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Parent Coming Out to Gay Daughter?

Discussion in 'For Parents or Guardians of LGBT+ Children' started by Benji76, Sep 10, 2019 at 9:09 AM.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Benji76

    Benji76 Love Knows No Gender
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    Hi All,

    I didn't know if this was the proper category for me to post this, but I really need help with this one, and it does involve our gay daughter.

    My daughter came out to me towards the end of high school. That was a couple years ago. She's now 21. She has my full support and love to be who she is with pride, knowing that I will always, always, always be there for her and love her forever, no matter what. I just want her to be happy and find someone who loves her unconditionally like I do, someone who makes her truly happy and treats her with kindness and compassion. My daughter is an amazing girl.

    Obviously, I am a proud parent, but here's my particular issue. It has been weighing heavily on me to come out to her as Pansexual. I am married. My wife is not her biological mother, but she's been her mom since she was like 5 or 6 years old and her biological mother has not been in her life. So she's her mom. We don't use terms like "step-" in our house.

    The reason those are important things to share is this. I am not completely out to my wife (her mom). So it's rather complicated. Those issues are for a different thread that I've already posted elsewhere. What I need to know or understand is about my daughter. When is it okay and how do I go about having that conversation with her that I am not straight? Honestly, I know her, and I know she would be equally supportive of me as I am of her, but there's these questions that I have.

    Should I do this?
    How do I approach the conversation?
    How do I explain all of this to her?
    Should I wait? Like until her mom knows and supports me? Or just be honest with her from a father/daughter standpoint? (like just between us)

    There are so many stories or posts about coming out stories to parents, but this is quite the opposite situation. I don't know if this is unique, but my daughter is gay, and I'm her dad wanting to come out to her as pansexual.
    Any advice is super welcome.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Thespis
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    Thespis Blithe Spirit
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    Hi Benji76,
    Your posts are always thoughtful and often thought-provoking, and this thread is no exception.

    My personal feeling - and that's all it is - is that you should come out to your wife first ...or maybe, if it is possible, to both your wife and your daughter at the same time. Coming out to your daughter first is potentially problematic, as your wife may not respond well if she discovers that "You told our daughter first!??" I just think that in a matter of sexuality, your sexual partner should be first in the queue.

    As for how to go about telling your daughter, I think that you may be wildly overthinking it, y'know. To put it bluntly... SHE'S GAY! I would think the correct form of words to use is "I'm pansexual." - end of. :) 
     
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  3. Jo A
    Innocent

    Jo A Active Veteran
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    Thespis is right as always - my presentation when I cam out was not good and it took weeks to fix.

    I am so happy for your daughter. She is lucky to have you and your love.

    And for you, embrace and be you - Jo
     
  4. Funk Pirate
    Horny

    Funk Pirate The poly, naughty bi-trans futa ^^ happy to chat
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    Hi Benji ^^

    I also agree with Thespis, with matters concerning sexuality its best to inform your partner first and again as Thespis said your maybe overthinking coming out to your daughter. She will love you just as she always has done :D 

    I Think we all understand the process of getting to the stage of getting courage to tell the ones we love about ourselves, and that pressure can build, usually to the point that when we release and tell our loved ones, the moment was really nothing to worry about ^^ and I am sure this will how it will be with your daughter :D 

    I hope it all goes well when you do tell both your wife and daughter :) 

    ~Fiona.
     
  5. Benji76

    Benji76 Love Knows No Gender
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    Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate the support. I understand the point of view. It makes a lot of sense.

    Here's a bit of back story on the reason why I wondered about talking to my daughter even if not completely open with my wife.

    It wouldn't be a huge surprise to my wife. A few years ago, I told her about my attraction to men and the desire to act upon it. She was supportive. I shared fantasies with her and was open and honest. I began to get advice from gay male friends about who I am and following through with my desires. It started to become a little too real for her, I guess, and she back tracked and told me that she could no longer be okay with it. I had really began to embrace who I am, but then had to pump the brakes. We have not spoken about it since.

    Within the 13 years we've been married, her and I have both done things we regret. We've caused trust issues and separated and then made up and stuck it out more than once. All that being said, as much as I want to open up to her again about my sexuality, I worry that it will be too much and cause yet another relational hardship.

    So after all that, I have my daughter who is gay, and I just want her to understand why I am supportive. Yet, there's good advice saying that's out of order. I get it. I really do. I just feel that as long as I continue to stay back in the closet with my wife, my daughter will never know...

    I guess I must live a lie. I feel like who I am on the outside, to everyone else, does not match who I am on the inside. Like I'm wearing a mask. Thank you again for replying to my post.
     
  6. Thespis
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    Thespis Blithe Spirit
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    Well that information makes a heck of a difference. In fact, IMHO it makes ALL the difference! If you already came out to your wife as bisexual a while back, then you're very far from being "in the closet" with her. Even if things didn't go so well in the aftermath, the fact is, she knows you're some flavour of queer and has done for a while. For you it's a big deal, something crucial to your sense of personal identity, but from her standpoint, the practical difference between you being bi or being poly/omni/pan/whatever is pretty academic.

    In light of this, I see no problem with you coming out as pan to your daughter ...and if, in due course, you want to "update your sexuality status" with your wife, all well and good. Yes, I can understand why you might not want to "stir that old pot again", but if she's going to be uncomfortable with you as a bi man, she might as well be uncomfortable with you being pan.
     
  7. Pixie Poodle
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    Pixie Poodle Pixie
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    Your gay daughter knows you love her. What else does she need to know when you say you support her?

    I have read many posts and hardly ever disagree with Thespis. In fact I am in awe of his cognition.
    Maybe I am not disagreeing with him as much as I am reading you differently.

    Because you said:
    Within the 13 years we've been married, her and I have both done things we regret. We've caused trust issues and separated and then made up and stuck it out more than once.

    IF you and your wife love each other AND both of you are reasonably happy and sexual with each other,
    AND
    you think it WOULD bother your wife if you tell your daughter something similar to only these words.
    "A few years ago I had concerns about sexuality that I discussed with 'wife', and here we are today in a strong still loving marriage."
    then in my opinion you should indeed stay back in the closet with your wife, never tell your daughter, and continue to live a lie as a person on the outside who does not match who you are on the inside.
    SO, Do you know already what would really bother your wife?, or are your insides itching so much you have to tell?
    Will unburdening yourself right now feel good enough to be worth screwing up X number of days of the future?

    If the love, and sex, and happy you have is enough then it sounds like you can not further share your past with your daughter.
     
  8. Benji76

    Benji76 Love Knows No Gender
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    I get it. Maybe you're right Pixie Poodle. It just doesn't feel fair. If I flip this around and it were her struggling with the same thing, I wouldn't want her to keep it all bottled up and hidden. I would rather her come to me and talk to me about it... to be honest. I can respect honesty, but not deception.

    Look, I understand not impacting unnecessary hurt on someone you love, but sometimes things ARE hard and you have to get through them to see a better day. All I'm saying is that I think in any healthy, loving relationship, communicating and being honest is one of the most important things.

    To answer your questions: No, I really don't know what would bother her. Do I think she may be upset? Sure, but I can't be certain of anything. Yes, I know that my love and support is more than enough for my daughter without me telling her anything about myself. When we've talked about going to Pride one day and she's happy that I support her to do that, it feels dishonest that she doesn't know why I probably want to go more than she does. You understand what I'm saying? If I tell my daughter that she can always come to me and tell me anything, to truly talk to me... I am thinking it would be healthy for me to be honest with her. Showing support and vulnerability at the same time is part of the essence of caring. What do we want our children to truly learn from us and see them reflect into their own children's upbringing?

    Love? Acceptance? Honesty? Support? Empathy? Understanding? Openness? Care and Vulnerability?...
    Yes, please, all of the above.

    I've always tried to embody all those things with my kids, but keeping secrets like the one we're talking about feels awful.

    I truly hate to be in this position, that something so personal about me, that truly hurts to keep hidden, could cause any kind of pain for someone else. I just want to be happy too, and live proud of who I am... and I still don't know for sure what to do.
     

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