How Did You Come Out To Your Mother?

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Aug 15 2018 | 12 Comments  

In this pre-transition Jessica Kohinoor video, a young man describes how his mother found out he was gay whe he was 18 years old. Basically she overheard him talking to his first boyfriend on the phone while he was getting ready to meet up with him.

In addition to this, he talks about how difficult it is for gay kids to explore their sexuality from Kindergarten and up like straight kids do.

He’s saying nothing new though. I do still find it odd that millennials and post millennials still feel reluctant to come out. I wrote a whole essay about this back in 2016: “If Coming Out Is Easier For Millennials, Why Are So Many Still Closeted?”

I guess the Church still affects people greatly…and most ppl don’t live in big cities so I’m sure that factors into it as well.

The young man in the video is right about not being able to explore our sexuality as kids, which affects our development into healthy human beings and dating in the future.

In hindsight I should have had the  whole “Boyfriend Experience” and all that when I was a teenager but growing up in Detroit in the 90s where there was a six-degree separation from everyone else (I have hella cousins) made me paranoid…

Also something happened with me and my mom when I was like 14 that made me dive further into the closet. Let’s just say she found some stuff I had hidden, confronted me in tears (like the guy in the video) asking if anyone had done something to me (meaning molestation, no one had done so, I was discovering that I was gay).

Me not wanting to disappoint her, I denied being even being remotely gay and repressed exploring further until I left for college. Ironically, others in her family were gay and one of her best friends was a flamboyantl femm so in hindsight, I should have just said fuck it. But at 14, most aren’t thinking like that.

Years passed and all seemed forgotten. I overhead her telling an Aunt that it was a phase, or maybe my Aunt said that to her, I’m not quite clear.

To be honest, that incident may be the reason I still have difficulty dating and opening myself up to others to this day. That’s not to say all of my issues boil down to how my mother negatively reacted to finding out her son MIGHT be gay, but maybe there is some lingering trauma there.

It wasn’t until just a couple years ago did I have a full on conversation with her about it (after years of her making comments about women and getting married). We were on a Mother/Son trip together and went to a restaurant for lunch. In the Uber on the way there, she asked me if I’m attracted to women with crazy hair colors like Purple and Pink. It was then I decided to tell her after we ordered our food.

There was a couple sitting at the table right next to us and I didn’t want to be a story that they told their friends later (“You won’t believe it. This old ass Black guy came Out to his mother while we were at lunch today.”) Once they left, I found a way to segue into the discussion and just spit it out.

“Ma, now that I’m getting older I’m thinking about my own mortality and the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida last month made me want to make sure that if anything happened me like that, there wouldn’t be any surprises from you and the family. So I just want to make sure you know, y’know, about me being Gay.”

She claimed to already know and said that our whole family knew, and that I “wasn’t fooling anyone.” I told her that I never tried to and that I just wanted her to ease up on all the talk about women since I had already assumed (correctly) that everyone knew the deal. I guess in her head, she was helping me be closeted by playing the part of the clueless mother when the whole time I not only was openly gay in Atlanta, I had created one of the few websites dedicated to Black Gay Men in the world.

Her reaction was both nonchalance and religious disgust.

“I love you but you’re still wicked.”

Yes, my Ma Dukes is one of those people.

We’re still as close as ever but we definitely don’t have the relationship where we can discuss my dating life. I think the only other time I brought it up was before the 2016 election. As a Trump apologist (Yes, she was one of those people too…she’s since found Jesus though), I told her all of the good things that had come under Obama’s Presidency that Trump could try to undo, including the ability for me to get married in this country.

Since then, she hasn’t brought it up, nor have I…

So what’s your story? When and how did you come Out to your Mother (or parents in general)? Was it a positive reaction? Negative? Are things better now?

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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12 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. ControlledXaos
    ControlledXaos | August 15th, 2018
    0

    I came out via Facebook on my birthday. I didn't want to have the rest of my life spent living in some ambiguous mist.

    Writing it out made sure that I was able to say everything I needed to without interruption and distribute the reveal across the board including my extended family which limited me having to have the same conversation over and over again.

    I got plenty of supportive texts or calls from cousins I don't speak to on the regular so it was really empowering. I also felt very free. The world kept spinning and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would have been.

    However as an independent fully launched adult it's easier to cut people off or be cut off versus being 16 and possibly kicked out of the house. I think those of us who have the option of coming out or staying in are lucky versus those who really can't hide it. But even they are free because they have to keep on going despite it all. I think in ways that's better because you know early on who you can deal with and who you can't.

