that one Smile

Diana

"I like theories you can test."
-- Sheldon Glashow

When in doubt, eat chocolate.
If doubt persists, have a hot fudge sundae.
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16-03-2012, 08:34 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
(15-03-2012 03:27 PM)dclarion Wrote:  
(15-03-2012 09:36 AM)xLegendofLink096x Wrote:  For I have not come out to my family as a "fence-walker", but I came out recently about my sexuality.
Thus I know that being lesbian is not as serious as a MF transition, it's the fact of the matter.
My dad is a Christian through and through, as are his parents. He accepts the fact that I'm dating a girl, but he believes that it is just a phase and he spites it. He only accepts it because he knows that Lindsay makes me happy. His mother on the other hand, when I told her she literally handed me her phone and said "call her and end it now". I was most definitely not doing that, so I told her "no" and asked her politely to leave.
Your family may have spited the person that you've became physically, but you're still the same person on the inside. The person that they raised. And the person that they love/d.
I'm here for you, if you need someone to talk to and I will do my best to relate to your situation.
-From a caring TTA teen; Sarah.

Something I want to know, seriously: How is my situation any more (or less) serious than yours? We both deal with being outside the "norm". Perhaps, I am a bit more visible than you, but only until you and Lindsay hold hands while walking down the street. Don't short-change yourself.

Besides, I am lesbian, also. My parents were too busy wailing and gnashing their teeth to hear me say that one Smile

Diana

People who don't know much about where we're coming from, would consider yours to deserve substantial amounts of thought and mine so much.
Not words from my mouth, but that's how some people look at things in this society.
I don't see why things like sexuality totally "change" who a person is mentally...
They're basically still the same person, whether their physical appearance has changed or not.

"You don't disappoint me.... I think your much braver than you may believe."
bemore

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16-03-2012, 09:00 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
It really is as legend says gay is more acceptable since it's more well known at this point. Also lesbians have it easier than gays in most religious homes because the main emphasis of carrying on tradition is with the sons. Especially the first sons.

Coming out is an experience unto itself it doesn't matter what you're coming out with. People being disowned for changing political parties,dating someone of a different race. Every sort of coming out is pretty much the same thing. You have an issue that is considered taboo and you're breaking it.

My outing of religion was never a secret from the point I coul voice my opinion I was against the church of my family. They gave up on that one. As far as my being a girl, that one I was really scared of the consequences and I waited till 16 yes I'm in the younger generation that gets to start earlier, but hey it happens. I forced it to be a completely public matter and my parents just had to accept it. I cut off one whole family due to my gender issues and all the sudden the other side miraculously got nicer =p

I've only come out so I can't really say to a point how bad the religion thing would've been had I been less outspoken. My parents weren't as opposed to the idea as yours would be, since the baby boomers experienced the beginnings of SRS in the news and some interesting court battles. My dad actually talked to me about Renee Richards since he plays tennis. He still dislikes what I do but understands a whole lot more than yours will. He's part of your generation not the previous.

As an advocate primarily for transsexuals I've heard plenty of stories and they range from perfectly harmless to horrendous. It really depends on how important the issue is to the family. Often children self impose a taboo on themselves that they picked up from conversations being dicussed as they grow. Many times a child will expect their parents to be more against things than they are. Sadly for your case it was probably primarily due to the age factor. The longer someone is used to something in someone they call family the more abhorrent they find dramatic change. I hope you didn't have a family of your own fall apart along with your parents. As a little kid reading the stories of the many who come out late in life I knew that was the last thing I wanted to do.

I was also interested in the coming out discussion with seth, what came out instead was kinda silly due to Seth's fear of sex =p I liked the podcast just fine but I really had to laugh at him with how sensitive he was treating the subject =p

If enough of us want a podcast made specifically about coming out I'm sure he'll do one. Post suggestions on facebook. This forum is it's own entity. Seth is more likely to notice the facebook posts. Or you can always e-mail him the suggestion. I've yet to call or e-mail but I really should =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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16-03-2012, 09:13 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
I think your dad's reaction actually holds hope for eventual acceptance. He didn't want to get in an argument about it. You betcha he will think about it. That's not altogether bad. Give it time.

It is especially hard to change names. I have 2 friends I knew as male who had sex changes. I don't have any issues with it, except I have been calling them by male names for years, and now suddenly they have different names.

I keep blabbing out the old names. It is what comes into my head when I see them. So please make allowances for that - it may be very important to you to be called by your fem name, but do allow for people being conditioned to call you by your old name. Correct it, so it will fall in place eventually, but please don't take it to mean anything.

In any case, from what you describe I think that the coming out went as well as can be expected. You have likely been thinking about this for many years and it is natural to you. For your dad, it's a curve ball. Give him time... lots of time.

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16-03-2012, 11:15 AM
RE: Coming Out As...
Sorry for the bad experience you had with it. But at least you still have other family to turn to and hopefully a hand full of friends Smile

I never came out about leaving religion or so, I just stopped being religious without mentioning, never had the urge to talk about it and it was not mentioned.
What was a bit difficult was the bi thing. It is not nearly the same as the transsexual or gay because at least I am "half normal" but I grew up with my hippie mother. She is very open minded about many things but same sex relationships were always only about the sex in her opinion. I do not and never will share this opinion. When I came out with the bi thing she said she has no problem with it but I knew that she found the "not normal half" ugly. She never asked about it or talked about it because this is one of the topics she has a set opinion and will not change it. She thought it's a phase, well the phase is since I was 14 so ... came out with 21, now I am 28 ... pretty long phase.

But good thing is that the person I care most for accepts me that way, what guy would not wish for a woman he can stare boobs and asses at and be like "wooh look at this one" Big Grin Wink

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