Acceptable responses to a coming-out include “That’s incredible,” and, “Thank you for sharing your truth with me,” and, “I love you,” and even, “Good to know, but what’s for lunch?”
Unacceptable responses include the comments detailed below, listed after a Reddit user recently asked fellow Internet denizens for “the most inappropriate question a friend [or] family member has asked you after they found out you were gay.” (Trigger warning: Lots of homophobic macro- and micro-aggressions ahead.)
“Not a question, but my dad said, ‘Remember what your mother says about presents? It’s always better to give than receive… Never forget that.’”
“‘So who’s the top and who’s the bottom?’ Like, what the f*ck? That’s like me asking, ‘Do you prefer missionary or reverse cowgirl?’ The invasiveness isn’t what bothers me, though; what bothers me is that they’re asking because they have preconceived notions that the bottom is ‘the girl’ and the top is ‘the boy,’ and they want to make a snap judgement about my relationship as soon as possible, instead of just getting to know me.”
Related: Straight people: These are the things LGBTQ people wish you understood
“‘Is it cureable?’”
“‘DO YOU TAKE IT UP THE ASS?’ Shouted by my mom during a one-sided argument/berating before I came out but after she figured out I wasn’t straight.”
“Upon coming out, my dad informed me, quite disappointedly, that I will never experience the joy that comes with discovering the female body.”
“My cousin asked if I ever sucked dick, do I like to bottom, and was I submissive. He’s ‘straight.’”
“‘I don’t like gays, and I think it is unnatural.’ A couple of drinks later, he said sorry and that he didn’t mean it and that he ‘loved all gays.’”
“‘Why did you choose this?’ And yes, they emphasized choose. ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s your private business.’”
“One friend asked if I’d still date a girl if she had a strap-on.”
“‘You know it’s only a sin to act on homosexuality right?,’ [said] my uncle, whom I’m 90% sure is closeted.”
Related: Teen suspects his mom is forcing him to come out to his homophobic dad
“The morning after I came out, my mom asked me, ‘Do you think it has something to do with your hormones? Maybe we could go in and get them checked?’”
“My poor clueless yet lovely mother, when I told her, reacted with, ‘Tell me something I don’t know.’ Then she followed that up with, ‘But it’s all good, as long as you don’t have sex.’ Ironically, I was sleeping with my neighbor, whom she thought was a good influence on me at the time.”
“‘So you’re planning on becoming a degenerate cheater who is going to waste away like your uncle Vadim? When you f*ck that stinky arse, don’t you even think of your parents and the sacrifices they made to make sure you have a brighter future?’”
“My mom asked, ‘So… you… don’t get it up for women?’”
When I came out to women, a lot of them would say “what a waste.”
Made me so angry.
Jon in Canada
Yup, it was (still is) annoying as hell.
Straight women are such a waste, think of all the amazing Lesbians that there could be if Straight Women would stop being straight. Such a waste. Lesbians are so iconic.
Don’t you feel like replying back….”well, even if I was straight, I wouldn’t f**k YOU!!”
but I’m assuming it’s ok for a gay guy to respond that way with a str8 guy!
My dad: Well, you can be gay, but you can’t act on it.
Me: So you want me to be alone the rest of my life?
Dad: No, but I guess you’ll have to be.
I didn’t talk to him for a long time after that.
My mother fainted. My father thought my relative had molested me. He began crying from the guilt. That was in 1984. My grandfather referred to me and my partner as “turd tappers”. It was fun in the Texas Panhandle y’all. The thing was, I was self-loathing from a toddler’s age. Religion did a number on me. I knew I was gay, but I married anyway. I told her about my attraction for men prior to the wedding. Her 38 DDs and Jesus would cure me of being an abomination unto the lord. It lasted 2 years. I was still having sex with older women, until my first partner put that foot down. I was a hot mess.
“Her 38 DDs and Jesus would cure me of being an abomination unto the lord.” Why did my brain read this in a southern accent?
Me quietly reading OUT magazine in my mom’s living room
My sister: Why are you reading that?!
Me: Ummm… I’m gay. I told you like a year ago.
Sis: Oh… I thought you were joking.
I was at the hospital getting a check up. She had a clipboard and was asking me questions ” married , single ? ” I said ” no , just gay ” she replied , ” that’s nice .”
