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How Can I See My Boyfriend More Since My Parents Don't Understand My Being Gay?

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Question: How Can I See My Boyfriend More Since My Parents Don't Understand My Being Gay?
A teen who was caught sneaking out to see his boyfriend, is now banned from doing so by his parents with the excuse that they can no longer trust him.
Answer:

A teen writes:

"About 3 weeks ago I came out to my parents and told them about my boyfriend whom I have gone on dates with behind their backs. They keep saying that since I lied and "betrayed" their trust that I can't see him until they "understand" the whole "gay thing." Anyway, while talking to my mom about why she's angry, she admitted to me "I have a problem with you dating the same-sex." So basically my parents have a problem with this on a personal level, and now we're all seeing a counselor over this. They won't let me see my boyfriend (who I really, really, really love) and now that it's summer all I wanna do is see him. Does anyone know how I can convince them or just figure out a way to see him more?"

This sounds really complicated. On the one hand it sounds like you were breaking your parents rules by sneaking out. On the there hand, when a teen has not yet come out, or knows that a parent would react badly if he did, sneaking out is a little different than it would be under other circumstances.

Though you might not like what your mom has said about you being gay, it seems like she is actually trying to make an effort. It is common for parents to go through a lot of different emotions when a child comes out. Many feel shock, disbelief, denial, anger, hurt, and confusion. But even if your parents express these emotions, it is very likely that eventually they will come to a place of acceptance over time.

Remember, you have known that you were gay for a while now and for them, this is brand new information. The fact is, we live in a homophobic world and getting past a lot of negative messages about what it means to be gay can take time, especially if someone has no connection to the gay community or doesn't know anyone gay.

The fact that they are starting family counseling could be positive, but it could also be tough, especially if they choose someone who is not supportive of gay rights. Having a GLBT-friendly therapist is crucial if you are going to have a good experience. You can find out more about how to find someone who fits that bill here.

But while your family is dealing with this, you still want to see your boyfriend! Here are some ideas that you can try:

  • Have an Honest Conversation. In a respectful manner, calmly explain how you feel to your parents. Ask them why they are preventing you from seeing your boyfriend. Educate yourself on GLBT issues so that if they have misconceptions and believe myths about what it means to be gay, then you can clear them up.
  • Find an Advocate. Often times parents will respond better to someone who is not their own child. Get an adult whom your parents trust and respect to speak to them on your behalf. Is there a relative, friends, community or religious leader, or teacher who supports you and who you think they would listen to? If so, you can ask this person to talk to your folks for you.
  • Arrange Introductions. Ask your parents if your boyfriend can spend some time with your family so that they see that he / she isn't the worst person in the world. Often parents assume the worst. For example, they might think that your partner will turn up in a crazy outfit, or will try to make out with you in front of them, or even that he is a predator trying to "convert" you. One way to help them get over these assumptions is to actually let them get to know the person you are dating.

    Hopefully, with time they will get comfortable with "the gay thing" and you won't be in a place where you feel you have to sneak around to be with your guy!

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