This is for parents who have children that have just come out!!

Coming Out Lesbian

Firstly let me just explain, I have a beautiful daughter who is a Lesbian, so do I understand some of what other parents or grandparents or relatives or friends go through in these situations when the children first come out? YES!! I understand the good, the bad and the ugly side to when your child first comes out.

 

I would like to say to the children that telling your parents in a text message is not a good idea as you are really not helping them understand or helping yourself. My daughter actually did this and I can honestly say I found this harder than her actually telling me to my face as I really thought we had a better relationship than that. So did I respond well to the text? NO I didn’t as I was so upset about the fact she sent it via a text that I was responding to that more than her telling  me she was a lesbian.

 

The Truth is we all react differently in these kind of situations but most of all I would rather my child be 100% happy with who they are and what they want out of life than them to suffer in silence or feel bad about who they are they should never feel there alone. As their parents we protect them all the way through their lives so why not do that now when they need us the most. You need to LISTEN to them and try to understand this is who they are. Nothing has changed, it’s a part of that beautiful child you loved before those words were spoken. Don’t risk losing them forever!!

 

I remember my reaction was just awful at first but when I drove to pick my daughter up from school and she got in the car, we both sat there crying for a bit then we went for a drive to chat about things as I had a lot of questions because I didn’t understand, I actually thought I had done something wrong. Had I raised her to despise men because I separated from her father when she was 6 years old? Had I been too hard on her? What was silly is I kept thinking I’d done something wrong in the way I raised her. See, this is one of the first thoughts a lot of parents have (the Don’ts List again). It’s actually not about Us!!!!

 

Listening to them and talking to them is the best way to understand. Hug them, let them know you are still their number 1 supporter. You would in any other situation so why not now. I’m the first to admit I struggled at times meeting the first girlfriend she had and then introducing her as my daughter’s girlfriend to family or friends.

My daughter would actually just look at me and say ‘It’s alright mum just say friend when introducing her’. But I didn’t want her to feel like I was struggling, she always did though. Now I don’t even have a second thought about it as she is a grown woman now and has worked hard to buy her home with her girlfriend.

 

There are times things became very difficult for my daughter as her biological father would never acknowledge she was a lesbian and would just ask on every holiday she had with him if she had a boyfriend yet. This was his way of believing if he didn’t talk about it then it wasn’t true. It took him about 8 years before he now acknowledges his daughter and her girlfriend and now he visits her and her girlfriend on a regular basis and has rebuilt his relationship with his daughter.

Then her stepfather was and still is the worst for not accepting her for who she is. They were once very close as he had raised her from the age of 7 and now they barely speak 2 words to each other. This was very difficult for the entire house as his beliefs were so one sided and after years of disagreeing with him and protection mode kicked in. It became, at times, very distressing for both the kids as I would protect my daughter from cruel comments and also try to explain to our son that this is not the way to behave or respond. But as his father was very verbal about this topic it made it hard for our son to understand what all the arguments where about as my son and daughter are 7 years apart in age but are very close siblings. This almost destroyed our family, but I was never going to let that happen. Today things are better, only my daughter will never feel the same about her stepfather again. So please guys remember stop and think about your responses and if you truly want to keep your child in your life (this sort of behaviour belongs on the don’ts List).

 

When you had concerns that some people out there will treat your child differently this is also true it does happen unfortunately. Quick little story on this. My daughter and I and her girlfriend and my entire family were out one night having fun, we had all just jumped on to the dance floor having a marvelous time, until in the corner of my eye I spotted a young drunk guy having words with my daughter’s girlfriend. Well it went a little crazy from there, this particular guy had said some pretty horrible things, so my daughter jumped in to stop him saying any more and the guy decided that if she was going to have a go he would respond by attempting to hit my daughter. Bad idea. I have then stepped in and I wasn’t going to take his pig headed nasty attitude with the girls or myself.  Well he decided trying to hit me was a good idea, which it was NOT, when I have an entire family with me. This had made me furious as I could not understand why this guy thought he had a right to criticize or even judge anyone but what it did show me is that this is just part of what my daughter and her friends had to put up with broke my heart to think people can be so nasty to my child!

This is where I say we as parents should always be there and support our children no matter what the situation is and remember people will judge and discriminate regardless so if we are there strength and support then they always have someone that will guide and give them the power to stay strong and be happy and most of all love them unconditionally. My children are my world and I know I could never turn my back on them.

