A Letter to Un-Affirming Family

Dear family,

You know who you are. You know who I am. Yet, I feel I still have to hide from you. I still fear your reaction if I’m fully myself around you. You’re my flesh and blood, you’re supposed to know me the best, yet here you are, not wanting to know me at all. At least that’s how I understand it. Granted, not all of you are this way, but enough of you are to warrant this letter to you. I’m done hiding from you. I’m done putting on a face. You are very different from me. But your homophobia is a learned behavior. Me being gay is not. So if someone’s going to have to change, it’ll have to be you.

I’ve been learning the past few months that I’ve been a serial people-pleaser for far too long. I’ve tried to make everyone happy to my own detriment. That mindset is not going to persist much longer, though. It’s only made it harder to be around you.

For five years, I’ve heard your feelings. For five years, I’ve endured your groans when I bring anything up about my sexuality. For five years, I’ve listened the backhanded comments.

Want to know why I came out in the first place? How I wound up accepting myself? It all started after one of you went on a homophobic screed in 2015. That’s where it stared. Your homophobia isn’t going to stop me from being gay, that much I know. But it will continue to strain our relationship.

Someday, I’ll have had enough and we will have to part ways. I don’t want that and I don’t think you do, either, but that option is on the table. I see what you post on social media. I see some of your conspiracy theories. It’s too much. We’re already distanced from each other in online spaces, so you may never see this, but I still hope you do, because I don’t think you realize the gravity of the situation.

Like I said, I’m done hiding. I’m done pretending.



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