"So my mum outed me as gay to my 93 year old conservative grandfather. She did it because my Pop was ranting about gay marriage was a sin and she used me as an example of why it isn't. I found out my mum also outed me to my Nan who's fine with it. Am I wrong in feeling upset about this? I'm not sure what I should feel or do about my Mum outing me, help please?"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Agh, this is hard. First, I want you to know your feelings are completely valid. I would be totally bummed if / SLASH WAS totally bummed when my mom outed me to my family. It isn’t cool, it’s a direct disrespect of your privacy, and you have every right to be angry.
I do want to take a step back and remind you that people fuck up. All the time. Not only do people fuck up, but moms fuck up. It took a while for me to realize that parents are just people. I expected soooo much from my parents because they’re my parents, and they’re supposed to be invincible and nearly perfect! Turns out, they’re not. They aren’t perfect, and they do fuck up. Your mom is only human.
If I were you, I’d talk to her. Tell her that you don’t appreciate her telling your grandparents without talking to you. I know, I know, it was in the middle of a heated convo and it probably just slipped out. Forgive her for that, but ask her to be more careful in the future. At this juncture, she probably doesn’t realize how much this affects you. She probably thinks you were going to eventually come out anyway, so she’ll spare you the agony, right? She meant well, or at least hopefully meant well, and it’s about forgiveness and moving forward. The moving forward part includes her being more respectful of you, your privacy, and your identity. So talk to her, ask for the things you need and allow her to ask questions. The two of you will totally work it out, promise.
The thing that I keep thinking about while reading your query, Anonymous, is the feeling of fury and hurt that must have risen up in your mom’s middle when she heard her father saying something hurtful about her child.
It’s something I can’t imagine clearly, not being a mother myself - something that you probably can’t imagine, either - but based on how I feel if someone says something about my own identity, or how I feel if someone speaks against my sister or my wife, I know it’s gut-wrenching… and I know we don’t always work on our best judgement in the face of that fury.
That doesn’t excuse your mom, but I feel like it is an important thing to think about before you talk to her (you should absolutely talk to her). She didn’t tell them ‘just because,’ she told them because she was like FUCK YOU MY KID IS MY KID AND I LOVE HER AND NOW HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU BIG JERK?! In the moment, I am certain, she only thought of coming to your side, supporting you, and letting them know that she does and will always love and support the person you are.
So. You should absolutely follow Dannielle’s advice and talk to her about how being outed made you feel, and how you want to be able to talk to her in the future about who knows, and how they are told. If you can, tell her that you know she was just trying to protect you, but that it is important for her not to make any snap decisions right now, until you are comfortable being out more publicly… and especially when it comes to family members who are close to you.
You have every right to feel upset.
Luckily we are human beings who can carry a whole boatload of different emotions at once, so your mom will understand that your hurt isn’t the only feeling that you are carrying, and you can understand that disrespecting your process wasn’t at the core of her actions.
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