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Did people intuitively figure out that you were queer, before you came out???

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by closeted13, May 22, 2018.

  1. closeted13

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    For the first time in forever, this evening my mom briefly brought up a story about a lesbian couple, that she had heard on the radio. The remarkable thing is that she told the story without spewing hatred and homophobia. She just told it like any other story,

    What I worry about now is how this event coincides with my recent developments in homosexuality, which are roughly:
    - coming to terms with myself as of last month
    - deciding as of last week that I am going to move away to a queer-friendly city
    - going on my first date with a woman

    So all these things happened, in total secret from my mom, and yet she seems to have had some sort of breakthrough in her homophobia.

    The thing is, my family - mom, dad, grandma - is EXTREMELY HOMOPHOBIC.
    All my life I've had to listen to homophobic (plus racial and sexist) slurs from them.

    They've basically made it seem that QUEER PEOPLE ARE THE ENEMY.

    UNGODLY, UNCHRISTIAN, UNBIBLICAL, DISGUSTING PEOPLE.

    That's their message. "It's disgusting, it's wrong." "Gay people are unnatural." "Gay people are messed up in the head." "It's the devil's work."


    And hence my continued internalised homophobia and unrelenting slew of self-hatred.

    But this evening, no homophobia detectable in her voice.
    Because of how much I've been struggling with my homosexuality these last few weeks,
    trying my best to not give off any "gay vibes" or any clues,
    I am pretty shocked that my mom seems to have had a change of heart regarding homosexuality.


    I wonder if she found out, somehow?

    I don't have a girlfriend, and I live my life in a very straight way. I haven't mentioned anything about my depression and suicidal thoughts caused by being in the closet.

    I've been hiding it very, very well,
    just as I have been doing for my whole life.

    The only concrete evidence of my orientation is my Internet browser history,
    to which no one has access. (I carry my laptop with me everywhere.)

    Maybe my mom's change of heart is just a coincidence?

    I've heard that parents can be quite intuitive about these things.

    Maybe my mom's wondered what's been bothering me for the past few months,
    and she's magically figured out that I am gay?


    She's certainly noticed that I've been struggling, but I've always chalked it up to something different: issues at university, heterosexual heartbreak, etc.

    I hope she doesn't know, and that it was just a one-off, and maybe all in my head...
    But I'm kind of freaking out, as well. I don't want her to know yet.

    I guess I'm looking to see if anyone has had this type of experience,
    when someone who supposedly has no evidence that you are queer,
    and yet they know? Intuitively?
     
  2. Leah061

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    I'm experiencing something similar. I'm not out at all, I've only recently accepted that I'm very attracted to women and always have been. Yet it seems like everyone around me knows now. Of course, I could just be paranoid, but I've noticed that my parents have had a change in attitude toward gay people in recent years, especially in the last few months since I started accepting myself. I know that when I was growing up, before I knew what it meant to be gay, and that it was something to be ashamed of, I must have had some sort of gayness slip out without realizing. I feel like they've always been suspicious, and are becoming increasingly so. Also my friends have been acting like they know something as well. They're all way more progressive (some of them are gay as well) so I don't feel afraid knowing that they might know about my queerness. And maybe it's just that I'm noticing women more now (because I'm actually letting myself feel that way for them) but I definitely feel like I get checked out by women more often. Like, I've been getting a lot of looks from the gay/bi women I go to school with in recent months. Most of my life I thought I was straight. I would call myself a femme, so I don't "look" like a lesbian. I too really don't think I've done anything to give off a gay vibe, but somehow people are increasingly picking up on it.

    I understand why it's upsetting feeling like people in your life know before you're ready to for them to know. A few months ago my friend gave me a knowing look and asked me if there were any girls I liked. I brushed it off, but I swear I almost threw up I was so freaked out that he knew. I also realized that if he knew, there were probably a lot of other people who knew, and that cost me a lot of sleep at night for a while. However, what I realized was that while all these people in my life seemingly know that I might be gay, they were still in my life. My friends are still my friends. They still invite me to hang out with them and like being around me. My parents are still my parents, and they're still glad to see me when I come home from school during breaks. I can tell that they still love me. It seems like that's true for you as well. Unfortunately for some people, it takes having a child, or knowing someone personally in the LGBT community to get over their pre-conceived notions of what gay people are like. I'm sorry you're in a rough patch right now, but it sounds like your mom is coming around!
     
