What's the best way to cope with family members who will not accept your sexual orientation?
Last Updated: 11/30/2020 at 5:14am
Shawn Wilson, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.
Top Rated Answers
It can be very helpful to cultivate a supportive community outside of your family. For many, the ideal supportive community is close friends. But, a local queer group can be a good place to start searching for supportive friends if you don't have many/any supportive friends yet, and it can also help extend your supportive social circle. Queer events can also be fun and empowering. There are also many online communities and resources you can access to find support. When I am having a hard time, I enjoy: queer music, reading queer history, reading books with queer characters, reading queer studies articles, queer youtubers, watching drag, LGBTQ+ films, tumblr, and LGBTQ+ news sources. Your family may change their opinions, and I hope that they do. But even if they don't, there is an entire community ready to support you. Hang in there. It can get better.
Either cut off communication with them or make sure to avoid them whenever possible. Talking to them will only give you negative feelings you do not need and will not improve the way you feel about your own sexual orientation.
Be patient...some people change. Our society is becoming more understanding. Until then, remember that you don't need anyone's permission to be you.
Time is a great healer for them. Do not focus on a lack of acceptance, but perhaps a shock factor that they are dealing with in their own way. How they feel now is unlikely to be lasting. Stay strong and true to yourself :)
They will generally get more accepting with time. It can also help to get other parents of LGBT people to talk to them. Try to spend as much time as you can with people who are accepting, so you have something to counteract your family members' worldview.
Cut them out of your life or help them understand that who you are is what you've always been even if you don't look like it.
Talk to those that are accepting because sometimes you just need to be in a positive environment. Some of them may even come around in time because some of my family members have because they have learned more about the LGBTQ+ community through me and have become more understanding. The sad thing is that there is no promises that all of them will come around but you need to allow yourself to feel the love and positivity from the ones in your family that are accepting you.
The best way is time. Continue to talk and have open discussion with those family members, because there is a good chance the are just incorrectly informed. If they aren't coming around then move on and fill your life with positive people.
The best way to communicate with your family member would try and sit them down. if they will not except you for who you are just give them sometime.
Depending on which country, what laws and how 'homophobic' they are, it is a brave step to come out, but coming out of the closet can be managed so that you don't find yourself in compromised situations. Be smart about it, but at the end of the day, your parents are your parents being true to yourself despite what may happen, it will set you free!
Try to not start conflict, rather take a careful approach and try to engage them in conversation about why they think they way they think. As hard as it may be, try to ignore their negative words. If it's becoming abusive and you feel threatened, I think you should take contact with a trusting adult that you feel can help.
Tell them that it's not something that will change who you are. You are the same person you were and always will be. Good luck!
It's really tough, but one way I've learned to cope with it is to find supportive friends, and sometimes even an accepting community online where you can casually and openly be yourself while giving your family a bit more time to digest it. Occasionally they don't get over it, but often they do
Well, it’s best to I guess not really talk about it in front of them and to read enough of stuff so that you can oppose their views and state the correct things and acts if they put up any points like religion and history to justify their non acceptance to our sexual orientation. Also, conservative people are hard to change but in the end they ARE people. So yeah, if you really want them to accept you, you can start attempting to change their point of views. But In the majority of times, if it isnt safe for you to discuss about your sexuality in front of anyone, then you don’t have to do it.
This can be a difficult issue. To some having family support is very important which is very understandable. Every person an family situation is different. I feel education to the family is always a good option. another good option with coping with this is deciding what family truly means to you, weighing the pros and cons of keep this kind of support in your life and committing to make changes to better yourself and your mental health. i am a big believer in most people may not actually be non accepting but just uneducated. Going through this process it is important to know that you have an alternate support system behind you that is free of judgement
personally, i try to avoid telling them until I am 100% sure that i will be secure and safe even if i tell them about my sexuality. i will wait until they cannot affect my life in a huge way before telling them about me. either that or i tell them and i let them know that it's okay if they do not like who i am, but they have to respect me otherwise they will no longer have a spot in my life. i wouldn't be overly gentle with them, but i wouldn't be overly brash either. i know they were just hit with a bombshell so i would have some patience to the best of my ability.
Related Questions: What's the best way to cope with family members who will not accept your sexual orientation?
Am I allowed to start being upset and getting help for emotional abuse 3 years after it happened?My brother used to hit me a lot, but my parent justifies it by his autism and schizophrenia. Was it still abuse?My parents physically abuse me and every time someone touches me I flinch. Am I broken? Will I ever move past that?Am I allowed to still be in love with my abuser?How can I support someone experiencing domestic violence ?I need the strength to leave my mentally abusive husband can anyone suggest?How do I get someone to report a sexual assault?What does it mean my my dad is sucking my toes and bites one off, but still says he loves me.?I’m 16, and my parents mentally abuse me, constantly insulting me, restricting my time with other friends and family. My grandparents are willing to take me in, but what can I do? Can my parents sue mMy ex boyfriend was violent but I can’t move on why?