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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:16 AM
Original message
OK so I am really nervous
Lapeer County in Michigan recently passed a gay marriage ban and there is going to be a rally there with various civil rights groups. The media is going to be there and some people want me to speak at it because I founded a local progressive group. I am out to all my friends and my immediate family but my parents are really embarrassed that I am gay and don't want my family to know. I wouldn't mention the fact that I am gay if I spoke but I am sure it would enrage them, but I am 20 and if they are ashamed of me I don't see why it is my problem. Even if I do speak I have no clue where to start! HELP!
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. You are who you are.
There's nothing to hide. Do it.

You'll regret not doing it a lot more than you'll regret doing it.
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MnFats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. balance the pros & cons. You're not obligated.
....make a list -- what's the best that can happen; then what's the worst.
Don't feel obligated because it's close to home. There are plenty of battles to be fought and you can pick and choose them as you see fit.
It's easy to say "Yeah, I'd do it," when you're not the one facing the issue.
Think it over. If you go ahead, damn, you're tough! But if you don't, you're still tough.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. Follow your heart
:loveya:
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sistersofmercy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. If you truly want to do it, do it!
Your parents won't love you any less for it!
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. Termite and I have been together 17 years...
I think that is longer than a lot of straight couples. Why are we denied property rights, inheritance rights....etc etc etc? Need help writing...you can ask an LTR person what it's all about. And like dookus said...you are who you are. No need to be ashamed!
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. wow..good for you two!!
:toast: :hi:
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. You can't live your life for your parents.
That leads to misery. Nobody can.

It is tough, but you can do it. The only way they can get over being "embarrassed" is to realize it isn't a big deal. I think if you mention you're gay it would be better. Visibility = Equality, right?

Congratulations to you! You are brave and we are proud of you. :toast:
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
6. I would do it. I used to worry about the same things.
Its easy for somebody else to say "just do it" unless they are in your shoes. I know that. I was gay in the military and there were many times I saw some crappy and evil stuff done to fellow gays but I kept silent to protect myself. The guilt i felt after was not worth it. If people are "ashamed" then it is their problem. As long as you remember that.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. Do what you think is right.
I understand, my mother-in-law still can not handle the fact the her youngest son is gay and was terribly embarrassed when he came out to everyone in the family and at his former school where he was Valedictorian of his class.

He knows how she feels but, he's living his life - not hers.

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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
9. I don't see a need to announce it
If you think your parents would be terribly embarrassed by this, why not keep that out of your speech.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Great idea!
That's very Nancy Reagan of you.

That way they can live the rest of their lives being terribly embarrassed by this dirty little secret!

And the poster can spend the rest of his/her life walking on eggshells hoping the secret won't get out. The resulting internalized homophobia and shame will be perfect for destroying future relationships, creating substance abuse problems, and causing general poor self-esteem!

Everybody WINS! :party:

The truth is that the sooner everyone knows, the sooner everyone can learn to deal with it. How else do you think we've managed to come this far?
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Girlfriday Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. I think your first question should be
do you want to do it? Don't do it just because you were asked to. Then, if your answer is yes, I say do it. Your parents will get over it. If they are ashamed of you, it is thier problem! Personally, I think they should be VERY proud. I would be. :hug:
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virtualobserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
11. Just speak from your heart.
In your heart, you know what you want to say.

This sounds like a big step for you.

Is this something that you feel strongly about doing, or do you feel pressured to do this?

Is it worth it to you to enrage your parents?





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DedEye Donating Member (361 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
12. Do It
If it were me, I'd do it. Even if your parents are embaressed, they will continue to love you, and they'll get over their embaressment. Don't be afraid to tell people what you really think of a ban on gay marraige. Personally, I would start by saying that you shouldn't be punished for being in love with someone who is more like you than different from you, and that you are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, just like every other American. Say you want no special priveledges, merely equality.
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waggawagga Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
15. Tough Decision
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 02:51 AM by waggawagga
I don't think you're obligated to speak out if your head is together and this is more of a tactical postponement. You're 20 years old. You know who your parents are. I'll tell you something, though. The situation is not going to get much better until you're comfortable with not just who you are but the fact that others among your family and friends might not accept you with open arms.

Can you accept their lack of acceptance? Can you be a strong, kind, and understanding person? Someone who won't respond to this kind of rejection with anger, fear, or bitterness? Can you present your best self and have faith that the people who matter will see this over the long run? Because they will. And that will change the minds of many whom, today, are not that understanding (though you won't win over everyone, it's not your obligation to do this, and ultimately that's more about them than you).

You live your life. Your father lives his. Your mother lives hers. And so on. One of the lesser noted secrets to living a happy and successful life is knowing that you're not ultimately responsible for making people happy by living up to their expectations. If you're a good person you'll set the right goals for yourself and you'll draw people who are like this to you.

So it's your call. Doing either is reasonable, I think, so long as you're clear about your motives. At some point you might have to disappoint your parents but that doesn't have to be today (and 20 is young to take on this kind of thing). On the other hand there's a lot to be said for speaking out on an issue you believe in (and you might be surprised at how little consequence this has to your situation except for building your own confidence).
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MSchreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
16. BCP: Check your DU Mailbox
n/t
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:03 AM
Response to Original message
17. Whatever you decide
you've made a difference just by starting the progressive group. If you don't speak, there will be other opportunities down the road. If you do, I hope everything goes well, but don't feel pressured to speak if you don't want to.
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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
18. Best Advice I Can Give
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 06:08 AM by einsteins stein
Is not to do it becaue you want to make a statement against your parents

not do it because your friends are pressuring you

not do it because the DUers think you should

not do it because you think you owe it to anybody

The, when you have relieved yourself from any sense of false responsibility to ther people, think about whether you want to do it, and all of the reasons that you do.

If your list of reasons is great enough, then consider it...BUT

Even if you want to, and think it would be right for you, ask yourself not "Should I" but "Can I" ???

Not everybody is made for public speaking, even if they want to be.

BTW - If you do decide to speak, speak from your heart, and don't forget to plug your progressive group. It is surely something about which you feel passionate, and those types of speeches are always more enjoyable, for the listener and the speaker. ;-)

Good Luck, whatever you decide!

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