Dearest Ma and Dad,
This is something important I wanted to discuss with you both, about me. I was hoping to do it when I reached home, but I think it needs to be brought up now. I would rather do this in person, but writing it down hopefully helps you both understand, and re-read if you want. I think you’ll need to. This is mostly because I feel its time for me to be a bit more honest, to you and to myself.
I’m gay. I’ve known and felt it since I was 15 years old. I’ve never had any interest in women. I’ve dated them, tried to find them attractive, but it doesn’t work that way. Its something that I didn’t understand at first, but finally figured it out. I tried to stay busy with school and other activities to distract myself from the obvious. You know how occupied I’ve always been, and now you know why. Its been a tough 14-15 years, and somewhat depressing, and somewhat lonely. Its hard to explain the lack of companionship all these years, the lack of someone that you are attracted to and care about. You probably cannot comprehend it, but please try.
I kept quiet because I wanted to be a good son. You have expectations of a certain life for me. You’ve been great parents, and I owe you so much. And I’ve tried, tried really hard. Its taking its toll on me. I’m perpetually tired thinking about it, I fall sick all the time (as you pointed out today), I’ve lost weight, my work is suffering. Talking to you at home becomes depressing and I tend to do it less often recently, since all we talk about is getting married someday. I feel guilty when I talk and email girls I’m dating, feigning excitement and attraction. Haven’t you noticed how disinterested I’ve been in the entire subject? Have you never suspected anything?
I was recently distressed to the point of thinking that I should end it all. I just couldn’t see a way out of living this lie. I live on the 20th floor, how hard can it be? Fortunately, better sense prevailed, I’m a bit stronger than that.
I say better sense prevailed because I finally accepted it, and myself. I realized, and hope you do too, that it doesn’t take away from anything I’ve accomplished. I’ve done well so far, and it has nothing to do with being gay. I’ve been a good son (I think), and hopefully you’re still proud of me. I’ve been a good student, a hard worker, and a conscientious citizen. I still am. I still want a family, a home. I still have the same ambitions. I just want them with someone I care about. It won’t be strictly how you see it, but it’ll happen. I don’t want to fool an innocent girl into believing I love and care about her. No one deserves to be subjected to that. As parents of a daughter, and as grandparents of a granddaughter who will marry someday, I hope you agree.
Again, I was hoping to have this conversation when I got home, but I don’t think it can wait. More importantly, I’m not sure how you and Dad will react. I’d like to be close to you when I’m saying this, but I’m scared to come home. You’re both well read and aware of homosexuality, but this is still pushing those boundaries. Hopefully you know enough to understand its not a choice I make. I know you’re upset a lot these days Mom, partly because of the way I’ve been. I hope you understand why I’ve been behaving this way lately. I know this might disappoint you further, but it is too big a deal for me to sweep it under the rug anymore. You live only once, and I know I’ll regret it if I never say anything. I don’t want to be someone who lives a double life simply because I live away. I wasn’t raised like that.
I’ve told some friends already, and they have been extremely proud and supportive of me doing the right thing. I hope you understand, I just had to talk to someone about it. They have given me the courage to do this. Most of all, I’m finally letting you know because I felt that if my child was in so much distress, that I as a parent would want to know. After reading this, I hope, if nothing else, you’re glad to know me better.
Fortunately, we live in increasingly LGBT friendly times. I’ve figured out a lot in my lifetime, and I’ll figure this out. All I ask from you is to accept me for who I am. That is all. I know the family and other people will ask questions, and I think we can work together to find a way to answer those. But please understand I cannot put up an act for a lifetime for their sake. I won’t survive it.
Please call and let me know what you’re thinking, once you both have read and discussed this. I trust you won’t rush to judgement. I’ll be glad to discuss anything that you want.
Love you so much.