Lesbian Child

I came out as a lesbian when I was 15, and it had an unanticipated effect within my largely conservative family: they continued to treat me the same, at first... or, so I thought. Apparently, while they didn't like the idea of my being a lesbian, they wrote it up to me being caught up in a 'fad' and let it go at that: it was a phase that I would outgrow. Needless to say, I haven't, and this has had some unanticipated consequences with regards to my relationship with my family members, particularly with my parents. 

I have aunts and uncles who simply preferred to forget that I ever said anything, which is fine. I said my piece, and how they react is their business. They don't treat me badly, and it's not as if my sex life is either a frequent conversation topic or any of their business in an ongoing fashion, beyond "so, yeah... I'm different." I still see them on a regular basis. I have an older brother who I think is the only one who truly understands and accepts me for who I am; he once joked that it was odd to be able to check out girls with his sister. I think he finds it awkward, and isn't sure 'how' to be accepting 100%, but really wants to be. 

I think my parents suffered a mental hiccup where I'm concerned, though. They're where I've had the most trouble. 

I came out, like I said, when I was 15, and while they never expressly told me that they thought it was just a 'fad,' I heard from others that this was how they viewed it. It hurt, to be honest, but at the same time, I'd prepared myself for a lot of the horror stories I've heard about online over the years, so in a way this was something of a relief... but, that was 10 years ago. I haven't "gotten over it." And apparently, neither have they; their way of acknowledging that it wasn't just a fad is to not acknowledge it. 

I stopped growing after 15. I'm 5'1" and I still get carded for cigarettes. My parents apparently managed to convince themselves that I just stopped growing, period; they still talk to me, and about me, as though I were 15 years old. I was always the over-achiever in the family, and at one point they were proud of my accomplishments in sports and at school; after I came out though, suddenly nothing I could do was good enough. They treat me, at 25, like I'm a rebellious 15-year-old girl... which I wasn't, even when I was 15. 

My being a lesbian has nothing to do with them. It isn't because of anything they did, and it doesn't make me a bad person. I just wish that they could see that, could understand that I'm still the same person that they seemed to love so much when I was little. Instead, I'm now treated like a childish and immature person who's being stubborn and ungrateful... just for being myself, and for being open and honest about how I feel and who I feel it towards. They even sent me to a counselor once; they told my therapist that I was raped. I was stunned and hurt, but at the time I didn't put two and two together: they assumed that something like that must have happened to "make" me a lesbian. My therapist figured out pretty quickly that there was nothing wrong... at least, no more so than there is with any kid from an apparently very dysfunctional family. 

My parents want me living as close to home as possible. They want me to get a job where they can come in and see me while I'm working, just to act awkward and disapproving. They're overbearing and obnoxious, and I've finally had enough... but after 10 years of putting up with this, I don't know how to make them stop. I'm seeing someone, so I can't very well pretend not to be a lesbian, and I'd feel pretty unhappy if I had to to find acceptance within my own family in any case. 

So... this is just a bit of a rambling vent, I guess. It feels good to get this off my shoulders. Any advice that people might have would be appreciated, definitely.

User Comments

Your parents will only listen to you if you give them an ultimatum. Accept me for who I am or I will cut you the fuck out of my life. Even if you don't really intend to cut them off, it my scare them enough. And you have to prepare to talk about it. List every little thing you WANT THEM TO KNOW and then think of all the ignorant dumb things they'll say in return. Plan out your replies to their undercuts. You expressed so eloquently and perfectly how you're feeling in this vent, why not just list some of things in here out to them? Foremost, being gay is a combination of genetic and environmental influences that nobody can alter or manipulate. You are because you are. Tell them they're mistreating you. Tell them they make you feel unimportant and less worthy. If they give you some smartass, high and mighty typical parent reply, then just up and walk away. People are people no matter your connection to them and if that's the type of people they choose to be, then you can choose to be something else. Tell them that they must not really love if you if they can't even find the motivation to learn about you and accept you. Tell them that you don't deserve to be treated like a child just because your mode of existence doesn't fit into the template they cut out for you. You deserve to have fun and be wild and do life for YOU and not worry about something so silly! Because at its core, homophobia is just silly and petty and idiotic and based out of a fear of the unknown. Only humans are homophobic. Every species of animal to ever exist has homosexuals within it. You are not only a person, or a body, but a soul. And if your parents are obsessed with your soul's vehicle instead of the health of the soul itself you should get the fuck out of there IMMEDIATELY.