I’m Asian, raised in a very conservative, tight-knit, Asian community, with strong emphasis on family and living as a collective society in harmony.
I have the perfect girlfriend. She's beautiful, kind, caring, considerate, well-educated, and very obedient (in an Asiatic cultural sense).
My parents set us up together, so they absolutely love her, as she helps around the house and is very respectful of them.
They already refer to her as their "daughter-in-law.” We’ve been together for over two years and my parents and her parents are talking about marriage and grandchildren SOON.
Here's the issue….. I'm gay.
Although, I've been intimate with my "girlfriend," I don’t consider myself bisexual simply because I did this relationship out of guilt (not hurting my family), and social pressure from my community (maintaining the perfect image).
I really don’t see myself marrying a girl and having a family, ever. I want to break it off and not continue this drama, but this would break my parent's hearts.
I know that if I came out to my family the whole structure will break down and I’ll be disowned.
In the community, my whole family will be disowned and shunned and I'll lose all ties with my siblings.
For those reasons, I’ve often felt that for the sake of my family, I should just get married and try to live a "normal" life.
My ex did end up marrying a woman and having children of his own, even though he still occasionally sleeps with men.
He told me that he felt too selfish throwing his family to the wolves and it’s easier to maintain a secret life while portraying the perfect family.
But I just can’t ruin my life or the life of a nice girl I’ve learned to love and respect.
Would it be incredibly selfish of me to sacrifice my family’s name for my lifestyle? Or should I just suck it up?
What a tough decision to face on so many levels! Yet you’ve already set your path by coming out to other gay men and knowing that’s who you are, and that marrying a woman would be living a lie with her, as well as with your family.
Also, many “secret lives” are inevitably exposed.
And then the devastation is far worse for everyone - the spouse, children, parents, siblings - who’ve been betrayed and deceived.
Speak up, soon. And stop being intimate with your “girlfriend” since you clearly have other sex partners and even suspecting this will make things more difficult for her.
You’d benefit from first planning your approach with the help of a professional counsellor who’s experienced with this kind of soul-searching dilemma.
Then you’ll have to simply handle it the best you can.
Many ethnic and religious communities today have grown more accepting of people identifying as LGBT (the most frequently used acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people).
They realize that it’s healthier for the whole community to stay connected, rather than shame anyone and cause the heartbreak of family breakup.
Hopefully, and maybe over time, that will happen in your case.
But you already know that you have to be true to yourself. When you have this conversation, tell your parents you love them, and appreciate your upbringing and culture. Say that you want them in your life.
Then, in the best way advised by the therapist, let them know why you cannot marry this lovely woman or any other.
I started talking to a man a week ago. We get along really well. He makes me laugh.
He broke up with his ex-girlfriend a little over a month ago. She continuously calls and texts him, using other people's phones so he'll pick up.
Yesterday, I got a message from her friend asking if we were dating. I didn't reply, as he’d suggested.
Am I overstepping my boundaries by trying to be with a man who just recently got out of a relationship?
This situation’s going to cause drama for quite awhile.
He’s shown little concern for boundaries after a breakup, by rushing into something new. It was bound to be hurtful to his ex and cause these reactions.
A week of dating has shown you little about his true nature, such as how he treats relationships and respects others.
Back off till he’s calmed his ex, and they’ve had more time apart.
Tip of the day:
Being true to yourself requires being honest with those who love you, about your sexual identity.