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I had a homophobic family so I moved out

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A lot of people ask me how I managed to stay sane during all these years of living with my family even while I was dating other men. Each day they would question me, insult me, abuse me. I'm sure they knew this about me without me having to tell them, which I finally did four years ago.

The truth is I was miserable since my teenage years and on the verge of suicide until I decided to move out. I needed a quiet place away from all this, a place where I can build a new life, new relationships, but mostly to build my confidence in myself again and to teach myself the importance of being happy.

I distanced myself from my family for a few months before I was able to face them again. For almost a year every time I saw them it was very awkward until I confided in a few siblings that I was gay and in a relationship. It of course did not take them by surprise and some were actually supportive because they realize how hard my life has been living in a family that belittled and abused me each day because of who I am.

I wouldn't have been able to do this if I didn't take the necessary steps to create a new life for myself. Sometimes serious time alone is what a person needs to recover from these things.

I was lucky enough to have a stable job that allowed me to live by myself and sustain my own living but I know that most people in my position don't necessarily have this option or their culture wouldn't allow women to live by themselves for example.

The reason I am sharing this story is to let people know not to let the homophobia around us get the best of you. Turn it into positive energy somehow and find some space to really think about yourself and who you are. It's the only way you can really be happy with yourself and the only way you can recover from homophobic abuse especially from the people who are supposed to love you no matter what. It's hard but easier than walking around with suicidal depression or extreme unhappiness with your life and who you are. Only you can define yourself and only you can overcome these obstacles.

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  • My family is homophobic, but i dont have the power or the money to move out, i also live in egypt where it is near impossible to pull a stunt like that due to the lack of opportunities etc...any recommendations?

    • 25-34_f_w_h3_f2
      Advice

      It's the same for us women, sadly the option is not available for most of us. How I dealt with it is that I would be around my friends and girlfriend most of the time to be away from the negative and homophobic environments. Do you have a space like this where you can be comfortable with yourself and your surroundings? Are you currently in a relationship?

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    • 25-34_m_w_h4_f4
      Advice

      Thanks for your response, I can see why your situation is so difficult. Because my experience has been so different I don't have any good enough advice but repeating what Reem says about the need to stay away from homophobic enivornments (at home in particular) because it will end up harming you in the end and causing serious psychological damage like it did with me.

      My ex was also a bit younger, unemployed and was at home all day and his family were more homophobic than mine so he used to spend all his days with me at my apartment and go home only when necessary. I hope one day soon this will be an option for you too. You need to be around those who love you for who you are and not around those that you need to hide from. Take care of yourself and be strong.

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      Anonymous
      Comment

      Hi Samir, this is all easier said than done I'm afraid... sometimes there are obstacles that don't allow for any of this. I'm really having a tough time.

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    • 25-34_f_b_h2_f3
      Comment

      I wish you would explain more about your tough time! I am straight and can help explain how your family might see things from your point of view. I was very judgmental and close minded. My sister changed me and I think you are capable of doing the same to your family members.

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      Anonymous
      Experience

      There is no CHANCE my family will ever accept this. My father is a professor of Islamic studies at a very conservative and traditional University. My mother's religious views are even more radical than his. Moving out is preferable but nowhere near achievable. If any of my family members find out I have no doubt in my mind that it will turn out to be very violent and at this point I am concerned for my own life.

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    • 25-34_m_w_h4_f4
      Comment

      I really feel for you. I feel fortunate in many ways that I had the luxury of financial independence from a young age. It allowed me to move out and to easily distance myself from all the hate. I do not even want to imagine how my life would be right now if I was stuck in such an environment. Please let us know how we can be of help. I am personally at your service if you ever need someone to talk to.

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    • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
      Comment

      Lucky Samir! :)

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    • 17-24_f_w_h1_f1
      Comment

      YOU DID THE RIGHT THING, Its their job to accept you and if they dont they are wrong not you, you are just being who you were born to be

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    • 17-24_f_w_h3_f1
      Comment

      I want to move out but i cant

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  • 17-24_m_w_h1_f4
    Comment

    I can also relate to this. You're extremely lucky that you have siblings that understand you and are there for you. I myself came out to my sibling only a few months ago and it has made all the difference knowing that he is there for me. I have an extremely homophobic family and I definitely do not intend to come out to them, as much as it hurts that they can't know about a big part of who I am. Thinking about the future and all the opportunities it holds really helps me get through the rough times, especially knowing that I hopefully will not have to remain living within such an intolerant society. I only hope that someday we can create an environment in our society where there is less hate and more tolerance.

    Reply to -
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  • Homophobic family. Arent we all. But one should move on with time not living clinging to the past. My family for instance, religious back ground, one of my distant family is a mufti, and my father himself a pious man of law enforcer. My mom, a religious woman of herself who send me to school, and an islamic school from my younger age.

    But as time pass, my family knows there are gay people among us. My father except the reality and found out that the gay society are far more reassuring and understanding than the straight community which bears prejudice to you all the time behind your back. and my father said this and i quote they provide a good fashion advise and recipe. all in all is a win win situation.

    my family give the reason to choose who i want to be as long i can wade myself through it and they support who i am. if i stumble and wreck because of what i chose to be, they said then be it, we still help you to pic up that pieces. Are we angry you are gay, yes, but you are still our blood and meat and we respect who you are.

    my father even made a scenario: for instance in the prophet time cloning is Haram and it is prohibited. but now we allow it in animal and plants in different way of cloning not the creating life thing... to prevent the world starvation. and the mufti federation accept this matter. Tunisian government giving reassurance to gays and lesbians. time have mature us to see that we are not alone...

    so am i. being a student and employee myself, and living alone here in Egypt, developed a keen interest inside me to observe people and take what is bad and what is nice to be apart of my life. My family now embrace who i am and sometimes ask whoever i date to come home for dinner so my parents know whoever i date is not a twat..

    my family need a little push and they educate themselve.

    maybe that is all you need, a good little push... which will change the perception forever. easy said than done, but it can be done.