  2. Rico
    Rico | August 15th, 2018
    0

    Still haven’t. Don’t like dealing with religious shit so I just let her and all my Mississippi Jeebus Negro relatives carry on with their fantasy that I’m a black male, asexual veteran version of Sheldon Cooper, pre-Amy…

    And because I wouldn’t be Me without pissing off religious homophobes

  3. Jai
    Jai | August 16th, 2018
    0

    Well. Everyone seems to think I'm gay, they can't even understand how I'm single, no girlfriend (no boyfriend either..so idk what they on anyways).

    I've never had sex with a woman. Vaginas remind me of the pods from the movie Alien.

    My family is kinda religious but loving so it wouldn't be much of a problem. My family is also kinda small to so the fact that I don't plan on having any kids might be cause for concern. My mother currently not in the proper state medically to discuss things with.

    Aside from those few times I did experiment with guys years ago, I live a pretty much celibate/ Gray-Ace life.

  4. SB3
    SB3 | August 16th, 2018
    0

    I texted her and my sister. And some close friends. On my 31st bday.

    My mom had asked me once while I was back home for xmas, 'sb3, are you and jo a couple'? She noticed that eventho we were roommates in NY, we still spent all of our time together when we'd be home for holidays. I told her no because I didn't think it was right to 'out' him to her, since he was someone she actually knew well, and not just someone who was in my life and basically a stranger to her.

    Fast forward to us breaking up for good finally the next year, and after feeling encouraged by the presence of masc leaning gay men I'd come to know of on Discreet City, I decided to come out to those close to me on my bday. I texted my mom and sis that morning letting them know that they weren't crazy, and got good and liquored up and told many friends later that day. Smh.

    The response was exactly as I expected. 'I love you, glad you're comfortable, blah blah'. Aside from feeling a need to give my grandma the perfect picture of her fav grandson w a beautiful wife and our perfect 2.5 kids and dog, my issues were never about being accepted or disappointing. All of my issues were my own, and I knew that my family knew me well enough to know that I wouldn't have given a single damn if they had issues with it. My mom knows exactly how her son is and when and when not to bother wasting her breathe trying to change my mind. She did ask me a few weeks later, 'are you sure? You just don't seem like it'. Smh.

    One thing I did find surprising, was her admitting that it's probably easier for her not having to see me with partner on the regular, due to our locations. At first I was surprised since she loved my ex so much (granted, without knowing about us), but when I stepped back and stopped expecting her to think from my point of view, I could understand that reality for her. That said, I'd feel perfectly comfortable taking a guy home and knowing that he'd be welcomed by my family, if I could get one to give me the time of day…

    Knowing how different some people's stories are, I def appreciate my situation.

  5. jusrawb
    jusrawb | August 16th, 2018
    0

    I called her while I was in college after I had accepted it myself first. She admitted she kind of knew and had a feeling i tried coming out to her before. My mom is a pastor but her love for me is greater than her beliefs. She doesn't agree because of religion but she treats me no different, actually we've become much closer.

  6. hannibal
    hannibal | August 16th, 2018
    0

    Me and my mom got into a stupid argument when i was like 26. It was thanksgiving. I had just gotten my ear pierced. So she tried to hit me ith "why you got your ears pierced? You gay?" I did a turn nd said…YEP!

  7. SB3
    SB3 | August 16th, 2018
    0

    hannibal said:

    Me and my mom got into a stupid argument when i was like 26. It was thanksgiving. I had just gotten my ear pierced. So she tried to hit me ith "why you got your ears pierced? You gay?" I did a turn nd said…YEP!Click to expand…

    Of course you did. And this is one of the many reasons why I hate you.

  8. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | August 22nd, 2018
    0

    I came out to my mom at 20 years old on a break from college. At the time, a boy I was messing with was threatening to out me to my family and friends because I was no longer interested in him. I was actually staying at a friends house (because my room was turned into an office the day I left for school). I called my mom and told her I was coming to pick her up and that I needed to talk. I got to her house and we got in the car and started driving. Eventually, we stopped at this park and I told her everything that was going on. She responded she knew and that her and my dad had discovered gay porn on the computer when I was 14 (FUCKING SIX YEARS EARLIER) and to double down on that; she answered my phone when I was 18 after I got my wisdom teeth removed and was out because of the anesthesia. That led her to speak with the boy that was blackmailing me (a couple of years earlier) and she read our texts. Needless to say, I was mortified by that response. But my mom and dad were cool. They kept their distances, they kept my secrets, and when I finally told them they had already moved on. For the most part, my coming out to friends and family was great. For the rest of the people, I came out on FB.

  9. Artistic Arsonist
    Artistic Arsonist | August 23rd, 2018
    0

    Back when Facebook did that rainbow filter for your profile pic, I did so for mine, really just because of the legalization of gay marriage. My mom saw and bluntly asked as I was passing through the living room. I'd just come out to my friends the night before, so I hesitantly shook my head yes because I couldn't quite bring myself to say "Yes, I'm gay" yet. She reacted as if I told her I put the car keys next to her purse. Very indifferent. Very "that's nice to know", without the Full House sentimental moment.

