I know what I identify with but no one aknowledges it, how can I explain to my friends and family my sexual orientation?
Last Updated: 06/11/2019 at 10:05pm
Trishna Monplaisir, LMSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
We are here to advocate, empower and provide compassion to individuals who need help.
Top Rated Answers
I know that it is really difficult to sit down and talk to your family and your friends about your sexuality but if they love you, they will see you for what you are..their equal. You're still the same person so it should make no difference whatsoever. If your friends don't want to hang out with you anymore, then who needs those kinds of friends!?
It can difficult to get others to understand your orientation, especially if you don't identify in a stereo-typically "normal" category. Try to have an open and honest conversation if you can. It can be awkward, but if you're willing to answer the weird questions from your family and friends they're more likely to "get it". A close friend of mine is transgender and she was great at that and I think it really helped her family understand her transition.
If the people in your life don't understand at all, giving them some "Sexuality 101" type resources might help :) Here's one: http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/identity Honestly, the answer depends on why they aren't acknowledging your identity - do they not believe you, do they think that identity doesn't exist, or maybe they thought you were joking when you told them. It's important to have discussions with the people in your life - as long as it's safe to do so.
Unfortunately, getting family and friends to understand what we know to be true can be difficult. I've found that the greatest problem is ignorance. If you feel comfortable coming out to your friends and family, but they seem to have little acknowledgement for who you are, educating them on what it means, not only for you but for them as part of your life, can be very helpful.
You can explain what it is to them objectively and describe your personal experience. You can tell your friends and family that it would mean a lot to you if they tried to understand your experience. You can link them to websites that might have more information about your sexual orientation.
Start by never using the words: I think, or I might be. Tell them who you are and what you identify with and don't be afraid to make corrections to them as you need to. It's important that you stay consistent with them. If it's a change you want then you have to be the start of that change. Take control and be the author of how others see you.
Sitting them down at an apporpriate, pre-planned time can draw the conversation to a more serious note, and will show that there's an intent. Usually, people won't understand all of it right away, so it's definitely best to be patient and understanding(even if they aren't). Just remeber that even if nobody aknowledges it, it's still true. The thing that matters most is that you feel you are true to yourself :)
I can relate to having a lesser known orientation. Providing facts and resources can be helpful to those who may not know. If they're open to learning, go ahead and educate them, and if they still don't acknowledge it, don't stress yourself over it. As long as you validate yourself it's all good.
This was a very tough experience i found and i find the reason tend to not acknowledge how you identify can be due to the fact they are not educated as to what it is you are going through. I found that explaining what i was going through with someone helped them understand and in some cases have actually asked me questions on it to learn more. Be open minded to the fact not everyone may know what you are going through and also patient in allowing them to process what you have told them.
Maybe they just don't have enough knowledge to understand who you are, and that's why they don't acknowledge it. You can try to explain it to them as clearly and openly as you can, opening your heart and describing your feelings and your identity in a way that is as clear as detailed as possible. You can encourage them to ask you questions if there is something they don't understand, like for example the difference between your orientation and another, or anything else. You can also point them to resources that explain the different sexual orientations, if they wish to make their research on their own. I know it's not easy to have to explain yourself so much, but if it can lead to at least some people acknowledging and accepting who you are, it's worth trying!
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