I always try to remember the times I needed to talk or just needed my parents and yes I needed my own mum to talk to about all of this and because I was fortunate enough to have an absolutely amazing mum she helped me process things with her unconditional love and our entire family support my daughter in every way possible so don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand in that moment. Just Listen, hug, love, unconditionally.

I hope this helps any parents out there so you never have to face losing your children to lack of understanding. And I hope any young adult children struggling to tell their parents that this might help you as well.

 

From a loving parents point of view..   Lynn is a consultant at the Oh Zone Adult Stores and is more than happy to speak with other parents who may be experiencing the same issues.

Dr. Stacy, My Husband Won’t Speak About Our Intimacy Issues!

Sexless marriage

This month Adultsmart’s clinical sexologist and certified sex coach Dr. Stacy Friedman has answered three questions which were anonymously sent in to askasexologist@gmail.com. Be sure to read them, who knows she may have answered one of yours!

Question

My relationship with my husband has gone cold.  There is little intimacy and our bedroom is all but dead.  Our kids are now older and our discussions regularly turn into arguments.  I have seen a counselor but when I suggested he see one or we see one together he says we don’t need too.  How do I get him to see that things are not that good and we need help?

Dr. Stacy Friedmans Answer

I am sorry to hear things are not so good on the home front and it’s unfortunate that you don’t seem to have a partner that understands the urgency of the situation.  I try to tell people that if you have a partner asking for help or to get help, it is usually a dire situation that can go downhill fast if not taken care of. If your partner isn’t willing to do anything for the marriage and you have expressed concern and desire to seek help, there isn’t much you can do other than work on personal growth and start weighing your options of what you want for your future, to stay and do nothing or go.  I would ask him why he doesn’t feel that you need to see a counselor, what scares him about going, what does he think is going to happen if  you go as well as what could be the worst and best scenario if he did decide to go.  If he still says he doesn’t want to go then try to have a conversation with him and ask him if he is happy with the way the relationship is and if he says no, see what his suggestions are to work on things.  Maybe if he sees you are open to listening to him, he will make some suggestions that could be helpful.

What about getting away together for a weekend where it is just the two of you and you have an opportunity to connect and talk?  Are you having any intimacy or sex?  If not, ask him if he wants to improve that, see if he thinks that could be better.  If so, you need to try to work on things together to make it happen.  There are many people that don’t believe in therapy or counseling and for some people it doesn’t work because many times they have waited too long and there is no turning back. Sometimes it makes a huge impact and saves a marriage but also, people may be afraid that by going to therapy they may eventually have to make a decision on their future and it is scary so people would rather just ignore and not go.  Find out what his fears are and then find out what his future goals are and if he wants you to be a part of it, he needs to tend to your fears and goals to make the marriage work.

Question

I come from a large immediate and extended family but to my knowledge not one of them is LGBTQIA+ nor do any of them hang out or have friends that are gay or queer.  I am 21 and know in myself that I am homosexual but have not come out.  It is like a big, dirty secret that hangs over my head as I feel that my family will not accept me if I do come out.  A couple of times I have gone out by myself to some gay bar I know about but as soon as anyone approached me I felt revulsion about the whole gay thing and rushed home. It is overwhelming and sometimes I feel incredibly sad and frustrated. What should I do?

Coming out as gay
Image: Coming out

Dr. Stacy Friedman’s Answer

It is a completely normal to feel confusion, frustration and potential revulsion because it is something that is still taboo in society and can make you question who you are and what you believe.  Since you aren’t accepting of yourself, you see the disgust that others may see in your own eyes but that isn’t reality.  Loving someone for who they are is a beautiful thing once accepting that within yourself. In order to be comfortable coming out to others, you need to first be comfortable in yourself and the understanding that you are perfect the way you are and that there is nothing wrong with being gay.  You are attracted to whom you are attracted to and that is nothing that you can change.

