May 6, 2011

Incredibly Selfish or Extremely Smart?

Coming Out is a huge thing in the life of any gay person. It's the moment where he/she is not only completely sure of his/her sexuality but also willing to live as they are and not as what the societal norms expect them to be. Nobody comes out in any specific order but no doubt if people who have come out had to write down a list of the toughest coming out they had to do, parents would take the first spot on the list.

Multiple Online forums have huge discussions on Coming Out. One of the most frequent advice I have read on Coming Out is only to be done when one is financially independent and well settled. I found this advice extremely discerning for the reason that it seemed incredibly selfish to me. It's like saying, 'Yeah I'm Gay and if you don't like it, I don't care. I have money now so you can cut me off if you want to!'.

Yes, believe it or not but that was my exact thought. I tried putting down this on a particular discussion asking for a response but nobody took it up against me. It further solidified my belief that the reason most people don't dare to come out is because they are financially dependent on their parents and do not want to risk their money wells by telling the truth about themselves.

For me coming out has always been highly personal. It's about me and not about money. If my parents don't find peace with the fact that they have a gay son, I'm still pretty sure I would not get disowned. And if that is the case, I'll work but I will not step back into the closet for anything. I love my folks and there's no doubt in that, but I know my coming out is the right thing for us. They may not see it as I do but I know!

Anyways so as I mentioned, the fact about first becoming financially independent and well settled, and then coming out did not settle well with me. A few months back I was discussing the same thing with a friend of mine. He explained why so to me and I would admit that it changed my opinion on this issue. Coming Out is best done when firstly you are absolutely fine with people knowing and identifying you as a homosexual and are appreciative of the fact that you are a responsible human being.

In the present world if someone has managed to establish himself/herself then one part of the life is complete. You are immediately viewed with respect and pride. People look up to you and know that you can do it. Parents look for responsibility from their children as they grow because at some point the parents have to let go so that the individual can carve out his own place in the world. The sense of responsibility puts down a clear perspective that the said person has got what it takes.

Our public image isn't the best and there is no denying it, and while it's good to care for the entire LGBTQ community as whole. Your first priority should be you and once your at a respectable place, come out and come clear. It's my firm belief that no parent can hate their own flesh and blood forever for being homosexual. It's not humanly possible!

Our parents really do care for us, they just need a little bit of faith that you are still you!


Andrea Almanza said...

In future generations I do believe it will get easier and easier to be who you are your whole life. However the world isnt there yet. I may not personally understand it, but some parents ARE able to disown. And many cases of far worse. Children have been killed, beaten, and thrown into the street with nothing.
Its wrong, but it does happen. Daily. Somewhere in the world.
Not every person has it this bad, but some do. I think these sites are trying to help those people.

Sam August said...

I like the idea of being financially stable and then coming out to parents or family, and yes it is a bit selfish but it may just be the best choice we have.I know for fact that my mom is kicking me out if i come out :P even though it wont be much of a surprise to them, singing show tunes has already sorta outed me :P

Phunk Factor said...

@ Andrea Almanza

Killed, beaten and thrown into the street with nothing?!

Personally I've heard of just one such case but then there are exceptions to every rule, right?

@ Sam August



Never! U pegging ur mum sooo wrong, boy!! N yes...sing show tunes but only in the shower! ;)

Fasih said...

No, your family can't hate you forever for being gay, no matter how religious, with time they'll always come to accept you, but if they create hell for you when you come out you'd rather be prepared, that's why you should be financially in a safe place.

Hadi Hussain said...

Coming out is a very personal, crucial and relative decision and its a continuous process, just like socialization. I personally agree with you on coming out stance but as an activist, i willnot recommend so to other Queers because everyone isn't strong and determined like you and me.

Aaron Khan said...

I think it means that u shud b financially independent so dt even if they throw u out, u dont die of hunger. plus if u r dependent on ur parents n u come out, they will try 2 pressurize u (which they can if u totally depend on them) into stuffin ur gayness inside u. n in some cases ppl beat their children just 2 "cure" their gayness. once u r independent, u cn stand up for urself.

Phunk Factor said...

@ Fasih

Give hell?! Even that I don't think happens - people would like to make amends before they depart the world, ya kno!

@ Hadi Hussain

True! But I think Coming Out is also very crucial because otherwise it's just a step by step self-destruction but then once again - u can't tell anybody to do it!

