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Outspoken: Alex

Outspoken: Alex


I have come out as a lesbian to my parents three times. The first two times I scrambled to deny it all when they reacted negatively, blaming it on a moment of weakness.

But between my freshman and sophomore years of college I met a girl who inspired me to embrace my love, and I courageously came out to everyone, parents included, again. And this time I stayed out. It's not that I had been unsure of who I was before; it's just that in high school my Republican family was my core foundation and affected everything I did. It was really tough to know that in their eyes I was never going to be the same.

I'm now a senior in college, and to this day my family rarely discusses my sexuality unless it is used as a source of anger or resentment. My parents skirt any topic dealing with my relationships future or present, and my sexuality is rarely recognized as an orientation but instead a preference. It is extremely hard, coming from a dedicated Catholic family, knowing that my church and my own family will never accept my sexuality.

Don't get me wrong--my parents are wonderful people who think they have only my happiness in mind. They say they don't want me to have to live a life full of discrimination and judgment. Why would any parents wish that on their child? But at the same time, they refuse to respect that my sexual orientation is something I can't control. They see it as a choice. My parents ask why I "won't even try to change" and why I "have to be so in-your-face gay if it's not a choice."

They often attack me for my "college-brainwashed" way of thinking. My political activism scares them. Their daughter, who once rallied for abstinence-only and pro-life causes, now marches in Take Back the Night rallies and proudly wears rainbow ribbons. My opinions haven't changed, but my priorities have.

My parents are stubborn. After many attempts to convert their conservative ideas, I've been told through tears and red faces that I will never be "accepted" as queer in the family. This is heartbreaking to me, and each time it gets harder to hear.

But they are my parents, and even though it hurts, I believe it would hurt me more not to have them in my life. Despite their conservative and unbending views toward homosexuality, I know they only want what's best for me. I know that they love me; I just wish they could love all of me.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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