Queer and engaged, but what to tell religious/ non-accepting parents?

posted 3 years ago in LGBTQ
  • poll: What should I do about the engagement/wedding and my parents?
    Try again to invite my partner to thanksgiving and save the engagement announcement for later. : (17 votes)
    15 %
    Tell my parents that I am engaged and ask if they would support/be a part of our wedding. : (34 votes)
    29 %
    Elope---don't invite parents, but have a simple ceremony at the courthouse and tell everyone later. : (2 votes)
    2 %
    Write my parents a long letter about all this. : (16 votes)
    14 %
    Call my parents on the phone and talk about all of this. : (5 votes)
    4 %
    Talk to my parents face-to-face (difficult) about all of this. : (34 votes)
    29 %
    Stop trying to talk to my parents about my relationship/partner and instead just live our lives. : (9 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 3
    3845 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Kirara:   First, a very warm welcome to the Bee.  Second, and very gently, you need to settle in your mind whether you want, or do not want, your parents’ blessing and/or presence at your wedding.  From that decision, the rest will follow.

    All I can say is that I hope you will surround yourself (plural – you and your partner) with those who love, accept and support you, in all your decisions, and who celebrate your love wholeheartedly.  I hope that will include your parents, but it may not.  If not, please don’t hold back on your own joy.  

    Wishing you all the best. 

    Post # 4
    320 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I personally think that you should talk with your parents alone first… For parents who are uncomfortable with your relationship, it will take time for them to potentially become more accepting. I struggled with my aunt not being very accepting of my relationship with my now wife, but I had many conversations with her about it and she has slowly come around more. Still not 100%, but I didn’t let her unacceptance stop me from bringing my wife up in conversation… like saying her name, telling her things we were doing, etc… 

    Honestly, I feel like it would help for you to talk with them and then accept that it may take awhile for them to accept it. Perhaps she could go over for thanksgiving dinner like you mentioned and that could act as a segue into further contact. I invited my aunt to my wedding back in May and she didn’t come. I knew she wouldn’t, but I invited her anyway because I didn’t want to hide anything from her. To me, hiding it would be validating what your parents feel… that it is something to be hidden. 


    Congratulations on your engagement!

    Post # 5
    1590 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    How old are you? I think since you’ve only been together a year, it can’t hurt to give your relationship some more time before engagement. Your parents will likely come around in time. I’ve seen this happen in a few instances when the parents had time to adjust.

    Post # 6
    4072 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    That’s tough. If it were me, I would already pick a date to have your small wedding (whether it has a “wedding” feel or getting married at the courthouse), and tell your parents when and where. Tell them you would love to have them there, but they are free to not attend if they are not accepting of your partner. I’d maybe tell them this over the phone or in person.

    Then I’d also have your partner over for Thanksgiving if your parents welcome her.

    If your parents become more hostile as a result of all this, then back off and don’t communicate for a while. They may come around or they may not.

    Post # 7
    10454 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    Tough situation Frown

    Could you meet them somewhere neutral, or at your place.  If they felt like it was too much for them, they then have the option of leaving early.  A whole thanksgiving dinner might be a very long dinner.

    I would have them meet her before bringing up the engagement, but I don’t know your parents.


    Post # 8
    2878 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    *hugs* that sounds like a really shitty situation 🙁  I think you should have them meet her before announcing your engagement, and I don’t think that meeting should take place at thanksgiving.  Just because I feel like it being on a family holiday puts even more pressure on the situation, not to mention that it tends to be a more drawn-out meal than an average dinner. 

    I’d call them and arrange to meet up face-to-face to talk about it, and then during that talk, try to set up a time for them to meet her. However, if they really just aren’t willing to listen, there’s only so much you can do :-/

    Post # 9
    466 posts
    Helper bee

    I’m sorry you are going through this.  Honestly, no one should have to go through this and it really, really sucks that you are in this situation.  I think you need to talk to your parents face to face, and let this new information sink in.  As a PP said, sometimes it takes parents a long time to come around to new ideas, but they do come around.  (I’ve had friends whose parents were very accepting of LGBT community until their children came out to them.) If you only came out to them a few months ago, they may still be reeling.  It sounds like they love you and are trying to understand the situation, but have a lot of their own issues, prejudices and hangups to overcome.    

