Coming Out & Learning to Accept

Having a family member that is not or does not identify themselves as what you had always seen them as, can certainly be confusing.

I never really asked my brother his sexuality, I guess I blindly assumed what this was until about three years ago. The way he revealed this to me was probably not the best way to do so as it was in the middle of a heated argument. I guess, at the time, he probably felt there was never a perfect moment to say it.  At first I was confused on why it had taken him so long to come out to me. I asked myself what could have possibly stopped him from doing it for so many years. Did he not trust me enough? Did he believe I was going to judge or reject him for whom he truly was?

A million things went through my head, such as how him coming out would affect our relationship. I thought about how things could change between us. Most of my concerns came from being raised in a family that is very close minded and typically relies and exercises heavily gender roles. I was worried on how my family would see it and whether they would accept him or not in the future.

I admit it took me a few days to digest his words.

After a couple of days, I realized things did not have to change between us. He was still going to be my younger brother, my only brother. Yet, if things were bound to change, I would adapt to those changes for the better. In a way I feel that him trusting me with this had only brought us closer. I know he still does not confide with me blindly, and neither do I, which I find acceptable, we’re still siblings that sometimes collide.

As an older sister, I continue to be protective towards him, although I guess he protects me the most, and support him because regardless of his sexual preferences or what he identifies himself as, he is still my younger brother and that will never change.

We live in a world that even to this day, is hard. People and ideologies make it very hard for a person to fully embrace who they truly are. Even though I feel we’ve come a long way, I still believe acceptance towards the other, the “unknown”, is still something new, specially when it comes to gender identity and sexual preferences. These are my beliefs, not the ones I was brought up with, but the ones I have grasped throughout the years. My family has mostly centered their beliefs through a very conservative perspective, whereas I have tried to approach things with an open mind through which I have created my own opinions and reasoning. Everyone is entitled to have different opinions on all matters and their reasoning behind it, and they are respected.

 

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20 comments

  1. Whilst I have never been in your position, it is possible with my so s and daughters, niece’s and nephews that there may come a day when they want to tell me. It’s so hard for people to come out. I remember a friend whose girlfriend had a stroke, early twenties, directly caused by being on the pill. He had to explain in front of her pare, to the doctors that she had been taking it since she was 18. He was mortified at what their reaction would be. Overall their concern was for their daughter. Coming out, is not only telling the world that you don’t have preference to only the opposite sex, so much more comes with it. Are you sexually active? Is there something wrong with you…. and many more. I guess being supportive & treating the information as a honour that someone should trust you enough to tell you, is the ideal. Even if beliefs, religious teachings etc. go against what you’ve been told, they are still the same person. That said, it can be hard for older generations and others, to accept it as fact.
    Well written blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Sammie, thank you for your thoughtful comment on the post. I had not thought about the point that you just made, which I believe it to be thought provoking. It’s true, coming out is a term that it is commonly used for sexuality, I used it in this post in that exact way but it is more than that. I do think the whole action takes courage and trust. It’s true, it is very hard for older generations or people with very conservative views to accept situations like this, but regardless of what you believe in, the person will continue to be the same person. Maybe this could even be just a person that is less afflicted after confessing something they’ve tried to conceal for some time.

