An Open Letter To The Closet Gays Isolating With Family
Isolating at home with family sucks, but it’s worse when you’re isolating within yourself, too.
To the closeted gays isolating with family,
Here you are, cooped up with the fam-bam and with no way to express your true self. The mask you wear becomes a permanent fixture as you weave your way through family arguments and frivolous frivolity. Your only oasis becomes your bedroom, and that’s only if you’re lucky enough to sleep on your own. For some of you, a five-minute shower may be your only means of escape.
Indeed, you all have reasons to hide. Perhaps your parents are religious zealots, spewing pious drivel that you cannot relate to. Or their cultural customs run against your growing desires. You own those reasons, accepting them as fact. They are the rationale for your metaphorical closet.
Of course, you’d be surprised how willing people are when it comes to change.
However, I’m not here to advocate your coming out. And if you’re reading this, now is probably not the best time to do it. In fact, some LGBTQ organisations are asking for queer youth to “ press pause” on coming out.
So why am I writing this?
Well, I’m here to offer you hope. A glimmering silver lining. And perhaps a little guidance through this awful time.
So, let’s get you through this!
Remember: Someone Out There Accepts You
Being loved and accepted is something we all contend with. Especially when it seems like everyone despises who you are. But it’s simply not true. There’s plenty of people who don’t mind if you’re gay.
Indeed, there will be people out there who won’t accept you, even in this progressing world. But they’re incomparable to the rainbow allies of this world.
It’s just like me with my writing. I have to accept that there are going to be people reading this with an expression of disgust. Perhaps they’re the anti-gay haters, perhaps they cringe at the way I write, but guess what? I don’t write for them. I write for myself, first and foremost. And that’s exactly how you should treat your sexuality. Be you for you!
In saying that, I also write for the intended audience. That’s you! Which means I am that “someone” who accepts you.
And, indeed, I’m not the only one.
Find Ways To Mentally Escape
You’re likely reading this behind the closed door of your bedroom, in your own perfect sanctuary. But remember, escaping doesn’t have to be physical. Also, some of you might not have the option to recuse yourself in your own sanctuary right now.
So, for all of you, learn to escape mentally — through music, movies, games, books and all the rest. Find ways to keep your mind occupied and just go with it. Revel in it if you can.
Your parents may control your actions, but they cannot control your thoughts.
And also, stop worrying too much about this global crisis.
You can’t change it. You can only accept it.
Love Your Family, No Matter What
Love doesn’t have to be given, it can just simply be felt. And it’s always a better substitute for hate. Hate can be so consuming. It’s metaphorically similar to drowning, really.
So, take a load off your mind and simply love your family, even if the words they say or the things they do affect your chances of opening up to them. Love them for the fact that they are there for you.
But perhaps you get the feeling they know about you, and they are voicing their opinions a little too loudly. Perhaps your religious parents are pushing prayer onto you a lot more lately. Just remember they are doing this because they think it’s right. It’s their peculiar way of loving you. And you cannot hate them for that.
And while you’re suppressing particular parts of yourself, don’t hold it down with hate either. Think of it as your way of waiting. Now’s not the right time to come out. And don’t worry about that just yet, you’ll know when the time is right.
If you’re truly worried about their reaction, my recommendation is to wait until you have the means to move out on your own. That way you’ve got a plan if you’re parents kick you out.
As a side note: the definition of a truly bad parent is one that neglects their offspring. Especially those that kick their kids out for being gay.
What would Jesus really do?
Reach Out To People Like You
You may be in isolation, but you do have an internet connection. You’re reading this, aren’t you? So use this as a way to reach out to people like you. While there are hotlines you can call, I’d recommend finding people like you instead.
Add yourself to Facebook groups, follow particular people on Instagram or Twitter and reach out to friends. You might not have much control over escaping the family, but this is your best bet.
And if you haven’t already, find someone you can confide in about your situation. There’s no greater feeling than ripping open your bulging mind and letting out all your problems. Even if it’s with someone you’ve only just met.
You might have close friends who you know won’t understand, and that’s expected. Not everyone in this world of ours is queer and far too many have no clue.
So, find a fellow queer and you’ll be fine.
Keep Your Chin Up
This is not your whole life. It’s but a part of it. A temporary stepping stone on your road to great possibilities. So don’t be disheartened by the wavering world around you. This crisis will pass.
Just like all the other crazy viral epidemics in the past millennium, a vaccine will come and the world will go back to normal.
And soon you’ll find out what it’s like to be truly free. You’ll feel the weight of the mask drop.
You’ll finally experience your true, exceptional self.
Keep that chin up, lovey. Your story has just begun!
The Gay Straight-Talker (AKA, Christopher Kelly)