I'm a bi guy looking for advice on coming out to my parents. I'm 23, financially independent, and live a few hundred miles away. While I'm sure there would be a shitstorm, I'm also reasonably sure they won't disown me. So if I were the only one involved, I would have done this awhile ago.
Because life is never simple, however, I'm not. See theirs is not the happiest marriage, and as I said, this promises to be a major drama bomb. My sister, who I told awhile ago and who is stuck under their roof while she finishes up grad school, is not so lucky, so I promised her that I wouldn't tell them while she was living with them, and that she would get plenty of warning.
Whereupon, rather than the grateful sigh of relief I had been expecting, she basically flipped, saying that she didn't understand why I felt like I needed to tell them at all, and how the only way it would make sense for me to do so would be if I were in a long-term relationship with a guy who I was considering marrying, because, essentially, telling them was only going to make their marriage worse and might tear it apart entirely. As such I was being selfish and irrational for even considering coming out to them without, as she put it, a good reason, and that really my sex life (which, alas, at the moment, is more aspirational than actual) is none of their business at all.
The thing is, Dan, their marriage will always be fucked up. Waiting until it's better could for all I know mean waiting until they're dead and I'm 60. Is it really so selfish of me to want to stop keeping secrets, to want to stop having to censor everything I write for fear that they might find out via Google, to want to not have to lie to them, to just smile and bite my tongue when they say something homophobic? Or should I continue to hold my tongue in the name of keeping our mess of a family semi-functional?
Wanna Announce Non-Traditional Sexuality
My response after the jump...
You have my permission to come out to your parents, WANTS. (That's what you were after, right?) And if telling mom and dad you're bisexual somehow destroys what sounds like a terrible, no good, really bad marriage, well, don't think of it as destroying your parents' marriage. Think of it as putting your parents marriage out of its/their/their children's misery.
As for your sister...
You're doing her a huge favor by waiting to come out until she's out of mom and dad's house. (I did a similar favor long ago for my mother: I put off coming out to her until the shock of my dad walking out wore off, which took about two years.) Your sister can't expect you to remain closeted until you're engaged to some nice boy—or for the rest of your life, WANTS, if you wind up in an LTR with a woman—just to avoid upsetting your awful parents. You shouldn't have to keep secrets, hide, bite your tongue, censor yourself, or put up with their homophobic bullshit just because the person you wind up marrying has a vagina.
Even if you were straight, WANTS, you shouldn't have to put up with their bullshit. Hell, if you were straight I'd urge you to come out to your parents as bisexual just to blow their bigoted lil' brains.
(And to those who would accuse me of being bi-phobic: Remember, gang, I love bisexuals so much that I wish there were lots more of them. I'm particularly fond of bi guys like WANTS—that is, bi guys who are out even when it doesn't "make sense for [them] to do so.")
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!