Christian Parents - Bad Reactions and what to do?

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Joined in 2008
April 9, 2008, 21:25

This thread is being created because my introductory thread kind of went on a tangent and led this way so thought it would be interesting to see what happens with this one.

A couple of members highlighted that having been brought up in a Christian environment does leave you feeling ‘brainwashed’ by your parents in a sense, leaving you with a multitude of issues to work through in your adult life. Also, on a personal level, I have had to deal with the guilt of causing my mother to become dependent on a weird concoction of drugs to merely function, my dad to repress into himself and my parents marriage to suffer all down to the fact of me ‘coming out’.

Therefore this thread is for people to share their thoughts, feelings, ADVICE etc on how to cope with Christian parents bad reactions to Our News!

Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 02:55

This is an awsome idea! Im going to work on my response but its going to take a little while to put together. This was actually a thread I was going to start my self! Im glad I waited! Good job Justin! 😀

Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 03:50

The following is something I have been wanting to share with all of you for a while now. Maybe some of you will be able to relate to my situation. These are excerpts taken from an email that my parents (or should I say my Mom rather) FINALY wrote to me a few weeks ago. My family has known about my sexuality for over two years, and also about my boyfriend for the last year and a half. I have tried to talk to them before but got absolutly no where. My family is the best at pretending the giant elephant sitting in the middle of the living room doesnt exist. They have just hoped that if they put their head in the sand long enough all this would pass. What you are about to read was the first time they have ever acknowledged who I am. There is much more of this email conversation that I would like to share, but Ill just start with this for know……..

Dear John:

OK Dear, silent time is now over and Dad and I will do our best to SAY what were feeling. We’ve all shared emails of each other’s thoughts, and I think we now have a clear idea of your desires, your decision to be honest, and your reasoning (physically and spiritually). We’ve tried to look at the situation from your point of view and understand the pain you’ve gone through. It must have been terrible feeling like you were living a lie with your family. We are trying to educate ourselves, and we have learned. Now, if you could put yourself in our place and allow us to vent a little of what’s in our heart. We want to be completely honest with you, as you have been with us, even though it may be painful. We both know it’s better to be truthful about your life than to pretend. We find it comforting to know that you were courageous and caring enough to let us in on your life. But you must understand that as your parents, (and up until now, the major guiding factor in your life), we are devastated and broken-hearted by the announcement that you’re gay. We almost feel like we’re grieving, because the vision we had for your future is presently gone. No wife, little kids, the way of life we always thought you were committed to based on God’s Word. Those dreams we had for you have all evaporated, and there’s not much we can do but suffer their loss. Please try and recognize our pain as we sacrifice our precious expectations of what your life would have been, even though you probably think those feelings are baseless. But regardless, they are there and you must face them………………

……………We are sorry that it’s taken us so long to begin to talk about this, but we were angry at you for deciding that what God forbids is now something you accept, and that what you once believed was wrong is now, in your eyes, right and normal. The bottom line is, our convictions tell us that you are completely wrong about homosexuality, but we must learn to try and understand your feelings with respect and consideration. We could argue forever about interpretation of scripture, but we’re not going to do that. We both know the difference between acceptance and approval. We can accept each other with love and joy, even if we don’t approve of everything the other does. There are two things here that will never change——-We will always love and value you, no matter how differently we see things. It’s an eternal love, no matter what. And, we will never approve of homosexuality. Our position is nonnegotiable……………

……………we feel we must have boundaries and terms between us. Let’s think about reality. You’re gay. We hurt because we feel you are sinning; you hurt because we seem unable to call your relationship with Joe anything but sin. Things are different between us, but that doesn’t mean we must sacrifice a good relationship. How “good” it will be though depends on how well we can negotiate. There has to be boundaries and terms when you and Joe visit our home together and relate to family. For example, the standards in our home are nonnegotiable. We won’t allow any open display of homosexuality, (sleeping in the same room, etc.)………

I sent a long reply back to them, and there is much more to this conversation. I was so encouraged by this email at first because they were actually acknowledging who I was, and I thought we were finaly on the road to some sort of reconciliation. Unfortunatly as you’ll read in posts latter on, it didnt turn out that way. 😥 😡 Am I the only one with a family like this???? 😕

Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 06:27

OMG JOHN no you are not alone

My mother could have written that letter – this is getting freaky!

Will post a bigger reply later

Stay Strong Brother



Joined in 2006
April 10, 2008, 08:48

Far out, theres a lot in that letter that has been unspoken in my family and with my parents and often made me grieve for there dreams they had for me, some of which I recently found out. But I have learned that its just not possible to fulfill others expectations of us 100%

Its so normal for parents to have dreams and goals for their children, I know I would too but as some parents also know you have to let your kids go their own way and hopefully what you instilled in them will carry them through (im not necessarily talking about religion here either).

All I know, is that we are not responsible for other peoples re-actions and choices as to how they deal with things, it doesnt mean we dont take their feelings into consideration, not at all, we can be very mindful of there feelings and when around them just curb things a little out of respect but its not our weight to bare to the point where it breaks us.

My Mum is a very melodramatic person and instead of taking things in her stead she goes into this self space of “oh my, my this and my that and such” even when I was diagnosed with MS it became all about her but the Doctor pointed it out to her, that come now what about support for your daughter, this meeting is about her and her future. (she is much better now tho with age and after the storm of drama is very unconditional in love) Sure it did effect her and Dad but she just needed to realise that it was a major adjustment for me too and a life altering situation, as we know it is when we come out as either glbtiq.

Some parents will see this point but some choose to be stuck in the “dark place”. We just have to accept that it cant be changed or changed quickly and get on with forging our new lives.

Joined in 2006
April 10, 2008, 09:03

Thankyou John for sharing something so personal with everyone. x

Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 09:06

There are other excerpts from other emails that my parents wrote to me that I think people will relate to. Ill post them in a little bit. I didnt want a huge post. As we all know the longer the post, the more daunting they can be to attempt to read! LOL! 😉

Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 10:57

definately not alone… i too could have pretty much put my parents name on the end of that post. they are exactly the same way. same phrases and all. its a tricky situation. love my parents and family to bits. for me it seems as though there is a negative correlation between my happiness with my family and my happiness with myself… as one goes up the other seems to go down. i find it hard to be completely happy with both my relationship with my family and my happiness with myself at the same time. sucks.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 10, 2008, 15:05

I would love to write a reponse to that letter……you know as I would respond to parents who wrote me. If I get a chance I will. It would take me at least and hour though.


Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
April 10, 2008, 21:22

I hope my Mother doesn’t go down that road.

As I said on the ‘Coming Out’ thread, I came out today, and while Mum is taking it better than I thought she would, she did say that she “…doesn’t think she can agree with me…”, and I have a feeling that at one point she was going to say she didn’t think I should go into the ministry now. (In her defence, however, she hasn’t heard any pro-gay arguments yet, so she might come around.)

It’s sad that your parents’ stance on homosexuality is ‘non-negotiable’, John 😥 . It must hurt to hear them say that so directly. It’s not to say there’s no hope, of course – I would have said the same thing just five months ago, and I’m now armed to the teeth with Bible verses like Romans 8:14 and ready to fight hypocricy to the death 😉 .

I do hope and pray that things get better between you and your parents, though.

God bless,

– William

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