The two best ones from my father:
“I always knew there was a reason I could never like you” and “if your mother had known you were going to be gay she would have had an abortion”.
My mother, after running off to talk to a Catholic priest to see if I could be fixed … “this is a heterosexual household, you’re not allowed to bring any boyfriends here”.
I guess I’m pretty lucky. The usual response for me is something along the lines of, “Well, DUH!”
Came out in 1998 at 22 years old.
Dad’s response: “do you have AIDS?”
Mom’s response (said to my father): “Well, I can guess we can move” (so people she knew wouldn’t find out)
My cousin Dan officially came out at a family Thanksgiving. A North tx, house full of people. The living room was full of men watching football & he walks in with his bf. My dad stands up, hugs dan, shakes the bf’s hand & the rest of the men followed suit. No fire works, no bs. Just pointed them toward the kitchen where the food was. I love my family! Dan died of aids in 1992.
your dad is a model for a good parent.
Sounds like you’re referencing Steel Magnolia.
I had a straight woman ask me who is the boy and who is the girl? I laughed and replied “Duh!! We’re both boys. That’s what makes us gay. ?
What a great response!!
Came out to my mom when I was 20. My dad died when I was 13 so I was spared that. Her response–she calmly said, “I will never accept that lifestyle.” then, “I want you to turn str8 now.” (!!!!) My response—“OK mom. Turn lesbian then turn str8 and tell me how easy it is”. She quickly walked out of the room 🙂
LOL!!! Brilliant response!!!!
My sister outed me to my parents in ’77. My father said I would never be happy or successful. They took me to a very popular, local psychiatrist with a radio show.
After talking to him for an hour, he told my parents that I was a very well-adjusted youn gay man that accepts his sexuality and that he could counsel them to the path to acceptance.
They didnt and haven’t.
I put myself through college, have several IT patents, retired young, happily married to a wonderful man, and more successful than anyone in my extended family.
And that’s how you live your life. Good for you!!!!
Nothing beats this one word: “Duh.”
I think it was around 1998. I went home to visit my parents and grandmother. My dad was driving me to the airport. He was doing his usual gibberish talking which I learned to tune out. Then I remember him pausing, then he said to me…..”so did you move to Atlanta to come out?”
Now it was 5:30 in the morning on a chilly morning in Chicago. I can tell you that THAT woke my ass up. LOL! I said, WHAT!??! He repeated. “Did you move to Atlanta to come out. Are you gay?” We were like 15 minutes from the airport and I was thinking…please hurry up and get there. I knew he’d suspected for years, but I was not ready to have that conversation. My dad was old school (masculine, athletic, don’t talk about feelings), and I come from a family (on both sides) where we don’t talk about things, particularly sexuality, as it goes in many black families unfortunately. So no! I wasn’t ready to have that conversation.
I didn’t say yay or nay. I just replied….” Oh, so you finally get around to asking me this”. So, he goes into the bible scriptures to explain that it’s wrong. I’m sitting over there rolling my eyes. He raised me up in Pentecostal churches, so it wasn’t like I never heard these scriptures before. But ok dad. Say your peace.
When we arrived at the airport, he got out of the car and did something he RARELY did. He hugged me and told me that he loved me. Well that just effed me up. My dad was a good man (rest his soul. He passed away in 2013). I was never afraid that he’d outright reject me. He wasn’t that kind of man. I was afraid that he’d be disappointed. I’m sure he probably was, but he never ever treated me any different.
Some of these are priceless… like the reference to dating a girl with a strap-on as well as Uncle Vadim and the stinky arse, LOL! My mother just threatened to disown me, and my stepmother asked me, “Don’t you WANT to be normal?”
My best friend was very accepting when I came out, but said something like “its all good as long as you don’t fall for me” . I didn’t really how to reply at that moment, but I reassured him jokingly that that would not be the case, since I’ve seen him and my other straight friends do the nastiest things over the years. While that was kind of a stupid thing to say of him, I know his intention was good and he still is my best friend to this day.
My parents didn’t really say much, which hurt me at the time, but they were really supportive very shortly after. Like I remember my mom telling me she scolded one of their friends who made a homophobic joke in her presence. Bringing a boyfriend home really did help alot to normalize things. Now I understand better that people need some time too and don’t instantly know how to react properly.
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