Queeries is an LGBTQ+ advice column catering to any individual across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Throughout this series, we will be answering questions or “inqueeries” that readers may have, and hopefully provide some closure and/or useful advice that can be used in everyday life. All questions are anonymous and will be answered to the very best of our abilities. Inqueeries can be sent to our Instagram’s DM @risenzine, Twitter DM: @risenzine, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tumblr page: risenmags.tumblr.com
This month our contributors will be responding to one submitted question in a Riseponds-like style. Enjoy!
“I am bisexual and feel guilty for not wanting to have a cheesy "coming out conversation”. I know my parents don't care because they are very open minded and they know my sister is gay, but I've never known another queer person (excluding those who might put themselves in a bad situation by coming out) who had no interest in coming out. Do I owe to them to tell them?”
V: Owning your sexuality can be a process, but I think most would agree it’s a worthwhile one. Truly owning that part of your identity means doing what you want and what makes you feel comfortable. So if having that classic capital letters COMING OUT isn’t your thing, then there’s no problem with that - and I can promise you that you’re not alone in feeling like this. Just bringing the person you are dating home, knowing they will be welcome, is a sign of progress and of trust in your parents - knowing that they accept you and not feeling you owe them an explanation (for what?). Whilst this may not be so relevant as your sister is out, here is one thing someone in a similar situation may want to consider. A ‘coming out’ can be more than just a big reveal, it can be a chance to have a conversation about things in a wider context. Even when you have open minded parents, there’s a difference between being passively not biphobic and actively supporting the LGBT community - they may be either. Whilst it shouldn’t take a parent knowing they have a non-straight/cis kid to motivate them to engage in supporting the LGBT community, we all know that often people care more about causes that feel personal to them. If you feel like sharing your sexual orientation with them would encourage further advocacy for the community and wouldn’t make you uncomfortable, that may be a reason to start a conversation. But remember that in coming out, or not, you have no responsibility to anyone but yourself. Whatever feels good for you, best of luck!
Daj: It sounds like your parents won’t judge you for being bi, so it might be best just to tell them casually and get it over with. There’s no need to sit them down and have the stereotypical “coming out conversation” if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Everyone comes out at different times and in different styles, so there is no standard way that you should be expected to come out. Do what feels right for you!
Stella: I was actually in a similar situation to this where my mother had many queer friends and openly supported LGBT rights and people personally. I grew up in an area that I know I would be safe in, but still worried that it might be different for her daughter to actually be gay. The conversation is always a little uncomfortable and hard to break the ice, but it’s one of those things that feel incredibly relieving afterwards. The freedom of being able to openly express your sexuality is incredible for some, but not important to others- and that’s completely okay. By no means do you have to come out and doing it for someone else makes it all the more uncomfortable. The choice is yours and it is in your control to make the decision. Follow your heart and gut instinct because that will result in *your* happiness! Best of luck XO
Amelia: I don’t think that you should feel strange at all for not wanting to come out. After all, it is your sexuality and so you control who can and can’t know about it. I would say that maybe in the long run it might be easier if they knew - for example, if you ever talk about dating someone, attending Pride etc. - but again, it’s entirely your decision. You do not owe anyone anything.
S: You definitely don’t owe them anything, considering it’s your life and your sexuality, but since your family seems wonderful and supportive, and I’m assuming you won’t be putting yourself into a bad situation by coming out, I think it could be beneficial to let them into your life in this way. Again, you aren’t obligated to come out to anyone, whether it’s your family, friends, or someone else, and in the end it should come down to what you are most comfortable with. Wishing you the best of luck!