Dear Barb—Coming Out for the Holidays

Dear Barb:

Merry Christmas! I am a gay guy in my early twenties.  I recently came out to my family and they reacted better than I thought they would.  Although my dad seems a little distant, my mom is pretty good with it.  I am one of three siblings.  My brother and sister are married with children.  My parents always host Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.  I am looking forward to coming home for Christmas as I live a two-hour drive away.  My partner and I have been together for almost a year and I am thinking of bringing him home for Christmas to meet the family.  I haven’t told my parents about him yet, so I’m not sure if I should bring Derrick home.  I haven’t seen my parents since I told them that I am gay, but I have talked to them on chat and Facetime.  I told my sister about my relationship, but she didn’t have an opinion about whether I should bring Derrick home or not.  I don’t want to cause stress for my family, but I would like to include my partner.  I’d be interested to hear your opinion on this issue.  Thanks Dan.

Hi Dan:

Merry Christmas to you as well.  Since you recently came out to your parents, it will probably take a while for them to feel comfortable with it, especially if they didn’t have any idea you were gay.  When looking back in retrospect, most parents will admit that they had an inkling their child was gay from an early age, but now that it’s out in the open things will change.  There are other family members, such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles  that will have to be told.  I don’t think it would be a good idea to come home with your boyfriend right now, even though you really want to.  My suggestion would be to talk to your parents and see if they are open to meeting your partner before Christmas.  After the meeting ask them how they would feel about you bringing Derrick home to meet the family at Christmas.  If they are reluctant or hesitant, give them some time to adjust.  This is a significant adjustment to their lives, as they had a vision of how your life would unfold and that is all changed with this new reality.  Remember they are from a generation where gays stayed in the closet and people lived their lives in denial.  On the other hand hey may surprise you and be open and receptive to your partner joining the family for Christmas.  Good luck Dan, happy you are living your truth.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I am going to end the year with one of my favorite quotes:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

– James Baldwin

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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