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  3. Rdougall1

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    I experienced something similar as well although I didn’t realize what I did until afterwards. I was extremely closeted in high school but I knew on some level I was attracted to men. My best friend (who was questioning their sexuality at the time) came out to my Dad without me knowing. That was how he suspected I was gay or bi.

    Are you independent or are you living on your own? I know it may be risky but if they truly love you, they will accept you for who you are.
     
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  4. Biguy45

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    In my case, I highly doubt it. I present as very heterosexual. I don’t think anyone could tell.
     
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  5. normalwolverine

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    I want to gently suggest that you're probably overreacting to your mother's telling that story without being homophobic in the process. In saying that, I mean that just because she finally did something like that doesn't mean she has had a change of heart and mind about gay people.

    My mother is homophobic, though she will swear up and down that she's not and will talk about how she had this gay co-worker that she liked, this lesbian co-worker she was "friends" with...but she is homophobic. And sometimes she can talk about gays and lesbians as if it's no big deal and other times there are slurs being used. People go back and forth on the level of acceptance they demonstrate, usually. Only the most extreme people don't (and yes, I'm including allies and "progressive" people--they go back and forth on this stuff). And even with some of the extreme homophobes, the way they talk about LGBT people is changing and will continue to change because of how being LGBT is becoming more normalized by society and the media. That doesn't equate to liking LGBT people or thinking it's okay to be LGBT, or being okay with their child being LGBT.

    The intuition thing...

    I think all gays and lesbians give off signs of their sexual orientation, whether they're aware of it or not. I'm not out to everyone, most people assume I'm straight, I'm more feminine-looking than masculine and, yet, I know I give off signs. Most people won't notice those signs in most gays and lesbians, unless they're looking for them. I don't really think it's about intuition. I used to think my parents knew and just weren't saying anything, and I definitely have seen signs over the years of my mother lightening up on people's sexual orientation (not necessarily signs of that in my father). This started around the time that I started really thinking about, exploring and accepting being a lesbian more. And then some years later, my mother said something--can't remember what--that let me know that she seriously doesn't know I'm a lesbian. And on a regular basis, she says things that let me know that, even if she's suspicious a little bit, she's not all that suspicious.

    I do know that if I came out to her, it wouldn't be as bad as it would have been if I had come out to her 10 or 15 years ago. Like I said, that's mainly about the changes in society and in the media, and not about me or "intuition" or signs. Well, that and because I have an older sister who is a complete hot mess. I would basically have to murder someone or become a drug addict to really get my parents riled up now.
     
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  6. Lexa

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    May I ask you why you think London is not an LGBT-friendly city? I'm just curious (I've never been there) because I have the impression it is. In cities you often have gayfriendly areas and not so gayfriendly areas (to use a euphemism). Are you aware of that?

    And yes, I definitely think other people can know, even before you do, but most of the time it's other LGBT people who figure it out because we're looking for signs and we know better how to look. Most of the time straight people just think everyone else is straight until they're told otherwise.
     
  7. closeted13

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    London is definitely LGBTQIA friendly! I lived there when I created my account but not anymore. Now I live a much smaller city... the downtown area is definitely friendly here, so I’m looking into moving to that area.
     
  8. quebec

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    closeted13.....Hello and welcome to empty closets! No one that I know of has ever had a clue that I am gay. Every time that I have come out to someone I've gotten the "Are you serious?" or "Are you kidding me?" type of response. Even my "first" when I went through about 20 minutes of struggle trying to say the words, when I finally got them out, sat back in the chair with a startled expression and said "I thought you were going to tell me you had cancer or something like that....you're really gay?" I hid the truth from the world and even from myself for a very long time...which is sad. I'm so glad that it's getting better little by little!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  9. OGS

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    I don't think people did with me but that was just because it wasn't a really viable thing back when I came out. Nobody that I initially came out to had ever actually met an out gay person before and still at the final moment my Mother figured it out when I couldn't tell her. The fact is gaydar is a real thing and so is a mother's intuition and nobody hides it as well as they think they do. Other gay people know and your mother knows, in pretty much all instances.
     
