1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do extended family need to know?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Joe2001, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Joe2001

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Not really looking for advice per-se, but more opening up a discussion on whether or not one should come out to their extended family. To be honest, it's pretty much inevitable that your parents would find out eventually unless you really try to hide it (I'm not out to parents and have mixed feelings about it but they'll have to know at some point). However, do you think that extended family need to know? By that, I mean aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents if they are still around.

    I do have a few relatives on my dad's side of the family that I am reasonably close to and they aren't religious nor do they strike me as homophobic. Probably wouldn't have an issue telling them.

    On the other hand, not at all close to much of my mum's family, definitely became more distanced from some of them as I've gotten older. A couple of aunts and uncles who I get on OK with but their kids (my cousins) are exceptionally annoying and seem to view me as a figure of ridicule, no doubt being gay would be another thing for them to laugh at and I have no idea on that side of the family's stance on LGBT people anyway.

    As for grandparents, no hope there, their religion is basically their life and given their ages, not worth potentially upsetting them...

    So, do you think that it is a good idea to tell extended family and do you feel that they need to know? I just don't really see the need to be honest, and I certainly don't want to be questioned by several people that I rarely see over something that isn't a big deal. I fear that they would make a big deal out of it.
     
    #1 Joe2001, Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  2. Aussie792

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Australia
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    If you're not close enough to them to feel you need to, then you've answered your question. There's really no obligation to do so.

    It's likely that the first they'll hear of it if you don't tell them is if they hear, as people ordinarily do with passing interest, the family news that you have a partner, and that partner is male. And if they ask you about that, then it will be a big deal. It just won't be about your sexuality - they can ask you about, or meet, an actual person. I think that can be much healthier than actively coming out.
     
    Dreamsexul likes this.
  3. Mirko

    Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    17,422
    Likes Received:
    2,011
    Location:
    Northern Hemisphere
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Agreed with @Aussie792 that if you feel there isn't a need to come out to all of the extended family, it might be best not to mention anything at this point then.

    If I would be unsure as to how it is going to play out, or already know that coming out wouldn't go over well with others in extended family, I would wait, or perhaps not even say anything. If it does come out, so be it and I'd deal with whatever the reaction is; if the result is a negative reaction, or less then welcoming, I'd seek 'comfort' in knowing though that it is something for them to work on, and gain an understanding of.
     
    Dreamsexul likes this.
  4. Devil Dave

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    After I came out to my immediate family, I only came out directly to one cousin who I was close to. She was like a second sister to me, and I knew she'd be happy for me. So I invited her around and broke the news to her and she smiled and we hugged.

    Other cousins, aunts and uncles found out from her or my parents. Nobody seemed particularly bothered. We have a big family and there are a few religious nuts in it, but they're kind of hypocritcal any way because they're adulterers, so if they ever did kick off about me being gay, my other family members would have had my back, but nobody ever kicked off, so that was that.

    It's only really worth coming out to family members you give a shit about.
     
  5. Joe2001

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Thanks to all for your input, seems as if we're on the same page regarding this. The last thing that I would want to do is announce it at a family gathering (or come out face to face with anyone to be honest). Got a few extended relatives who I'm fine with but others who I don't really want much to do with and fail to see why they would need to know, especially the aunts/uncles/cousins who I rarely see and my local cousins who seem to fish for reasons to dislike/laugh at me. Grandparents are 76 & 83, don't think it is really worth it.

    I do feel like my time is coming for me to leave the closet, definitely ready to be out and proud and just be my authentic self. If only it wasn't so darn scary!
     
  6. Mirko

    Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    17,422
    Likes Received:
    2,011
    Location:
    Northern Hemisphere
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hi, I have learned from coming out that if I made it seem more scary, or went into it that being myself, and needing to let others know is scary, it became more difficult to come out, and the scary became scarier. It is definitely hard to come out at times and it seems to be an insurmountable mountain to climb.

    Sometimes though, reminding yourself that it already took courage to come this far, to start feeling ready to be out and be yourself, can help in lessening the scariness of it all. Others to whom you plan on coming out (people you trust, know will be supportive, and indeed others) will take cues from you. If you walk into it as being perfectly okay to do this, and show that 'this is where you want to be' (i.e. your authentic self), chances are things are going to turn out better than you thought they would.
     
    Joe2001 likes this.
  7. Joe2001

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Thanks for your advice. I'll try to act confident if I come out.

    I suppose the question is - who do I come out to? I haven't really got any close friends and I can't help but feel that just announcing to random acquaintances/classmates that I'm gay would be obnoxious/attention-seeking. How do I go about this?
     
  8. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    256
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    All but family
    My sister-in-law made a good point. None of our cousins felt compelled to make a big announcement that they were heterosexual. What they did was bring their boyfriends/girlfriends around and later announced engagements. Why should we have to do it any different for extended family we’re not close to?

    The people you should come out to are people you think might be helpful. People who might have advice or information or who can provide support. No more, no less. You come out for you. In my case, I came out to friends who I wanted to be able to talk to about it, friends who had experience with the lgbt community, and other queer people I thought might have advice. Only you know if there’s anyone who would make it easier for you to have them know.
     
    #8 Unsure77, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  9. Mirko

    Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    17,422
    Likes Received:
    2,011
    Location:
    Northern Hemisphere
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    As Unsure77 mentioned, try coming out to people who you know would be supportive, accepting. If you think about the people who you know, that you can trust, who would come to mind?

    Sometimes, it helps to come out to a family member first too - depending on whether you feel comfortable with it at this stage.

    Thinking back on an earlier thread you had on joining a LGBTQ+ support group, this would be a good way of coming out, as you would be introducing, talking about yourself in a safe space and it could help to get the ball rolling. Another way to do this would be to 'correct' people on an assumption when they ask you whether you have a girlfriend, or a partner. This would be a moment where you could say, that you would be looking for a boyfriend, or that you will find the right guy at some point (or something along these lines, and if you don't have a boyfriend yet). Basically, you are revealing your sexual orientation without feeling that you need to make an announcement, it just becomes a part of the conversation.

    Making it part of a conversation (when the moment presents itself) could make it easier and could also help boost your confidence as you are not placing it in the spotlight as it were.