What makes you think they wouldn’t be accepting of you?  Do they not believe in the LGBTQIA+ population? Have they said things offensive? Are you close to at least one of your parents that you can have a talk with? What about another trusted adult or maybe a therapist near you that can help? I do Skype calls for people that aren’t local and I would be happy to help you get the confidence you need to be who you are, as that is one of my specialties so let me know if you want to make an appointment.  In the meantime, surround yourself with others that are gay, support groups, maybe a local place that has resources.  That way you aren’t in an environment where it may be more “sexual” such as a club so you can get to the point of acceptance and self-love and then be able to move forward.  You need to have support and you shouldn’t have to lie to get it so maybe slowly breach the subject to your family by bringing up someone else in the media to gage what they think about the LGBTQIA+ population and go from there.  I am here of you wanted to make an appointment for extra support.  You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

Coming Out Of The Closet As A Gay Teen

LGBTQIA+ Flag

Coming out! It is a scary time for every person of the LGBTQIA+ community and every one of us has to go through it, and we usually don’t come out once but multiple times. We come out to our friends, parents, family, peers and colleagues. As we get older it becomes easier, and generally not even needed. Now I feel that I don’t have to come out to people and that if they have a problem, it’s theirs and not mine.

But it wasn’t always like that. And I, just like everyone had a tough time coming to terms with my sexuality. It was when I was about 14 when I started to notice guys. I was in denial for so long. I was okay with gay people. I always knew that my uncles were gay and I was completely fine. It was just something I wasn’t. Or so I thought at the time. When I was 15 and in year 10, there was a boy in the year above me. A senior who I would always stare at and admire how beautiful he was. But no! I wasn’t gay! That just wasn’t me. I remember thinking how being gay was for other people, but not me. But after months of being in denial, one day I completed my usually routine and finished art class, I walked from H block and stared at the guy, but I finally admitted to myself. “Brett! Admit it! You’re gay! You’re a big fat flamer and you like penis!” I felt as though a massive weight had been lifted!

How I Came Out Of The Closet

Now that I had admitted it to myself, I needed to talk about it. Back when I was in high school, there weren’t a whole lot of options as to where you could meet other gay teenagers. But one place that was popular to chat was on the website of a local radio station, so I hopped on there and started chatting. It was an open chat so I was anonymous. “Any gay guys?” I typed and waited. Someone responded and we went to a private chat. He seemed nice and we had things that we had in common, so we decided to exchange numbers. He said he would call me, so I disconnected from the computer and ran to my room to await his call. I was so scared, nervous and excited. I had butterflies and it felt like it had been hours, but in fact it was only a few moments. He rang and we talked into the early hours of the morning. We talked over the phone for about 2 weeks until he suggested we meet. I agreed but was so scared. We arranged to meet in a public space. (I wasn’t stupid. This was the early days of the internet, but I still knew not to meet a total stranger somewhere private) We met and wow! I had never done anything like that before. It was one of the most exciting but scary things I had ever done. I was so nervous that I took a backpack with every CD I owned. It weighed a tonne! But, after that initial meet, we had gotten to know each other more and we became good friends.

The next person I came out to was an actual family member. I went to lunch with her and I said I wanted to buy some designer clothing and black nail polish (I was going through a wannabe Goth stage. How tragic). She asked why and said people might think I was gay. I said maybe I was. My gosh, I just did it. It felt like an eternity for her to answer, and she replied with love and kindness.

Rainbow sexuality label
Image: I Am Gay!

I slowly came out to friends after that and was met with support and kindness. But the big one was my parents! I remember it so clearly. I was in my room one morning and my mum came in to just have a chat. We ended up on the subject of my internet friend, (as far as she knew, he was a friend of a friend) and she said she thought he might have a crush on my uncle. I said probably, and then she asked if I had a crush on my friend. I said I did and she started to cry. Not exactly the reaction I had hoped for. She said she was just hoping I would marry a nice girl who would give her grandchildren and they could go shopping and my brother would marry some skank that just wanted sex and money. Her words, not mine. After the initial shock things were fine I thought, and it took her many years to come to terms with it. I’m honestly not sure if she is 100%. As for my father, well we’ve never had the talk, and never will. It’s just an unspoken thing that has just been accepted. He and my mother have had discussions about it, she’s told me. He loves me and just wants me to be happy, and that’s all that matters. We don’t need to have a big coming out moment. I was met by full support from my brother. That felt good.

I have been very lucky with my coming out story. I have had very little negativity, and what little I have, have been from unimportant people. I’ve had friends who have had horrendous coming outs. They’ve been bashed, kicked out of home and abandoned by their family. So I am definitely very lucky that I have had such an easy coming out. But, it is still mine and I have had my own difficulties, the main one being the response from my mother. In every other way we are close, it hurts but we are getting better.

Coming out is hard for every single person and not an easy thing to do but we just have to support each other. If we don’t get that from our families, we make our own, whether it be from blood, or friends. But either way, we need to surround ourselves with love, support and positivity. It does get better!

