A Coming Out Letter to my Very Conservative Parents

I love you.

You are the most incredible parents a girl could wish for. You’ve taught me right from wrong and you’ve taught me to love those around me, to always wish everyone well.

I think this is why it’s so hard for me, because I know I’m disappointing you. I know you deserve the best daughter you can get, and I’ve tried to be that for you my entire life. I’ve tried so hard to become the perfect daughter, and I don’t resent that at all though; I did it for you, the way you’ve done so much for me.

Besides, your rules have taught me values and principles, they’ve taught me to be kind, and to keep my heart open, the things I love most about myself.

This year, the year everything has gone from bad to worse, I’ve fallen more times than I can count. I’ve been to the deepest depths of mental hell and I’ve battled my own mind as much as I’ve battled against the people who’ve wanted to do me harm, and you’ve always been there to pull me back up. You’ve protected me, you’ve given me a place to stay when I’ve been afraid and you’ve never asked for anything in return but that I stay close to God and that I get myself back on my feet.

I know that if anyone who identified with the LGBTQ+ community came knocking on your door, hungry and afraid, you’d give them food and a place to stay, despite the fact that you don’t agree with their life. I know you’d help them, because that’s just the kind of people you are.

It’s different when that person is your daughter though, isn’t it?

When I was born, you planned my life out for me and you did everything you could to make me happy. You worked harder than anyone has ever worked and you were hard on me, the way any parent would be when they think their daughter is derailing from the path of happiness.

You wanted to protect me against bad reputations and gossip so that a good, God-loving man would come and take care of me, and together we would give you grand kids. I almost did it too, whenever I thought about breaking up with my boyfriend I always thought of how disappointed you’d be if I did it, what you’d think if I never got married, If you, my father, never got to walk me down the aisle. You deserve to get a chance to do that, because you deserve the world.

I thank you, for teaching me the value of family, hard work and love. I thank you for only wanting me to be happy.

The thing is that happiness isn’t the same for everyone. You couldn’t have predicted that I would want to move out of your home before I was married, that I would need to be independent even from a young age, that I would hate doing my hair every day and absolutely despise matching my bag to my shoes.

You couldn’t have predicted that I would break off a steady relationship; one that you are sure would have fulfilled your goals for me because you thought it would make me happy and financially stable.

You couldn’t have predicted that in the span of a year, so many bad things would happen that would leave us all in shambles, that I would fall into a horrifying depression and yeah, that I’d even want to leave this world.

I’m sorry I disappointed you. I’m sorry that I’m about to disappoint you even more.

I’ve tried to tell you, but your fear of me being unhappy has lead you to turn a blind eye, and in the tiny instances that you’ve listened, you’ve threatened me to the point of me packing my bags and walking down the stairs in silence. I never scream back, I never panic, I know that I can’t keep breaking your hearts this way, so I stay calm and silent. I have to make you believe that I’ll be okay, even if my mind is freaking out, because you deserve to know that you’ve raised a strong woman.

A woman who could fall in love with another woman.

I’ve heard the comments you’ve made about gay people, the gossip about actors and musicians. I’ve heard the disappointment in your voices when you discover someone you admired from TV is now dating someone their own sex, have decided to transition into the opposite gender or even worse, those who “can’t make up their minds and date both sexes like depraved people.”

I am one of those.

I am so sorry I’ve done this to you. You deserve so much better, but I can’t go back to denying it because I can’t go back to wanting to die.

I’m still me.

I’m still loving and respectful, I still enjoy helping people and I still really want a family. I just don’t know if that family is going to be alongside someone my own sex.

I know that all you’ve seen in the media is this image of the LGBTQ+ community as being this crazy world, so opposite of your own that it scares you, where people indulge in every aspect of sex, drugs and everything else the devil loves and God hates.

I’m sorry that the media has done that to you, I’m sorry that you’ve heard people talk badly about their experiences in the LGBTQ+ community and I’m sorry that you’ve been taught to believe that we can’t be happy or that we can’t truly love. I’m sorry because you’ve been taught a lie.

There is as much richness in the diversity of this community as there are colors of the rainbow, every single person is different and unique and we can’t hate them based on their preferences.

I’m still the same girl you raised.

I’m the girl who wants steady, I’m still the girl you sat down and told that her heart should only be given to the person who would cherish it. That is still me, and though I might make countless mistakes, I’ve taken charge of my life.

I remember clearly when you commented years ago that you didn’t understand why the people in the LGBTQ+ community needed to parade around their sexuality, that it was not appropriate, that they should keep it quiet.

I’ve kept it quiet mum and dad; I’m not parading around, I’m not making a spectacle of myself, and trust me, if you weren’t the amazing parents you’ve been, I wouldn’t be telling you either. I’m a private person, but I want you in my life, if you still want me in yours.

I do admire those people who parade around though; I admire the guys in rainbow thongs and feathers around their necks, I admire those who shout for our rights despite the dangers, and I admire those who feel so proud and unashamed they raise their flags and wave them up in the air. I admire them because they’ve done nothing wrong. In a community where most people are made to feel self-hatred, those people love themselves for who they are.

I love myself for who I am.

All I did was love, and all I did was try to make you proud. I’m a strong woman, I’ve learnt to wipe off my tears and keep going, I’ve learnt to stay silent and do my own thing despite what others say. I’ve learnt to keep my head up and to look at those who want to hurt me right in the eye.

Thank you for making me the person I am today. I love you and I hope you love me too.

Charlie.

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2 thoughts on “A Coming Out Letter to my Very Conservative Parents

  1. Jade Hall says:

    I am lucky that my parents were supportive of my sexual orientation and I mostly knew they would be. I had to break contact with one of my parents today over a different and it was heartbreaking.

    The fear you won’t be loved for all of who you are is the fear you are not really loved at all. There is a potential disclaimer on it. It is possibly conditional.

    It’s not clear if you sent this, intend to send it or are just putting inot words what you wish you could say. But it’s a moving letter which speaks for so many in your situation and I sincerely wish you all the joy and love possible on your journey.

    Like

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