Should I tell my homophobic mom about my sexuality?
Our elder advises this letter writer to wait until she has left home.
I’m a young female, who is convinced that I am bisexual. I want to tell my mom, but every time I try something happens and I just can’t. I love her so much, and it kills me whenever she’s disappointed in me, or when she’s hurt. I’ve done so much research and I’ve gone to so many religious advisers about this, and I’ve accepted that I’m attracted to both genders. I don’t want my mom to cry, because she is extremely homophobic. She’s a hard-working, selfless single mom and she works in an extremely hostile work environment. When she gets home from work, she’s so tired she can’t think straight. So, there’s never a good time to tell her. And I think my brother’s gay or at least bi, and that would destroy her. What should I do? And I apologise if this made you uncomfortable.
I think you should keep your secret until you are older and living away from home. Study hard, get good grades. Make some concrete plans to go away to college. If you don’t have a job, find one and save (almost) all your money. College is expensive. Have a visit with your guidance counselor and learn what you have to do to be on track to go away to a sleep away school and to be eligible for scholarships and grants. If you are away at school, you will have the freedom to openly live the life you want.
I understand that you want to live your life honestly, that you love your mom, and that you want to live your life honestly in front of her. But, if you know that your mother is homophobic, it might be very unsafe for you to expose your truth to her. Many young people are thrown out of their homes and wind up homeless when they reveal the truth about their sexuality. Perhaps, besides not wanting to hurt or disappoint her, you have had so much resistance to and trouble exposing yourself to her because you understand it would be unsafe for you to do so. Even if she didn’t kick you out of the house, you would have to confront her tears and disappointment in you – when, actually, you have done nothing wrong, just admitted the truth to yourself. In light of this, my advice is to keep your secret. If you’re bisexual, then just bring home your male dates. Date your female choices in private, away from your mother and away from anyone who would expose you to her.
Once you graduate college and have your good paying job and your own place, then you can visit your mother and tell her that you are bisexual. It will probably upset her, but if she gets overwhelmingly upset at you, you can just return to your home, to your sanctuary so that you can recover from the ordeal. It will take her awhile to get used to the idea, but because you will be older, of legal age, and self-supporting, it’s my guess that your mother will come around to accepting you as you are. Until you can independently take care of yourself, it’s my opinion that you are at risk if you disclose your bisexuality to her.
I’m sorry you find yourself in this predicament. Sometimes keeping secrets from a parent is a matter of urgency, even of survival. If you live in or near a big city, there are resources and centers for the LGBQT teen community. You can, hopefully, find these resources if you do a Google search. In that setting you can find acceptance, emotional support and the resources you need to keep yourself safe. Often our friends become closer than family when family is unable to fully accept us as we are.
I hope this helps. Please write again and tell your friends about our service.
Article #: 434048