Many people start learning about their identity in their early twenties. This is the time you understand your like dislikes. Some people find out that they are more attracted to people of the same sex than the opposite gender. In many societies, homosexuality remains a taboo that is not tolerated at all. What if you found out that the victim in question is your daughter or son?
Even if everybody is entitled to their own opinion, it is not appropriate to judge someone based on their feelings because man is to error. We all make mistakes and how each of us deals with their actions is what matters. Instead of criticizing homosexuality, we will look at how to deal with these feelings and how to cope with homophobic parents.
How to deal with yourself
Understand what you are feeling
Finding your sexual identity is something that should come naturally and not chosen. Everybody is different in their own way and should not force themselves into orientations that make them uncomfortable. Accepting that you are unique and not pressuring yourself to be like others will save you the emotional stress. Knowing who you are, gives you the confidence to live your life happily without feeling victimized.
You don’t have to fit in
The fact that you may be straight or gay does not mean that you have to conform to a particular community. Your sexual orientation should not make you feel inferior to other men or women. If you are not ready to join a gay community, do not do it out of pressure from friends or family.
Develop your individuality
If you accept that you are unique in your own way, you will not let any stereotype keep you from achieving your goals. Be strong for yourself even if you face opposition from others and purpose to continue with your life like everyone else. Avoid self-criticism and looking down on yourself. This will help you build your individuality so that at the right time, you can have the courage to face homophobic parents.
Avoid unhealthy habits
People who are struggling with sexual identity find themselves engaging in unhealthy practices such as drug use to deal with the denial and confusion. Get help from CO Recovery Resources to prevent you from getting addicted to drugs as you seek support for mental health. Keep in mind that drugs only give you temporary euphoria but do not change who you are.
Think about your religious beliefs
The guilt of not living according to your religious beliefs may cause anxiety. Being raised in a Christian family and realizing your homosexuality should not make you hate yourself. Do not let your faith condemn you just because you are different. Purpose to do good and show love to people around you and avoid feeling condemned.
How to handle homophobic parents
Listen to their opinions and don’t justify your views
You cannot convince a parent if you don’t give them time to talk. It may be painful to listen to their viewpoint, but this will make you understand where they are coming from. Engage them in conversations and feel free to raise concerns after they are done talking. By doing this, you may realize that their opinions may go deeper than religion. Do not be afraid to press them for details as you raise questions.
Respect their opinions
To avoid arguments, you need to respect their views by just walking away if you find them too staunch or abusive. Instead of attacking their religious beliefs, raise your perspective and try to find common ground. Share your ideas by giving them examples of a gay friend as you attempt to broaden their opinions. Avoid selfish thoughts by putting yourself in their shoes. Picture how the news may affect them before coming out.
Think about the outcome of telling the truth
There is never an easy way of revealing this news. Your age may affect the response of parents. If you are a teenager, your folks may react negatively to the news since they may think you are immature. Some homophobic parents may take everything you value while others disown their children. Therefore, think about the possible reaction of your parent before you come out. Waiting till you are old enough and living in your own apartment will save you the possibility of being left homeless.
Find the most appropriate time to do it
The worst thing you can do is reveal this secret when parents are emotionally unsettled. Do not wait for a family crisis to happen for you to break the news. Consider the moods of your parents and seek help from a friend to help you face them. Find kind words to say it and let them know that you are happy and confident with your identity. Try to understand their reaction as you avoid arguing with them because they want the best for you.
Convince them to attend family counseling
Bringing in a third ear sometimes helps people see reason. Such news may break a parent’s heart and affect them psychologically. Women especially tend to be blamed for how their kids turn out. One may feel that they failed as a parent and keep on reflecting what they did wrong. You can prevent such ill-thought by bringing in a family counselor to help everybody in the family find better ways of coping with the news.
Have back up
Thinking about your next move will help you if things go unexpectedly. Find somewhere you can go to for a while if you are still in your parent’s home. If they tell you to leave, do not fight back but give them time to adjust to your sexual identity. Remember that they may not accept you right away, but it does not mean that they don’t care. Sometimes, time heals wounds. Find your own space and let them find you when they are ready to do it.
As humans, who are we to judge what is right or wrong? Instead of looking down upon gays, we should learn how to support and embrace them in our society even if we don’t agree with their orientation. For a victim, find ways to accept who you are so that you can feel confident among other people and live a happy life.