    It's been 2 years since and my sexuality's only ever been brought up once. It's weird because it often feels like I'm not out to her even though I am.

    As for my dad, I haven't come out to him yet. Our relationship is oddly somewhat distant, so opening up to him is quite the band-aid to rip off.

  10. hannibal
    hannibal | August 23rd, 2018
    0

    Artistic Arsonist said:

    Back when Facebook did that rainbow filter for your profile pic, I did so for mine, really just because of the legalization of gay marriage. My mom saw and bluntly asked as I was passing through the living room. I'd just come out to my friends the night before, so I hesitantly shook my head yes because I couldn't quite bring myself to say "Yes, I'm gay" yet. She reacted as if I told her I put the car keys next to her purse. Very indifferent. Very "that's nice to know", without the Full House sentimental moment.

    It's been 2 years since and my sexuality's only ever been brought up once. It's weird because it often feels like I'm not out to her even though I am.

    As for my dad, I haven't come out to him yet. Our relationship is oddly somewhat distant, so opening up to him is quite the band-aid to rip off.Click to expand…

    Its so funny how that orks. Me and my parents arent very close, but i still feared they would freak out or reject me. As soon as I told my mom during ournargument, she was like, well whate er. And we carried on arguing about whatever we were arguing about. It wasmt even an afterthought

  11. acessential
    acessential | August 24th, 2018
    0

    My mom is pretty religious, but also very loving. She's had gay friends, both male and female. I even have an older flamboyantly gay brother (technically half brother, but I don't use that as a qualifier). So I knew it wouldn't be a major issue. When I was 15, I had my very first boyfriend and was in that teenagey, hormonally charged, excitement phase and got enough courage to tell her. We were sitting casually at the dinner table talking about something unrelated and I managed to bring it up. She didn't respond negatively, she was just shocked and then told me, "It's okay. You still have time to change." That was surprising and slightly hurtful.

    Time had passed and in order to really drive the point home, I asked if my then boyfriend could come over. My older sisters always invited their boyfriends over with no issue so if she were to say no, she would have been a hypocrite. She said it was okay and when he finally came, we were all sitting in the living room. She was trying to be nice but I could tell she was mad uncomfortable. Me and my boyfriend broke up soon after and we didn't mention it for a little bit.

    A little while later we revisited the conversation. I explained that it wasn't a phase. She said that she accepted that it wasn't and shared with me that the reason she was shocked and didn't understand was because I didn't really have any stereotypical gay qualities. I was pretty gender conforming my whole life unlike my older brother who she could tell was gay since he was a little kid. She didn't think gay people could look and act like me.

    Nowadays, our relationship is great. She loves me and she loves my partner. And she even jokingly asks him to buy her stuff or to take her on a vacation. It's all love and acceptance. Just like I always thought it would be.

  12. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | August 29th, 2018
    0

    Can I tell another story? About eight years ago, my boyfriend, now husband asked me why I never did family things. He comes from a big progressive family and he was family-oriented. I would always make excuses; it is not that I don't love my family or like to be around them, I was always doing my own thing and building my own life. Well, this issue eventually came to a head around the holidays. For the first few years in our relationship, we always did (high holidays) Thanksgiving and Christmas separately. He was insistent. So, I invited him to my grandma's Christmas dinner party, and he was going to meet all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and family staples. Even though I was out to them, I had never brought a partner/boyfriend over or talked about my personal life. A couple of days before, I was schooling him on the personalities of my family. I told him he had to dress nicely, the one day of the year everyone wears their Sunday best was to my grandma's Christmas party. The day arrives, and I am unusually nervous. I had warned my mom that we were coming, but she did absolutely nothing. We knock on the door and enter, and everyone looks over, I give my grandma some flowers and made a general introduction.

    Over the course of the dinner, things got more relaxed, and everyone got more comfortable with one another. My grandma chimes in with "we don't do shy around here, so if you want something you better say something." That is what broke the ice. At the time, my boyfriend was so polite and formal. We ate dinner and then brought out the board games and booze. Things got more interesting. All of my cousins were asking my husband 20 questions. At the end of the night, my crazy aunt (the most conservative religious one) asked me if I was going to bring my "Friend" to her New Years party. I said, maybe, even though I never go to her new years' party. She was as accepting as she was going to get. I was scared/nervous for no reason. Now when we are home, my grandma ask my husband to take her out. My husband is a more significant part of my family than I am. There is a reason why I became a diplomat; I like to be off on my own. But because of my husband, I am more connected to my family than I have been in the past.




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