Author: Brett is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Finding Who I Really Am: My Coming Out Story

Lesbian representation in anime

Being Greek Orthodox and having 2 parents with the same background I was put into a Greek Orthodox school in the Eastern Suburbs at the age of 4. I remember my first school play in kindergarten, I was a sunflower and all the flowers were paired with an angel. My angel was Angelique, I remember the way I would look at her every time she would walk onto the stage and come stand right next to me, she was flawless, I was in awe and I wanted to be her! Now, my 4-year-old mind didn’t know how that would help me understand myself later down the road of life. At the end of that year, she changed schools and I remember crying about it for a very long time and I wasn’t even one of her close friends.

Halfway through that year, I found my first boy that made my heart feel all the things and that continued all throughout primary school. We both had crushes on each other and it was wonderful, we never did the primary school boyfriend/girlfriend thing like everyone else but he was one of my closest friends, a boy I could feel completely comfortable being around, the one boy who never disrespected me as a person. When I got to about the age of 7 I was the tomboy, the girl who wanted to play all the different sports the boys would play at lunchtime, owned all the Pokemon cards, collected all the cards in chip packets, had every version of Gameboy, Nintendo and PlayStation that would come out but little did I know that boys bully girls that want to be like them. I would get pushed around and get called mean names. I remember the teachers telling me to grow up and getting told:

“Boys tease girls that they like.”

This definitely was not the case for me.

Parks And Recreation Quote
Image: Parks And Recreation Quote

I don’t know why, but I thought it was a good idea for me to continue onto the high school, I remember going and looking at some of the all-girls schools in the area but the size of the schools intimidated me as my school was quite small, it was about 50 people per year whereas those schools were over 100 per year so I decided to stay.

Year 9, 14 year old me. This was the year I finally started doing things with my friends outside of school, we’d go to the local Westfield on a Thursday night. All the kids from different schools would go and meet up and just be teenagers. I started to make friends with some of the girls from one of the all-girls schools in the area. My friends were allowed to make friends with boys but as soon as they noticed me getting closer to the girls the bullying started again.

The group of friends I made were away for camp, I was sitting at home playing a computer game and that was the moment I realized I missed one of the girls a little bit more than what a best friend would. Everything started to make sense now, I never wanted to be the girls I admired and I wanted them. Angelique was my first crush and I didn’t even realize it. Anthony came out as gay and that made so much sense. I called my best friend from school and told her that I had a crush on this girl and she hung up on me real quick. She kept my secret like any best friend would. About a week later I couldn’t keep my own secret anymore though and I asked my new friends for advice and they were all really open-minded about it and told me I should just tell her how I felt, so I did. She didn’t feel the same way back and that was ok because at least I had the guts to tell her how I felt, that was enough for me.

I had our girls’ team soccer presentation on that following weekend and I told my best friend that I had told her and her friends about my feelings, she got super mad at me and told me I should just tell our group since my new friends knew. I told them and they were all pretty cool about it, they asked me if I was a lesbian or bisexual? I had no idea what they were talking about because I was never taught these words before. I had no idea that I was “coming out.”

The soccer presentation was on a Sunday night, I remember going home and feeling like all this weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was so happy that everyone had taken it so well. Little did I know.

I went to school on Monday and if you have ever walked into a room and felt like everyone was staring at you you’ll understand. I walked into the school and had every student staring at me, my friends backed away as I went up to talk to them, I had my friends chase me around doing the sign of the cross and telling me I was a sinner, no one wanted me near them. I was alone.

I got bullied really bad for a few months, I had photos from my social media edited and sent to schools I hadn’t even heard of, I was smacked across the face by a friend and then threatened to not tell otherwise she would make my life a living hell, the boys started to get super rough with me during sports periods (I ended up with a black eye), I would get yelled at by students I didn’t even know on the bus and at school during lunch and recess, I was called names, I had a cup of boiling water thrown on my face, I got forced into telling my parents “otherwise we’ll tell our parents first and they’ll tell yours” and my friends put me into the school counseling office. I had one friend who I am still thankful for to this day, she would come into the counseling sessions with me and do the talking for me because I would just sit there and cry, she would listen to me every night on the phone crying and give me advice on how to deal with the mean kids at our school.

I sat my mum down one night and told her, I cried for a while and then said:

“Mum, I like boys and girls.”

My mum then told my dad that night. It took a while for them to come to terms with it. There are different reasons to what affects the acceptance of sexuality but eventually, they did.

