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One son gay, is it making it harder for his sister to come out?

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by redandgreenlove, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. redandgreenlove

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    Hi Forum,
    First time posting here. Glad I found you!
    I am a mother of 4 kids. My youngest is 18 and is gay. He came out to us 1 year ago. We had not known he was was gay before he came out to us, but after the initial deep breath, both his father and I were accepting and really it hasn't changed anything at home.
    His older sister who is 21 has recently started going out with a "secret friend". We know she goes out, and that she chooses not to tell us who this is. Maybe she is lesbian. Maybe she is not, and just doesn't want to share right now. But here's my question:
    If she is also gay, might it be harder for her to come out to us since she knows we already have one gay kid? She knows/sees that we accept all sorts and love all sorts - but I want her to know that she doesn't have to hold up the hetero side of the family. On the other hand, I want her to do her own process and decide on her own where her preferences are and who she is.
    My instinct is to just keep showing in general that we are an accepting and loving family and we are good with anything that makes our kid/s happy. But should I be more direct with her? Ask her?
    Just looking for your ideas, as folks who are there/been there/ etc.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Quantumreality

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    Hello redandgreenlove! Welcome to EC!:slight_smile:

    Thanks for being a concerned and loving parent of an LGBTQ child.

    Each of us Comes Out if/when we are comfortable doing so. It is, of course, possible that your daughter is also gay, but it’s her business if/when she decides to Come Out to you. It is never a good idea to try to force someone Out of the closet. Remember, a person’s sexuality is very personal and private information. Forcing someone Out before they are mentally prepared to Come Out can cause them mental anguish and potentially harm your relationship with them if they resent your efforts to force them Out. And, frankly, her sexuality is no one’s business but hers.

    Your overall instincts are very good. Assuming, for the sake of argument that she is gay, let her do this at her do this at her own pace. Continuing to show support and love for your gay son and being an Ally of the LGBTQ community is the best way to try to show her that if/when she Comes Out to you and your husband that she has nothing to fear. It is also possible that she is hesitant to Come Out because you already have one LGBTQ child. Oftentimes, part of the fear of Coming Out to parents is the fact that we will not be living up to our parents expectations of having a ‘normal’ family and future life. She may be concerned that, since you already have one LGBTQ child, having a second LGBTQ child could be a big blow to your overall expectations for your children’s futures.

    I assume that your youngest son is Out to his siblings as well as you and your husband. If that is the case, if your daughter is actually gay, she has probably already Come Out to your youngest son. But it is not his information to share, so please don’t press him on this issue, since he would have to betray his sister’s trust if he told you without her permission.

    Please continue to talk to us here on EC if you have any other specific LGBTQ-related questions, concerns or issues.

    I hope that helps answer your questions.:slight_smile:
     
    #2 Quantumreality, Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  3. gravechild

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    Definitely. Aside from being older, there's the fact that gay women aren't taken as seriously by society than with gay men. She could feel she's "letting down" the family, too.

    Of course, she just might not be ready, or prefer to keep things private. Totally possible for her to be unsure, too. For some of us, its a long and exhausting process. I think you're on the right track. Pressuring someone to come out would be the wrong move!

    Just keep an open mind and keep doing what you've been doing. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Quantumreality

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    Actually, I'd like to expand on one of gravechild's points.

    It is quite possible that she is still unsure of her own sexuality. Part of being comfortable enough to Come Out for most of us entails understanding and accepting our sexuality. Each of us comes to such an understanding and acceptance at our own rate. For example, I didn't understand my own sexuality until age 23 and I didn't fully accept it for myself until age 25. There is no way that I was prepared to Come Out to anyone before I fully accepted my own sexuality.
     
    #4 Quantumreality, Jun 6, 2017
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  5. redandgreenlove

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    Thank you QR and GC!
    You make a really good point regarding letting her figure herself out and not pressuring her. I think that we have been asking too many questions - like her having a "secret friend" has turned into a quiz show. I am going to talk with my husband and we will back off the issue. Whatever is her reason for not sharing the details, it is her reason and we will respect that.
    We follow our son's lead on who he is "out" to. So far, us, his brother/sisters, and some friends of his. We don't share with anyone who he hasn't shared with. With our daughter, sharing personal stuff has always been hard for her. So I guess we thought we'd "make it easier" by asking more questions.
    Now, we will "make it easier" by just continuing to show her that she is loved and she is part of an accepting loving family.
    THANK YOU! Really. Parenting is always a challenge - and sometimes we need some help from those that know!
     
  6. Islanzadi

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    Hi! It is very well possible that she's still questionning and in an experimenting phase. I'm 23 years old and I'm still unsure about my sexual orientation, sometimes it just takes longer to figure it out. It might be the same for her, and if she is gay, she won't come out before she is sure about this.

    Also, like others said, pressing her or even asking her too much questions about her sexuality might actually make her upset or frustrated and less likely to open up to you eventually.
     
