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Homosexuality

I come from an asian background, a very traditional one. And, with my luck, my family is very homophobic and don‘t tolerate gays. Theyre not extreme, but just very hateful. One of my relatives, who’s now old enough to live away from home, came out to my family and no-one reacted in a supportive way. When my parents were discussing it at the dinner table, they couldnt even say “He has a boyfriend” and instead said “He has a /partner/“ and at that, one of my relatives almost choked on their drink.

This makes me worried about what I’m supposed to do when it comes to me having to come out.

And when it comes to support in any matter, my parents havent ever been the best at helping out.

Ive been thinking of never telling my parents the truth and living abroad. Maybe completely disconnecting with them, I dont really know. But would you say this is a too farfetched idea? Would it be worth risking coming out?

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Sam

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Hi there,

It can take a lot of courage to tell your friends and family about your sexuality. And it can be more difficult if you expect the people around you to react negatively. You don’t have to talk about your sexuality unless you feel ready to and there is support available for you when you decide to.

It’s important to feel comfortable enough to come out about your sexuality and to understand how talking to someone about it may affect you. If you think the people around you may react badly perhaps it’s about choosing a time when you feel it’s right, or when you feel safe. This could be when you have someone with you who's supporting you. If someone reacts badly, it might not always be that way. Sometimes people can change their minds, it just might take some time. Your sexuality is only one part of you and just because you’ve spoken out loud about it, this doesn’t change everything about you.

If you choose not to come out but to keep it to yourself or within a very small closed group it can feel isolating, lonely and that you're not being true to yourself. Holding a big secret can cause pressure, stress and worry and may lead to other things like anxiety and depression. There's an organisation called the Albert Kennedy Trust who support young LGBTQ+ people living in difficult home situations. Checking out what support they can offer may be helpful to you.

From what you say it seems like you feel like you're also thinking about the future and what it might be like if you don’t speak out to your family and how that may mean cutting yourself off from them, perhaps by leaving the country. This is a very big decision and so it’s important you think about all the consequences before you make it.

Perhaps for now it would be good to start working on your confidence and assertiveness skills so that you can take care of yourself better if you do decide to speak to your family.

Remember Childline counsellors are always here for you if you want to talk.

Take care,

Sam

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