hey, I'm a 15 year old girl, I'm a lesbian and my parents are strong Jehovah's Witnesses and can be pretty homophobic at times, I feel like I want to tell them but idk how to, has anyone been in a similar situation with very religious parents. I'd be extremely grateful for any advice and support
edit: i have talked to a teacher about this and she'd advised me to enter a support group so thats what ive done (as you can see. )
Also I cant express how much it means to everybody replying it really does mean a lot to see your replies and ideas.
Do you feel that you would somehow be unsafe, would they kick you out, that is a valid thing to consider. I hate that anyone should have to live in the closet, UNLESS they feel that their home life would be unsafe.
@CKBlossom I feel that i would be treated differently, being as my mum and stepdad will blurt out a comment on how disgusting/unnatural being gay/bi/lesbian is, so I’m worried that, that will carry on because of the way they think and so on, but I don’t think it will have an effect on my physical well being. Thank you so much for your reply
Well, honestly, eventhough it's usually kinda unpopular opinion, me myself find my closet kinda comfortable. I am bi, 23, finishing uni. My parents aren't even religious, just really homophobic. My girlfriend is to them my very kind and polite best friend, they actually like her very much, we officially live together to split the costs and we are just "waiting for the right ones" and "too busy for a love life". Our friends and colleagues know about us and are okay with it. Parents are fine with how things are and so are we.
Maybe once I get a stable full time, own place, and we'll start thinking about adoption seriously, I'll tell them. Before that, I don't feel any discomfort in this stadium. I think there is nothing wrong in waiting a while before dropping the truth bomb on your mum and dad.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you, you actually do not need any support. What you feel is natural and completely okay, and I wish you had a happy life with your future girlfriend/s. Stay around, tell us how you're doing time to time :)
@HelpTheAngel thanks for your reply. Its really nice to see someone in a somewhat similar situation and has made it through okay. I really needed to hear that. I will try to keep you updated with what happens in the future. I personally think that what youve done is a great idea and i think ill try to do that. I wish you good luck with your future adoption.
@l'anglasandfrancais Hi there, I'm a JW and my sister came out as bi when we were growing up. We have a really good relationship, and it has not affected my parents love for her either. Whether or not you choose to come out is entirely your decision, but I think that it's really nice that you feel you want to share this with your parents, you clearly love and respect them despite their feelings on the matter. If you ever want to chat feel free to PM me, JW beliefs aren't something that loads of people are willing to try to understand but perhaps I can help. If I could only give you one thing to remember it would be this- Jehovah's Witnesses are not homophobic. Some Jehovah's Witnesses are, that isn't up for debate, but so are many members of other religions, and many atheists. Hatred towards a group of people or an idea is often based on individual prejudices, and doesn't reflect the attitude of an entire religious group. I just want you to remember that, I've seen people become bitter at our entire organisation and I wouldn't want you to have that burden, it will eat you up. Really happy to chat anytime.
@crescentmoon I’ve talked to my parents about the LGBT community, like when the Orlando shooting happened and there was like a document on the news about it and my dad and brother were there and were saying how they couldnt understand how some people could take part in such despicable acts and so on. I’ve also been told by people in the congregation thats its wrong and when the video came out about one man and one woman, so that didnt exactly help my views on what the JWs thought (I’m aware that a lot of JWs are lovely people and its a shame that they have views like that) I have yet to come across a JW who isnt against being gay, so youre the first person ive heard of not to disagree. I can only hope that my mum and step dad will be accepting towards me but i think i’ll probably wait a bit until im able to support myself in case of a worse scenario. Its really inspiring to hear of people who are JWs that accept and people who have come out to religious parents and have come through okay. I do have a couple questions if you dont mind me asking. (pm if you want, and if youre not comfortable sharing) but how old was your sister when she came out to your parents? Has it affected her relationship at all with them, do they love her more, remind her that shes accepted by the congregation etc. or do they tend to back off a bit? And has your sister or parents told anybody in the congregation about it or have you just kept it as a family matter? I’d love to hear your answers to my questions, and thanks so much for your reply it really helps.
@l'anglaisandfrancais It sounds like your parents are quite vehement, that can't be easy for you, I'm sorry about that. It's true that Jehovahs Witnesses will not be homosexuals themselves, and disagree with the act. However, this should in no way translate to them being hateful or non-accepting of homosexuals. As you've been brought up as a Witness you'll know what the bible says on it, and therefore why we hold the beliefs that we do. However the bible above all teaches us to be loving and accept each other, especially in the family. Unless you're a baptised JW you have taken no vow to abide by the bible based teachings that we follow, so you cannot be reproached. This is why I am so grateful that we only baptise consenting adults who are absolutely sure that they want to live life as a JW with all that entails, we don't make hypocrites out of people. This is how it was for my sister, she was brought up as a witness same as I was, but she never got baptised. She respected our religion but it was never hers, it was ours. Freedom of choice and respect are just so important.
I think you're wise to wait a little bit until telling them, it never hurts to plan and be prepared. Also you're only 15 and theres far more chance of you being taken seriously by them if you approach them when you're a bit older.
I'm happy to share about my sister, she came out when she was about 18, but it wasn't a huge surprise, at least not for me. Our mum loves her just the same, once she got over the suprise! My mum is a lovely person but very old fashioned, I don't think she knew what bisexuality was! It's good to remember that a lot of older people are simply confused about different sexualities. In their day homosexuality was still illegal, and something they were entirely clueless about. A lot of what is branded homophobia is simply distrust and fear caused by a lack of knowledge. It's so often a generational thing, and older people need to have different viewpoints explained to them gently. My grandmother was one of these people, she had never met a gay person, they were almost mythical beings in her eyes! My sister has had a lot of in depth chats with her and she feels that my sister has taught her a lot. In fact, my sister had a gay friend who committed suicide because he couldn't cope with the prejudice he suffered. She told my grandma about this, who burst into tears (this woman is a devout JW by the way, and has been for 60 years). It powerfully displayed to me that showing a little patience and educating people who simply don't understand can work wonders.
So my sister doesn't come to meetings anymore so doesn't see members of the congregation often, she has her own circle of friends. Occasionally though she does, such as at my recent wedding. It was lovely to see her chatting with the girls she grew up with. They know she's bi, but it doesn't stop them wanting to catch up with the girl they had fun with and share memories with.
Just from watching how my sister has done it I would say your best bet is telling people gently, and try to stay calm and respectful always, even if the same isn't being directed to you. That way if anyone is unkind they are only showing themselves up, and have nothing to reproach you with. I really hope it all goes well for you!
@crescentmoon okay. thank you so much for your support and replies it has really helped and has changed my views on JWs. I have been told by people outside of the local congregation that the members arent proper JWs being as they tend to avoid newcomers and as it is a small congregation (about 50-60 i think) and is mainly made up of a family, cousins etc (which the religion has been passed through the family) so they tend to be a bit more hesitant to welcome other members, and ive never really met anyone else outside of the congregation except at conventions which we didnt really socialize but after reading your post it seems like there are really proper JWs out there. I’d always thought that christians in general where supposed to be accepting to everyone no matter of their differences and all i seem to hear and see is christians including JWs avoiding people, and not accepting people into the congregation when they want everyone to be welcome and have the chance. But after reading what you wrote, youve obviously been surrounded by a wonderful congregation, full of truly wonderful people. (a lot of people ive met within the christian community have been very close minded) its lovely to hear that there are still nice people out there
sorry about this i think its mainly to do with my upbringing being as my dad was emotionally and physically abusive towards me, my mum and siblings which resulted in a divorce and now my step dad, so i guess ive just had a negative view on the witnesses so thanks for reassuring me that there are people who still respect one another
@l'anglaisandfrancais I'm really pleased that I could help, it's such a difficult subject and I really want you to feel that you have support and acceptance. I can see how it must be quite an insular congregation, that really is very small. We have 140 in my congregation so my experience has clearly been very different! You are clearly an open minded person who wants to accept people and be accepted in return, you deserve respect for that and for whatever choices you make. I'm so sorry you have had so much to cope with in life, you will find support on this site as well as in friends and family that you can trust, I'm sure. Check in and let us know how you are doing, we would all like to know how you are getting on.
@crescentmoon I’ll be sure to keep you updated and thank you so much for the help and support with my situation i dont think i can expresshow much it means for you to help me, especially with someone with a somewhat similar situation it really helps me to see that im not alone and that people will support me, and that it can turn out for the better. thank you