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  7. usagibryan

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    I can tell you that when my cousins came out in my family it withered my resolve to do the same.
     
  8. Mollyismyname

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    I hate to break it to you, but definately. I'm gay, and my only brother is gay, too... and it just feels like I'm letting them down.
     
  9. redandgreenlove

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    Thanks Mollyismyname for being honest. As a parent, I want to tell you that I wouldn't be let down by having 2 gay kids. If you were born that way, it just is.
    I guess that is what I need to communicate to my daughter, without actually saying it.
    When my son came out to me, one of my first reactions was "Ok, we'll start saving for your surrogate now" hahah. Yes, we want our kids to be happy and sometimes worry about things that might make your lives any bit more complicated. And yes, most of us would like to be grandparents one day. But regarding the first - that goes for all sorts of things, not just being gay. And regarding the second - there are many ways to have kids these days. And who's to say that all of our straight kids want to have babies, anyway?
    Hope you were able to share your self with your family in the end.
     
    #9 redandgreenlove, Jun 9, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2017
  10. jamescool

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    First of all, you are a very understanding parent and your children are so blessed! <3

    In my opinion, I guess you should just leave her to come out herself. Asking her would be very awkward. Of course you can be more open in your family, give no negative reactions when talking about LGBTQ topics, to let your daughter know that you're okay with it!
     
  11. Aussie792

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    It might be easier to broach the subject not in terms of identity but behaviour. If she's been seeing a woman, you could ask about that in a way that doesn't ask if she's gay, or bi, or anything at all. If the pressure is about having a clean, neat and final coming out, then not having to answer that might make it easier. My coming out was a question about my relationship with my boyfriend, not a question about sexuality.
     
  12. Abigail15

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    I do wonder this. I'm the eldest (20) and came out last year. I have 4 younger siblings and one of them at least is bound to be gay I'm sure. I think as gravechild said, lesbians are definitely taken less seriously than gay men and if she's bisexual probably even less. Just give her space and make her feel as though it doesn't affect your love for her and that's all you can do!
     
  13. Foxfeather

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    To answer your question, it is definitely possible. Having another gay sibling can make it harder OR easier to come out it really depends.
     
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  14. Nils

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    I'm a lesbian and so is my sister. She's not out to family but she IS out to her friends/my friends, her being out to them is making it harder for me to come out. Straight people are of the mind that being gay is incredibly rare. Some, anyway. Her being out already marks her as the gay one, which means that if I were to come out people would likely think one of us was lying for attention. I'd be okay if they thought it was me, but my sister is younger than I so I'd be incredibly pissed if they thought it was her.

    So, yes, one sibling being out can make it harder for the others to come out. For family it's probably even harder.
     
  15. Nocturnal Lord

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    There's a lot of factor's. :nerd: Everyone that has replied gives a lot of good points and suggestions. As a male (the youngest, and the one that is seen as having a family.) There is a lot of pressure on me in my situation because I am the one who is seen as the one who will create a family and pass lineage and provide grandchildren for my mother, and a great grandchildren. That is probably one of the many big reasons why I choose not to express anything remotely relating to my sexuality.

    I'm assuming you're daughter defiantly feels the same. She's maybe thinking "Wow, I don't want to seem as a dissapointment to my family, because I'm not entirely sure how they truely feel about my brother. I'm sure they are depending on me to have children and a "normal" family. But how can I do that when I want to feel like my free-own-self? I don't know what to do. I'll just hide it for now. :disappointed_relieved:"

    No matter how understanding or accepting you may appear to her; she still will resist to tell the truth. Because she geniunly dosen't want her parent's to feel a certain type of way. Best thing to do is be patience. I'm sure, one way or another, the truth will find a way.

    Good luck! I hope everything goes well. I'm glad to see more parent's truely love their kid's. The paren'ts that try to understand and also protect their children. :relieved::thumbsup:
     
    #15 Nocturnal Lord, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  16. redandgreenlove

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    Hi folks, thanks for the latest comments! Update is that all is quiet - no big news and that is fine! Whatever it will be, I feel more comfortable now letting the process happen on its own. And am just being really conscious of making my own quiet statements of acceptance. For her brother's sake, and for all my kids - gay or not.
     
  17. Grace24601

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    My sibling is trans and for a while it made me scared to come out as bi, which I see now is ridiculous, but my thought process was that my parents would think I was looking for attention or like trying to one up my sibling, or that it was some kind of copycat thing. So that could be the case here, or not, you know, just putting it out there :slight_smile:
     
  18. redandgreenlove

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    Grace24601 That's sort of what I was thinking - that she might (?) have thoughts like you had - but like you said - it is what it is! So I hope that she gets that and feels that she can be herself. In the meantime, we over here are taking it as it comes. Being open minded and equality minded and letting her reach her own conclusions. THanks for writing!