    #9 OGS, Jun 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  10. closeted13

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    Hope it's getting better for you as well! Stay strong and be proud x
     
  11. closeted13

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    That's really interesting. Yeah seems like mothers have a sixth sense about things!
     
  12. PatrickUK

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    In the circumstances you described I might have been inclined to remark on the more relaxed tone in her voice. If her previous response was to spew invective about LGBT people, it would be good to understand how/why she seemed so calm and rational this time. Was it because the story on the radio portrayed lesbian couples in a very normal and civilised way, or was there something else about it that perhaps changed her mind? Would be good to know why the about face.

    Of course, it is possible that your mom put 2+2 together (mothers do sometimes), but it sounds like you have been very careful around your family. Maybe it was the radio story that changed something. Always worth asking about these things.
     
  13. BothWaysSecret

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    Only one person that I told said they knew long before I ever told them (we've known each other since grade school) she also came out to me and honestly, I didn't know. The rest of the people I told had no idea. And everyone I'm out to is LGBT.
     
  14. tystnad

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    i’m not so big on the idea of mother’s having some sort of sixth sense. my mother is 100% sure i will one day find a boyfriend, that me saying “i never want a boyfriend” (which i’ve said since i was in primary school!) are merely just a very long lasting phase that i’ll one day get over. i’m not out to her but i have always been very clear about that but, and don’t necessarily hide my sexuality (my mum and i just don’t talk about very personal stuff so coming out to her by saying i’m gay feels a bit weird to me). and it’s not that she thinks her children can’t be gay: my youngest brother (16) has never had a girlfriend and my mother and her husband think he is gay and keep speculating about it! (there’s literally no other indicator he is gay though, whereas i would say i do everything i can to make sure i don’t look straight, from the way i dress to the things i discuss to even wearing pride flag pins on my jacket!)

    It is possible that she suspects it, maybe there are things about you that you don’t even notice that may make other people go “wait, maybe they’re not straight?”. sometimes that can be little things we do unintentionally, just be in our behaviour, preferences, etc. sometimes people also assume it for silly reasons (“never had a boyfriend? guess you’re a lesbian!”) but it’s also quite possible that maybe she heard a story about homosexuality and it made her rethink the situation or realise that maybe her previous behaviour wasn’t ok. it might also be that she changed over time but you didn’t notice it because there was nothing concrete to show you this.
     
  15. kscurious

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    Don't let anyone here tell you to come out. YOU have to deal with the fallout. Protect yourself first.
     
  16. merry

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    hmmm... this is an interesting topic!
    i never thought anyone could tell that i am bisexual, but looking back i have been approached or hit on by many women.

    how was i so closeted that they knew before i even did? how could they tell? why didn’t i do anything about it when i had the chance, instead i was too shy? or too afraid to see it?

    my experience with women is very limited and i am now in a committed relationship with a man, wondering what it could have been like to feel the caress of a woman.

    now, as a mother i can say she may have been dropping a subtle hint that she accepts you, just as you are!

    as the daughter of a mother who has said “that just isn’t right” about a gay cousin i am not planning to open up to her anytime soon.

    tough spot! wishing you well!
     
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  17. JaimeGaye

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    As for me people seem to just know and I don't go around wearing a unicorn hat and rainbow T-shirt while tossing glitter sparkles from my basket of love.

    My parents knew I was "Different" from a very young age but we never began to really speak openly about my sexuality until I was into my mid teens or so.
    Prior to that my folks would drop positive affirming remarks and stories about gay people just to set the tone that at least they understood my being gay wasn't a bad thing, just a "Different" thing.

    I think for rational parents finding out a child is gay is similar to being told their kid has cancer.
    It's shocking, disappointing, it changes everything they had hoped for the child but regardless they accept they will continue to love and support their child right up to the end.

    As for the other end of the spectrum, haters gonna hate and you can't change that.
     
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