Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Coming Out and Crossing The Bridge

by The Next Family March 17, 2011

By: Lex

When I was growing up, my parents and I had a pretty rough relationship, and though it got better as an adult, coming out was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. My parents worked really hard to keep a sense of normalcy in the home for my older brothers, but the extent of my mental illness took a hit on the family and we’ve been struggling to rebuild since my teens.

I didn’t know anyone who was gay and out when I was a teenager. Maybe that’s why my sexuality didn’t even cross my mind until my twenties, when I finally met people whose lives made sense to me. I somehow got it in my head that because I put my parents through hell in my teens with my mental illness, I couldn’t put them through more hell in my twenties with my sexuality.

I stayed in the closet for a few years and began a complex life of hiding and lying and the anxiety that comes with being found out. I was on hyper-alert all the time. If my parents were in the neighborhood and called to drop by, my girlfriend at the time and I could change the den in our apartment into a second bedroom in about 30 seconds.

Finally, the hiding got to be too tiring and it was time that I told my parents – regardless of consequence. They lived about a twenty-minute drive from my apartment at the time, and I visited them eight days in a row, practicing my coming-out speech every night as I drove over the bridge. Seven of those eight nights, I didn’t have the guts. I was too scared of rejection and riddled with shame. On the eighth night, I managed to get the few words out of my mouth. I closed my eyes, waiting for the backlash. Instead, my mother hugged me harder than she ever had in my life. My father was next.

I was incredibly lucky that it went so well and couldn’t really have asked for a better reaction, though one of the things that I will never forget from that night was my parents mourning the loss of my future offspring. They didn’t seem to think that pregnancy was an option unless there was a penis in my house. I didn’t think much of it then, thinking “I’ll cross that bridge later.” And now is later.

I have a similar sense of fear to that which I felt driving over the bridge to their house almost ten years ago. Although babies are an everyday thought for me, I have yet to figure out how to tell my parents that Devon and I will be trying to conceive this year. Perhaps they will be as supportive as they were years ago when I came out. Perhaps I finally have the relationship with them that I’ve always wanted and I’m terrified to lose that. Perhaps they will love our child the way they love my brothers’ kids. Perhaps they will have a tougher time.

I need their support, and I can’t imagine going through this journey without it. But right now, I feel as though I need to protect my dreams and desires. But, soon, I will drive across that bridge again. I think some rehearsal speeches are in order.



[Photo Credit: dieselbug2007]

The post Coming Out and Crossing The Bridge appeared first on The Next Family.

The Next Family
The Next Family


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →