Gay/Lesbian/Bi Teens/Her Parents
I am 17 and, up until January, I was in a wonderfully happy relationship with a 16 year old girl I met at school. so happy in fact, that I came out to my parents... but about a week after that we broke up. We still talk and lately she's told me that she still loves me, still wants me and everything, and that the only reason we broke up is because her parents disagreed and told her that she was dirty and disgusting. yes, we're lesbian and I understand how they might dislike that...but we were very well behaved... we never did ANYTHING that could be considered disgusting. After hearing them tell her that for so long she began to question her feelings for me and we broke up. It tore us both apart from the inside out. We're still best friends, in fact most people haven't realized that we broke up. Now she tells me that she wants to try again, after she graduates and is able to move out. She is afraid to try again while she still lives with her parents. What can I possibly say or do to convince her that she is her own person and that its her life not theirs? They don't want us together because they are worried about their reputation. I just feel horrible that she has to take all that crap from them... I just want to be with her and she wants to be with me too... What can we do?
Thanks for writing. It is a courageous thing to ask for help. This is a bit of a tricky one.
On one hand, it is good that you both have each other and have been bold enough to come out. Despite the emotional strain, you've both demonstrated enough maturity and love to realise the blocks standing in your way. You're both even making plans to move beyond those blocks.
I can totally understand where you're coming from. I too have been in a situation where I was out and ready but my partner at the time was in the closet to her parents. It can be frustrating to feel like you're all green lights and waiting around for the other person to catch up.
But bear in mind, your gf is 16 which is an incredibly young age to make these big steps. Of course coming out has no age limit but she and you as people are still developing. And part of that development is the formation of your characters. I have no doubt that this event will really be character-building. However cut yourselves both some slack.
Yes, it is unfortunate that sometimes the ones closest to us e.g. parents might not accept who we are. Maybe they will with time, or maybe they never will. But the transition from a child to an adult - or better still - the transition from someone who needs their parents' approval to someone who accepts themselves without this approval, can be a long, slow and difficult shift. But it can and does happen.
My advice would be to be patient. You both know what the underlying issues are. Do not underestimate just how important knowing that is! And how advantageous being aware can be.
Having a secret love affair doesn't feel good long-term but if you two can put some time frame on it - indeed like when one of you graduates, then it will make things more manageable.
I don't know how far away graduation is for her or you. But think of it like this. If she were only your friend and you knew she was going through this challenging time, wouldn't you still stay by her side to help her through? I'm guessing the answer is yes. I suppose what I am saying is that, regardless of the nature of your relationship, I think you'd want to be there and support her until she's ready to move onto the next stage. And you'd want to do this not because of anything you'd gain for yourself but because you care about her and it is simply the right thing to do.
Hope that helps somewhat. Life is a very big learning curve but trust that things will be what they need to be in order for you to be the person you should be.