My mum noticed how badly I was being affected and my year adviser called her in for a meeting. I remember her telling my mum that I had to repeat so I may as well change schools otherwise next year I’d get bullied for repeating and for being gay.

By the end of that term, I was out of there, my whole grade was shocked that I was leaving but it was the best decision I’ve ever made and I am so grateful that my mum allowed me to make that decision. I moved to the all-girls school that all my new friends were going to and it was so much more accepting than the school I left behind. The girls were all super open-minded, the principle wasn’t but the students always stood up to that and that made me proud to say that I went there.

Years later down the track, I went to a party for one of the girls birthdays from my old school and everyone sat me down and apologised for the way that they had treated me in high school. My best friend cried and just held me. Unfortunately, because I wasn’t brought up with any knowledge about the LGBTQIA community I didn’t know how “different” it was and how people reacted to it. There are challenges when you come out. I came out at such a young age and 10 years ago young people weren’t as aware as they are now about equality. I’ve spoken to a lot of people between now and then that have been and still attend that school and a lot of them are a lot more open-minded now and much more accepting.

I don’t regret any of it or hold any grudges, it’s made me who I am today and I am proud of the person I became. I am open-minded to everything and I don’t judge, everyone is different and that is definitely OK. The world and society have grown since then, young children and teenagers are so much more aware now and that’s all that I had wished for.

I left school, started dressing the way that made me feel most comfortable which is in male clothing, I cut my hair short and figured out that it’s only girls that I’m attracted to.

Meme From Giphy
Buy Now | Sexy Designer Underwear Store

There is no longer any days where I feel alone.

Author: Elliana is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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A Real Coming Out Story

Drag Queen Love

I had known I was gay since I was only 11 years old. When you are just 11 years old, you are just a child and you are vulnerable to other people’s opinions. My family had a lot of negative opinions about being gay. I was raised in an over protective, christian and overly religious home environment. My family had told me being gay was a sin, it wasn’t okay to be gay. Even though I heard a lot of bad thing’s when I was growing up, I always knew how I truly felt on the inside. I always felt that the only thing that was going to make me truly happy is to be who I am and to act how I felt. I wasn’t going to listen to other peoples opinions, judgements or expectations. How they felt about being gay were reflections of who they were. What they said were not reflections of my spirit or who I was as a person. I wasn’t going to choose to listen to them, I was going to do what makes me happy. Being gay is apart of my identity whether they liked it or not. I was tired of being constantly scared that one of my family members would find out that I was gay.

I decided to come out to my family. When I came out to my family, life became a living hell for me. The worst thing I could think of happened and my parents kicked me out of my home. I was excommunicated and my family abandoned me. My brothers and sister’s were not allowed to talk to me, I had nobody. Recently, I made a big decision. I decided to change my lifestyle, try to be the best version of myself and follow my dreams. One of my dreams is to study fashion online. My parents are against men studying fashion because they believe it a women’s line of work. As I said before, I’m going to study fashion regardless of someone’s opinion.

 

Drag Queen Model
Drag Queen: With & Without Makeup

 

My second dream, is to become a drag queen. I want to dress up and put on a full face of drag queen make up. When I become a drag queen, I will truly become a part of myself, I can express myself as much as I want. Due to how I have been raised, I am scared of how other people would think of me if I dress up in drag publicly. I am scared of the judgment not just from other people but also from other drag queens themselves. To be judged by other drag queens is probably a bit of a stretch because we are all expressing ourselves in the same way. I personally believe that I can become an amazing drag queen as I know my own personal strength. These days, I always do my own make up and put my wig on in the bathroom so I don’t get caught by anybody. I snapchat my drag queen look everyone online. I know there are going to be people who will bully me but I do it anyway.

I have moved back home and I hide my make up in my bedroom. I hide it because I have always been scared of my parents finding it. They can never trust us kids. My parent’s constantly go through our stuff to make sure that “we are who they want us to be”. I find shopping for make up quite difficult because of not knowing enough information about it. I always shop and choose my favourite high-end makeup brands like Kat Von D and Anastasia Beverly Hills which I recommend.

Sadly, due to how I’ve grown up I currently have a constant fear of being hurt from being who I want to be. From physical and mental abuse, I had to take an AVO out against my step father.  He had hit me before and also uses derogatory against me. I am much smarter than to just listen to the bad thing’s I have heard, I’m not going to sit down and listen to him. One day, I will be who I want to be.

 

By Madj a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre