As you can probably tell after browsing through this blog, I am all for gender equality. I aim to encourage people to be who they are meant to be and love whoever they want to love. It does not matter if you are straight or gay at this point. You only get this one life to express yourself. If you allow the social norms to dictate how you should live your life, then you are setting yourself up for misery on end.
The thing is, not everyone is judgmental. Others like me support their friends or family members, especially if they want to come out as gay. It can feel suffocating to keep on hiding your identity, after all. A bisexual man who used to go out with girls wants to date another guy, for instance, or a lesbian is in a secret relationship with a female colleague. Since the individuals they are with are single, and they are not stepping on anyone’s toes, there’s no reason for them to stay in the closet. “I think in some parts of the country it may feel ‘safer’ for LGBTQ-identified youth to come out, but for many, the issues remain the same.” Nicole Issa, PsyD said.
Despite telling people all these things, though, I fail at one thing: making my best friend believe it.
Ian has been with his boyfriend for almost five years now. Every two weeks, he would meet his man, as well as his parents and siblings. They were open with them. But when Ian comes home to his family, he would act as a manly son in front of his mom and dad. They seemed pretty chill to me, so I wondered why gay folks would choose to hide their gender preference.
Here are some of the reasons that Ian gave to me.
1. There’s No Need For Lengthy Explanations This Way
My best friend is admittedly not the most talkative person in the world. He cracks jokes and goes crazy when we are around, but deep conversations are not his thing. In truth, I only heard him talk about his current relationship and past heartbreaks once when he got so drunk. Other times, he would merely listen to us and offer his two cents if asked.
Because of that, Ian does not think it’s a good idea to come out to his parents. “Doing so will require me to mention how or when it started,” he said. It’s not that they don’t deserve to know things about his sexuality, but he’s not ready for lengthy explanations yet.
2. They Are Afraid Of Negative Reaction From Loved Ones
Ian also mentioned that he’s scared that his mom and dad might have an adverse reaction towards his gender preference. A lot of members of the third sex hold on to this fear as far as I can tell. That is especially true if they are deeply attached to their family, and they don’t want to be seen in a bad light. Linda A. Travis, PsyD used to say, “I can’t overstress the potential fears that people have about discrimination,” she says. As a result, she says, “LGBT older adults can be reluctant to see health-care providers until their problems become so bad they can no longer avoid doing so.”
3. They Did Not Want To Hear Stereotypes
Coming out to the parents entails coming out to the neighbors, colleagues, and other people in their circle. According to my best friend, that’s the kind of stress that they don’t need right now. While many of them may accept the truth, after all, others may poke fun at them or typecast them by their sex.
“Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is now on the world stage.” Michael Friedman Ph.D. stated. The decision to disclose or hide one’s sexuality is no one else’s but the person who has that sexuality. As much as I say that showing your true colors is not bad, I will never out my best friend in front of anyone. It is something that you should not do either, primarily if someone has trusted you with this information. No reason is invalid in this case; let’s all respect each other and wait for them to be ready to come out of the closet on their own.
Charlie is one of the guys I grew up with. He was my classmate from seventh grade up until high school. Although we went to different universities, our closeness did not dwindle. He’s that type of friend who could never make any moment dull. He’s so funny as well even without trying because he’s extremely witty.
As bubbly as Charlie acts whenever we’re together, though, I knew he’s dealing with a huge problem. That is, he could not tell his family that he’s a closet queen.
Charlie has been keeping this secret for as long as I can remember. It is genuinely difficult to notice it unless you see him cuddling up to his boyfriend. He is masculine, he cringes at the idea of wearing girly clothes, and he is not vain at all. However, such things cannot erase the fact that he is a man who is into the same sex.
What’s The Problem?
Charlie’s ultimate issue is that he comes from a conservative family. His parents follow the teachings from the Catholic religion, to the extent that they even use the rosary every day. Of course, it also entails that they want to stay with the old belief that a man should only be for a woman and that being gay is a mortal sin. There is no way to sugarcoat that truth, regardless of how unfair it may be.
What Can You Do To Help A Gay Friend Come Out?
I know that Charlie is merely one of the thousands of gay people out there who are still in the closet. If you have a friend like mine, here’s what you should do to help them come out.
- Avoid Rushing It
No matter how much you want your friend to be free from the emotional burden, don’t pressure them into doing it. I believe that there is a right timing for everything, especially when it comes to sensitive matters like this. If you rush them, their loved ones might disown them.
- Boost Their Spirit
Being unable to tell the truth, can depress your friend, so do everything to cheer them up. You can talk to them every day, send words of wisdom often, and say how loveable they are still. Try various things to boost their spirit so that their courageousness will increase as well.
- Remind Them Of The Reality
Since you are both adults already, you should help them understand that coming out may not always mean acceptance. Some parents, even though they love their child dearly, end up saying nasty words if the latter does something that’s entirely against their beliefs. Still, it should not bother your friend and just let them come to terms with it.
- Stay By Their Side
The closer your friend gets to come out, the more they need you on their side. It is a nerve-wracking experience, you see. It can induce anxiety more than proposing to your special someone or walking down the aisle. What they are about to do can make or break their family (literally). You can’t force their parents to think in any way; that’s why you should serve as your friend’s support system.
Keeping secrets from your loved ones is wrong, but I guess some people have no choice but to do it. That is especially true when it comes to your showing your true colors.
In case your friend has a hard time to come out of their rainbow closet, feel free to follow the tips above. Good luck!
Did you know that the number of women who have complained about domestic violence has risen over the past few years? According to a recent study, this violence does not only exist in married couples but even in couples who are just living together or even in a dating phase. This statistics is quite alarming because it can have adverse effects on the victims involved. Psychology would tell us that a battered woman may suffer not only physical abuse arising from domestic violence but also emotional ones that can lead to mental health-related issues.
“There are 3 million cases of domestic violence reported each year. Many more go unreported.” Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT said. Because if this, we see it fit to discuss the different ways on how women like you can handle domestic violence. Whether you are a victim or not, it is essential for you to read these techniques to ensure that you can protect yourself at all times. Do not wait before it is too late to act on the situation. Here are the tips to keep in mind to make you better in handling this kind of violence:
Know Your Worth
The crucial thing that you must do is to determine your worth as a person. Do not let other people tell you who you are. Instead, show them how amazing you are as an individual. Never allow your partner to hurt you physically, emotionally or verbally. You need to be strong enough to fight back and show the other person that you will never back down no matter what happens. The moment you show to someone that you recognize your worth and that you have a high level of self-esteem; he will start to fear and respect you.
Ask For Police Help
Stop caring for someone who keeps on beating you and making you doubt about your worth as a person. The best thing to do when your spouse or boyfriend hurts you is to call the police authorities. Be sure to do it fast so that the suspect or offender can be apprehended as soon as possible. Do not think of the welfare of the assailant, especially if he will be placed into jail. Always remind yourself that bad people deserve to be in prison. It is not your sole responsibility to change his old habits. Allow the state to prosecute him and render judgment based on his acts towards you.
Save Yourself And Run Away
Unfortunately, many women choose to forgive their partners after they have been molested and abused because they think that life will improve after the latter would apologize. We hate to tell and break it to you, but the truth is that a lot of offenders will never improve their attitude after you have forgiven them. The cycle will keep on running until you choose to runway from the failed relationship or broken marriage. Do not hesitate to leave the other person if it is necessary so that you can save yourself from immense pain and suffering. “It can be difficult to re-establish a healthy routine and empower yourself after a toxic relationship. Fortunately, coming to the realization that you need to let go is one of the most difficult steps.” As Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC explains. Be strong or brave enough to walk away from something that is no longer working. Think of the long-term benefits so that you will have the courage to do it.
Seek For Professional Assistance
As already mentioned above, the bad thing about being abused is that it can affect your mental health. It is the reason why you can see people who become depressed and anxious because of a negative experience that they have. If you do not want to end up like them, it is best if you will take time to seek professional help and support. Search the best therapist, counselor or psychologist who can provide you with the right assistance that you need. Take your time in choosing the best professional to protect your interests. Because “Some individuals think that couples therapy is the answer to domestic violence; however couples therapy is not recommended while the abuse is active.” that is according to Nicole Tammelleo, LCSW-R
Domestic violence is never okay, regardless of the reason that the offender will give you. Keep in mind that you deserve a happy life – away from someone who does not care for your feelings or emotions. The moment you realize that the other person is violent, be sure to save yourself while you still can. Look for someone who will not hurt you no matter how difficult times get. You are going to achieve the best things in life as long you put your heart and mind into making it happen.
What I am or have hasn’t been clinically defined. Some say that I’m simply shy or an introvert. I sometimes feel like what I have is a disease, like there is something in my brain that prevents me from thoroughly enjoying another’s presence.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teenagers or LGBT are at a higher risk to get bullied compared to straight teenagers — be it in their school, community, or the internet. Statistics show that LGBT youth experiences more violence like bullying, humiliation, harassment, and physical assaults in their lifetime. As a result of this, it drives them into such unfortunate incidents like drugs and the like, and can fall into different types of addiction, food, drugs, and more.
What should be the appropriate action whenever teenagers are being bullied? How can parents support their children in this manner? Fortunately, there are places that offer counseling and behavioral therapy, provide help with addiction, and other related issues. This indeed will be a great help to parents going through this problem with their children.
Let’s discuss the answers to these questions by reviewing different literature pertaining to the issue.
Today, sexual identity is a common problem among teens. You wonder if your child could ever have that kind of problem. You know that your kids listen to music about gays, see movies about gays, and watch comedy television shows about the gay lifestyle. “For sure” you tell yourself, “this would never happen to my son and daughter.” If it does and you have no idea how to cope, contact a professional for advice through free online counseling.
“Online therapy is also known as teletherapy, online counseling, distance therapy, internet therapy, e-therapy, telehealth, telebehavioral health, email therapy, text therapy, phone counseling.” –Sena Moran, LMHC
You would like to get someone else’s ideas about this, but it’s not something you feel comfortable bringing up, especially at church. You hope that the church youth minister and Bible study teachers will teach the kids what the Bible says.
“Therapy gives you permission to allow you to feel the pain and know that it’s valid.” Carmen Gehrke, LMHC said. But as you try to reassure yourself, you can’t help but be concerned. You might even want to ask your teen if sexuality is a problem or if they have ever been attracted to the same sex. But you don’t know how to approach such a topic.
Sometimes, teens have doubts and need to talk to an adult or to an online counseling professional. But most will be afraid to approach the subject with an adult. Instead, they may talk among themselves and may get inaccurate information.