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Disappointing Parents


Guest Cupcakerose05

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Guest Cupcakerose05

My mom has always been really open to LGBTQ identities. She has always told me and my siblings about how she would be fine with us marrying someone of the same sex. She’s been very accepting of my friend that came out and suspects I’m gay because I put a bunch of books with LGBTQ+ themes/characters in my want to read list (I identify as aro/ace). The one thing that hurts is the fact that I don’t know if I’ll ever want to be in a relationship or have kids in the way that she expects and wants. It didn’t really process until a few days ago when she was talking about a family friend who has 3 adult children and none of them particularly want kids. She said “please don’t leave me like that, old with grown kids with no grand babies” and always talks about how many kids she thinks I’ll have and stuff like that. I’m not out to her and I don’t think I’m ready to be yet, but it hurts to smile and nod whenever she talks about it. She has always been really proud of me and she gets so happy when she talks about me and “mom brags” but I can’t stop feeling like I’m going to disappoint her so much if I tell her and she’s not going to be able to look at me the same way. I can’t stop the feeling that it would be so much easier if I was gay, bi, etc but I keep feeling like my identity is going to crush her and change her perspective of me and I don’t know what to do. 

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Guest Anemoneeee

Hey guest cupcakerose05! I understand where you're coming from- I don't think my immediate family aren't quite so bad about this, but they do mention me having a spouse and/or children on occasion, assumptions that I don't have the heart to combat. It's a tough situation and there's no easy answer.... At the end of the day though, I think- no rush at all, and if you will, do it on your own time (!)- but I think it would be best to be transparent with them so that those expectations don't continue to build up. 

I am looking to do this if it comes up again- even if I don't explicitly 'come out', just saying something along the lines of 'well, there's no guarantee that'll happen', or 'that's not really something I want out of my life' seem like good alternatives. 

I hope my response helped a bit... Good luck!! 

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I can't be sure, but if she's really accepting of LGBT+ identities, then she sounds like the kind of person who would be horrified to find out she had misstepped and was misidentifying you. You can try to look at it as "the siblings' responsibility" if that makes it easier, or you can talk about it with them if you're close. If none of you want kids nor want to adopt/foster, then that's kind of just how it has to be. Your mom can always foster if she really wants to feel like a grandparent, or she could volunteer/work elsewhere where kids are involved (I like the parks & rec departments). Community grandmas are really well loved! Either way:

It is not your responsibility to provide comfort to someone at your own expense.

As for trying to prepare yourself to come out - should you ever choose to, not that you have to - what I did was prepare a bunch of collected things that others had tried to describe. I suck at explaining myself without confusing matters more, so using the words of others helps me. You can start to drop the term in whenever a conversation like that comes up to test the waters on what she thinks. Like if kids come up again, you can say, "yeah, I'm thinking about it. But did you know there is this group of people who don't have those relationships?" Usually it can come up pretty organically and a lot more tactfully than that, but that's sort of an idea. It's still fuzzy for me and my parents, they seem to sort of forget that I came out? Pretty sure they still expect something to come of my personal relationships, but then again, they've never pushed for grandkids, so it's different for me. But be a little noncommittal, then swerve the topic to something related to your ideals. You might even be able to redirect her thinking process like that.

If she's really proud of you enough to mom brag, then your accomplishments should get her through her old age without add-ons (children). If she loves you as she seems to, she will be proud of you for who you are, not what you provide her. She will want to correct herself, and yes maybe overcorrect in the process, but parents are not always right. It's sad to say that if she doesn't accept you, things will change. That is unfortunately an outcome you should prepare for, but from my limited perspective, I don't think you have much to worry about. Take it as slow or fast as you need, introduce the topic at your pace. It's a big leap to make, but either you land safely on the other side, or you have a solid base to pick yourself up from again.

You can try spending some time imagining worst case and best case scenarios, really go whole hog: "If I come out and she rejects me, it signals the start of the apocalypse and I command the horde of demons." "If I come out and she accepts me, it signals a new era of peace and prosperity and I solve the world's problems." Then find the middle ground and see what's most likely for you. Honestly, things probably won't change much, but you'll have the ability to use your discomfort as an upfront reason to stop certain topics.

Only come out if it's for your own sake, and if you never come out, I would recommend some boundaries on those topics. It may feel untrue, but even saying, "I'm focusing on [my career] right now and talking about family matters is distracting to me," is a perfectly valid way to cut out the convo that makes you uncomfortable.

If this helps at all and you'd like to keep talking, feel free to let me know! Otherwise good luck!

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Guest Anemoneeee
13 hours ago, geckoco said:

As for trying to prepare yourself to come out - should you ever choose to, not that you have to - 

I totally agree- you don't have to come out, and I'm sorry if I made it seem that way at all!

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Guest Cupcakerose05

Hi! Thank you so much to both of you! It means so much that you took the time to answer so thoroughly. Your advice is really helpful and I’ll try and incorporate it in the future! Thank you so much!

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