Our decisions are rarely black and white. They are usually grey. Full of nuance. Even those that at first glance seem simple can turn into real dizzying and heartbreaking.
(Not)fortunately, a Reddit user ThrowAwayz201301 he just had to teach this to his 17-year-old niece.
You see, a teenage girl told her uncle that she planned to tell the whole world that she was a lesbian. Despite the fact that he considers himself supportive of her, the man, however, advised her to wait a little longer – this will force her rich fanatical grandfather to exclude her from his multi-million dollar will.
At first, the uncle was sure that he had made the right choice when he informed the teenager about retribution. But after talking with his wife, he is no longer so sure about telling his niece that she should hide her identity. So he told the whole story to the subreddit.”I [Jerk]?‘, asking participants to share their opinions about it.
This 17-year-old girl wanted to tell her family that she was a lesbian
Image credits:cotton bro (not real photo)
But her uncle said it would cost her $7 million.
Image credits: Campus Production (photo not real)
Image credits: ThrowAwayz201301
Coming out is often portrayed as a one-time experience. The stereotype paints a picture of a young LGBTQ+ person who accepts himself and decides to open up to everyone in his life. They are then greeted with love and acceptance. Now they can even have a party.
But this simplistic view minimizes the complexity of the process, which, as we see, can actually be a series of exits.
Psychiatrist, Supervisor, Educator and Advocate Shahinna Ali, PhD, said that LGBTQ+ people face a range of stressors when they decide to tell the world the truth, and are plagued by questions such as:
- Will ____ still treat me the same way?
- Will ____ judge me?
- Will ____ be angry?
- Will ____ be sad?
- Will ____ hurt me?
- Will I lose my job?
- Will I lose my home?
- Will I be safe?
When enduring these stressors, LGBTQ+ people feel lonely, disconnected, confused, sad, ashamed, scared, angry, and vulnerable. These stressors help explain the sad statistic that LGBTQ+ people more than twice are just as likely as heterosexuals to experience severe mental health problems.
The original story poster (OP) joined the discussion in the comments to clarify some details
“I never thought I would have a problem with recognition,” says Monica T. Williams, Ph.D., ABPP, a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. said.
“I grew up in a relatively progressive American city, and at a time when many states had already legalized marriage equality – the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. But of course, when I started my first relationship with another woman at the age of 26, I felt a lot of negative emotions that I never thought I would experience. Getting out into the city in the middle of the Bible Belt and growing up as a Catholic really had a big impact on my new homosexual identity. Thoughts like ‘this is wrong’ and ‘I’m a sinner’ literally crossed my mind when I was just kissing my new girlfriend.”
While it was difficult for some to reach a verdict, most people said that the OP did the right thing.
Williams said that internalized homophobia can be exacerbated by a number of factors. “Certain religious beliefs are a major factor in the impact of internalized homophobia. Some religions promote messages that express bias and hostility towards LGBTQ+ people and condemn us as a group.”
However, it is important to note that religion is not the only reason for these negative feelings, and not all religions condemn people for being LGBTQ+.
“Social beliefs and social support certainly play a role as well,” Williams added. “Often, people develop internalized homophobia due to the negative messages they receive from society in general about LGBTQ+ people, from public debates about sex education to reports of discrimination.”
According to the psychologist, many people are afraid to come out because of rejection from their family members and friends, based on media reports of family rejection, and these unfortunate realities can further exacerbate the experience of internalized homophobia.
Let’s hope the 17-year-old doesn’t lose the courage to be herself no matter what she does.
LGBTQ+ representatives also joined the discussion to share their views.