    Reply to MiKa_TheGayAgenda
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  • 17-24_m_w_h3_f3
    Comment

    Actually your life is prety much alike of mine .... keep your dreams ON Screw them all homophobic Jerks!

    Reply to mootjehits
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  • 25-34_f_b_h1_f1
    Experience

    For me, I had to move like one year ago because of domestic violence , I was still in the closet ,my mind was full of ideas to be independent before I leave home.I left it and I'm totally independent.
    And since I'm a female ,I faced a lot of trouble living on my won first place.But it's all about experience that teaches you how to survive.
    I believe that moving out and being independent is the key for you being more secured about your choices.
    Good friends are highly recommended ,who can support you and stand beside you.
    No one of my family knew yet,but no need to tell them meanwhile, cause it takes time for someone to change his/her mind about an idea of something that's been a taboo for long time.And it's still.

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  • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
    Comment

    I can totally relate, I can no longer take all the hate, all the questioning as SOME of my family knows and they know I'm trying to change bla bla, but this is so hard, all the jokes and everything, and my dad is old fashioned and everything but I love him so much but I just can't take having to hide so much, all the dating, everything.. it sucks having to run away, but it all did put me on the edge of suicide and I hope it's all over soon because I can't handle it anymore.

    Reply to kutakilu
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  • 17-24_m_w_h3_f1
    Comment

    u got to do what u had to do.... i support u! and i feel ashamed of ur family cause they have no idea what they've lost! they had to love u they had to support u, and protect u, i feel so sorry for them... and u r strong :) keep it up and never give up for who u really are

    Reply to Mina
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  • 17-24_f_w_h3_f3
    Comment

    I wish i can be able to do what you did and move out and be free. but that's not an option
    anyway i support you and wish you a happy life

    Reply to aikho
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    Anonymous
    Comment

    I totally understand what you're going through.

    Reply to Anonymous
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    Comment

    Good for you. The difficult part is to move out when there is a dependency upon your family when it comes to paying your college tuition and such

    Reply to asilarian
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  • 25-34_f_w_h1_f2
    Comment

    Youre probably one of the few lucky people out there to have a happy ending ( somewhat ) to their story.. I gotta admit im a bit jealous x)

    Reply to Dee
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    Anonymous
    Comment

    bon je suis tunisien , i see that it's a arabic version , but i want to ask why ur writing in english , all of you know that there is many homo they can't understund arabic and the reason of this site is to help them from others experience soo please write and talk arabic that will help them a lot plesaeeeee

    • Default-avatar
      Comment

      can't understund english*

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    • 17-24_m_w_h1_f4
      Comment

      You made the right choice, don't worry , you just have to try to balance your life personally, emotionally, and not show your real feelings, defects as quickly as you used to do, Coz people always dwell on the negative side of our personally,
      All the best mate.

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    Anonymous
    Experience

    I took similar steps but it was very hard , my family was okay with it but priority and respect was given to my straight family members as they were all straight and I was gay even tough I am the eldest in the family . it's very painful , but I think that's a small price we have to pay for being us ..

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  • 25-34_f_b_h3_f4
    Comment

    Yeah I have homophobic family and friends, I can't leave the house unless I get a job in another country, im hoping to move to one of the neighboring GCC countries soon, im 26, and my family being the way they are and their nature took a huge toll on my self esteem, My siblings know but like to pretend they don't and my parents, I get the feeling that they would physically assault me if they knew, so it's tough

    Reply to agedgrapes
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  • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    easy said than done. you need to be financially independent, have the guts to face your family, stand for yourself, try to be yourself without harming your family, hence homosexuality is still haram. wish you all the best.

    Reply to ibticem
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  • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    easy said than done. you need to be financially independent, have the guts to face your family, stand for yourself, try to be yourself without harming your family, hence homosexuality is still haram. wish you all the best.

    Reply to ibticem
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    Anonymous
    Experience

    i can relate to this. my family is giving me a very hard time especially my brother but i really have no place to go to get this quiet time. i am still a student, i am single, and no real friends. is it ironic that sometimes the only place i find some comfort is in a mosque.

    Reply to Anonymous
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  • 17-24_f_b_h2_f4
    Comment

    At this point, I can only imagine how the future would be like for me. In my culture, women who don't marry - or should I say, spinsters - are taunted by their extended family. They are subject of hateful gossip and a lot of rumors fly around about them, all of them ridiculous and untrue.

    Thankfully, I don't live there and as for their narrow-minded remarks? I say bring it on. But I worry about my mother. I don't want her to suffer because of my decisions. I can move out and away, but what about her? She'll have to stay and take the brunt of it all.

    I have no idea what to do.

    Reply to lmirna
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  • 35-50_f_w_h3_f4
    Experience

    That is very impressive. Your family seems so smart and understanding. I wish mine could be more like yours. It would have been a blessing growing up in such a tolerant and accepting environment where I could feel more confidence and happiness and less fear and loneliness.

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