@ Aaron Khan

That sounds scary, so perhaps it does seem reasonable to be financially independent but it's more important to show maturity n responsibility!

Fasih said...

Now you are basing it too much on your situation, not everybody is that lucky to have such an open minded family. I came out to mom back when i was 16, that was 10 yrs ago! And i do wish i had waited till i could atleast support myself, coz just a little after that they stopped supporting me financially and this is luck for me that they allow me to live under the same roof as them!!

Now, not everybody has it REAL bad either, but not all of us are privileged with such broad minded parents either!

Phunk Factor said...

@ Fasih

Oh man! Srsly?! Well I too came out when I was 17 but aside from an argument there was nothing upsetting!

Sorry to hear abt ur hardship though!

Fasih said...

lol yes seriously... They sent me off to see a couple psychologists and psychiatrists :S Obviously that didnt help matters other than leaving me depressed, lost a couple of yrs worth of studies, then when the financial support ended, I got a job and did inter. Now working somewhere else thanks to a 'khaalo' and doin B.Com.

But still in an odd way coming out is a good thing. Seems like a partial relief, atleast I don't have to be somebody i am not.

Phunk Factor said...

@ Fasih

"But still in an odd way coming out is a good thing. Seems like a partial relief, atleast I don't have to be somebody i am not."

That summed up my entire concept of the importance of Coming Out.

Sebastian G. Oliver said...

I think that the biggest thing is religion, no matter which one it is that drives parents to behave the way they do, which to me makes no sense, how can you treat YOUR child worse than a bum on the street if he or she is gay? It is easier now than it was when I was at that stage of discovery, although I knew I was 'different' around 5 or 6, that said, my family knows, but, its just not at all ever discussed, they are quite conservative and just look the other way, but, I think its due more to the fact that I'm the oldest son, which of course carries clout in any society. maybe in the next 100 years, this whole thing will be moot, but, somehow I sadly doubt it will be :(

Phunk Factor said...

@ Sebastian G. Oliver

Personally I think it may or may not entirely be due to religion. It could be due to the social standings or that they feel that the child is making a wrong decision n they lack the patience to deal with it so they snap!

Acceptance is a long way to go!

Sebastian G. Oliver said...

True, Phunk, but, religion is still STRONG and then when you put in the societal stuff that is usually tied in with it, its like oil and water, and, while many say its worse in developing countries, in some parts of the US, its worse than Zimbabwe. And, I guess that not having kids and not having to worry about social norms and cultural mores, like, son has to have wife and kids, its just a odd mix, but, on we fight =)

Phunk Factor said...

@ Sebastian G. Oliver

If we don't, who will?! ;)

Sebastian G. Oliver said...

Its a tough spot Whimsical, one of my brothers and his wife are rabid homophobes, and, he made a comment about me to one of my other brothers, oddly enough, the most religious one of us all who put him in his place and also told him about how lousy his wife is, it touched me beyond belief. That said, the whole fear of coming out is one that many have, and, unless you think you can deal with rejection from those who you love the most, is a hard spot to be in, and, maybe its one of the reasons for me that I've never been in nor out of the closet, I just assume they know as they have never seen me with a woman in a romantic way, and, if they ever ask, they will get the truth.

Whimsical Hatter said...

No matter how moderate the views of one's family is , unless, one is comfortable in the 'rainbow shoes', it does not PAY to come-out.
I would like to think it is extremely smart to come-out when one's independent and but THEN, almost an ENTIRE CHUNK OF ONE'S LIFE is lost in the closet and that is dreadful and beyond pathetic, at least for me. So, I really don't know(!!). But I want to come-out now, but I'm afraid to do so. SO does that make me think that my family would turn against me or just that I don't trust them?for a fact, I know that my brother is homophobic.

Phunk Factor said...

@ Whimsical Hatter

Coming out at any point of life is big...even if it's old age...coming out is coming out..and at any time it's DOES produce results!

But i would not prefer Coming Out in old age because most of the important people in my life would be deceased by then...people i want to know about me...and they'd never best to come out young...but definitely when one is entirely comfortable in wearing the rainbow shoes!

@ Sebastian G. Oliver

Awww...ur brother is awesome!! Yea...that's a completely different thing! Having ppl just assume is an easier way out but then people hope against hope and have dream that you'll marry a not to let their hopes get up!

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