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  2. He’s so lucky to have such an understanding bond with you. No matter how much time it took him, but you both must be glad now that he did, he talked to you about it. He must’ve probably felt something before he could share it with you, which is human behaviour. I support and agree to every thought you shared here.
    Feels good to read your posts once again after a long time. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Madhavi,
      I am so glad he was able to confess something that troubled him for years. I do believe so, as we have talked about this over the years, he said he was scared of how I would act, so he debated for years of whether it was best for him to tell me or not. Now he knows that there are individuals close to him that accept and support him. Overall, I believe there must be more acceptance and equality for everyone regardless or race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. Thank you for your kind words. ♥ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Charliestar,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I think it’s great that he has had a great support system in which he feels accepted and loved for who he is. Regarding to an official coming out, I don’t think it’s necessary in all situations. I do believe it is good for an individual to confide to their closed ones as it can make them feel more connected to each other. Yet, if he doesn’t feel it’s necessary, at least at this moment, because he feels his mom accepts him regardless of who he decides to be with, then I don’t think there is anything wrong with his decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am particularly gladdened by the approach you advise people to adopt when dealing with people who have come out (coming out in this sense must not necessarily only be in terms of sexuality). I believe our basic reaction should be all about accommodation and tolerance, so long as whatever different lifestyle the other person(s) is adopting, doesn’t make the world a less safer place to live in. l for one however, don’t think everyone/anyone should be mandated to accept whatever different idea the other person has chosen to adopt though. The universe is too beautifully diverse and unimaginably broad for everyone to always accept what the other person perceives to be right, but in all our conflicting points of reasoning and approach to life, I think the key is being able to tolerate and accept every other person(and the acceptance should be done out of love, and not of compulsion), without necessarily accepting what the person does or believes in.
    nice write up, I must confess
    Truth Zombie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Truth Zombie,
      I must say I agree, accepting others and different beliefs, lifestyles, and opinions should be an individual’s choice. I think everyone is entitled to be respected in those senses regardless of their differences with us because I think it is something we all deserve. Yes, you can have completely opposing views to another person’s views but that doesn’t make the other person less privileged, or even wrong, to have the right to embrace who they are. Like you mentioned, acceptance should be an individual choice and if a person decides to not do so, there is still a line that I believe shouldn’t be crossed, which is infringing the rights of others through insults, hate or worse. Thank you so much for reading and your comments.

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  4. I think love and understanding is very key in situations like this. I don’t think he didnt trust you the times he didnt tell you, he probably had a lot to deal with it. I am glad for you and your brother and I hope your relationship continues to blossom irrespective of whatever differences that might arise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Damola,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, I think those are key elements in situations like this or even in situations where sexuality is not the subject. I believe I was very fortunate of being able to surround myself in a community of acceptance, which made me aware and understanding towards others. Thank you so much, I hope so as well. 🙂

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  5. I have never been in your shoes though I almost ended up being one with a different identity. I have seven sisters and there were times I could mimick them, wear their dresses and shoes, put on their make up. To make things worse, I lacked a proper male figure too. The only thing that brought a difference in me is that I had a boundless mind. I could do extraordinary things that could put me in trouble. One time I broke our main pipe supply at home, we couldn’t get water inside our home😂. So its not your fault, sometimes things happen for a reason beyond our understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Kalama,
      Thank you for reading. I agree, I do believe things happen for a reason beyond what we can comprehend. Although I think we have the option of making decisions like adopt opinions, beliefs, and even lifestyles, there are things we are born with that are beyond our control and are things we can’t really “adopt”. I think it is much more than a choice rather than who we are. We can choose to act on it or repress it but that won’t change our true identity.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As usual you got it right Fernanda. We’ve come a long way but still we haven’t accepted different gender and we still find hard to gulp down in our throat that attraction towards the same sex isn’t illegal (or may be in some countries it is) and it’s a natural phenomenon. If we find some attractive, we don’t see his gender, his age, his qualifications, nothing like that and what we do at that time is certainly based on our body reaction. Our beliefs, our thoughts, our lifestyles don’t stop us at that time and it’s good too. We don’t have limits, we are limitless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that regardless of attraction it can even be said about deeper feelings. Truth is we don’t really have much say on who we fall for when we do. Gender, sexual preferences, and other factors sometimes are not important or can’t stop us from being attracted or falling for someone and I think we, as human beings, still need a lot of work to do when it comes to acceptance and coexisting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. We need to accept each and every single person as a part of our society and not only officially but we need to accept them from our heart, we need to accept that what is wrong, is wrong, no matter how big or small it is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, exactly. 🙂 Everyone is entitled to have their take on things and that is also why acceptance needs to come out from naturally and not be forced, everyone’s judgement is different.

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