    I think you should give them more time before announcing your engagement.  This is all happening very fast, and they’ve only met your FI once.  That said, I do think you should eventually announce your engagement to your parents.  See how the next few months go, and if their attitude and acceptance levels change at all.  You have a beautiful relationship with your FI, and you shouldn’t have to hide that from the world or your parents.  Even if you do decide to elope, you should inform your parents first.  In time, your parents may come to accept your decision and come to love your FI, and you may find you want them at your wedding.

    You and your FI have only been dating a year.  There’s no rush to run off and get married this second.   


    Post # 10
    663 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn

    First of all, congratulations on your engagement! This is such an exciting time in your life and it’s hard when family isn’t really involved. I’m sorry your family is still coming to terms with your orientation. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t come around and be supportive, they may just need some time. I think you should personally tell them about your engagment and ask them to support your relationship. As for Thanksgiving, I  would not go if my partner could not come. This is your life partner, you should be together on holidays and your family should respect that. Whether they want to be involved in your wedding or not my advice is to try and leave the door open. When I came out to my Mom I lost my relationship with her. I wish I had left the door open for her rather than shutting her out, especially now that she’s gone.

    Post # 11
    7052 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Kirara:  I have a relative who is Christian (as am I) with a gay daughter who recently came out to them. Fortunately for her, they have been very accepting.

    For thanksgiving, I’ve got to say: their house, their rules. If they say no, I think you’ve got to accept that. That also means you’re not obliged to attend Thanksgiving alone.

    But bring up the idea of meeting them at a more private time (i.e. just the 4 of you).

    For your wedding, defintely invite them. Maybe they’ll decline but, as a mother (and thinking of my relative too) they’d want to have the choice.

    Post # 12
    534 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    If you’ve only come out to your parents over the past few months, I would give them a little more time to adjust to the news before you tell them you’re engaged.

    I do think having tough conversations like this are best done in person, if possible.  Sit down and explain that this is who you are, you can’t “change,” and that you and your partner are living together and are in a serious relationship.  Tell them you’d like their love and support.  And then give them a little time to sort out their feelings.  

    As for your wedding, I echo the PPs who have said to wait a little bit.  I would try to work out your relationship with your parents first.  If they have a little time to accept who you are, they may come around and really want to be part of your big day.

    Post # 13
    7929 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    I think in difficult situations like this, a physical letter is the way to go. You can express yourself openly without worrying about your emotions getting the best of you and it’s very non-confrontational. You parents can take it in at home in a safe environment and think about what you’ve written before they give a response, which hedges against a knee-jerk response.

    You may want to tell them in person about the engagement first and use the writen letter as a follow-up. That would depend on whether you think your parents deserve to be told in person that their child is getting married.

    A phone call, in my opinion, would be the worst option.


    Post # 14
    1840 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @Kirara:  congratulations on finding your lovely wife-to-be and becoming engaged. I am sorry your family is not supportive during such a beautiful and happy time in your life! Perhaps you should have lunch with your fiancée and family in a neutral spot and make the engagement announcement there rather than thanksgiving (I’m assuming other family will be there and the potential for unpleasant drama is high)?


    let them know you are engaged, amd tell them you would be thrilled to have them at your wedding should they decide they want to support you. I would not hide it – I’m assuming you are an adult and are entitled to live your life as you see fit, and they have to treat you as such or risk being left out of some very special once in a lifetime events (like your wedding!). 


    Post # 15
    10904 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    If your parents are committed, Bible-believing Christ followers, I honestly do not think that you can expect them ever to accept the idea of their daughter being in a romantic relationship with or marrying a woman, because they believe with all of their hearts, minds, souls, and spirits that such relationships simply are not acceptable in the eyes of God. In fact, their faith requires  them to reject the very premise on which your relationship is based.

    However, this does NOT mean that your parents do not LOVE you very, very much or that they desire to reject youor even that they they desire to reject this woman who means so much to you

    It is entirely possible for people with very different belief systems  — who could never “tolerate” the beliefs of others (the way your parents could not “tolerate” yours, and you and your SO could not “tolerate” theirs) — still to deeply LOVE and RESPECT each other as individuals, in ways that do not require them to compromise their own deeply held core beliefs and values.

    Instead of asking your parents to violate their consciences before God by asking them to accept the nature  of your relationship with your SO, I would allow them to continue to be in your life as they always have been — as your loving parents, and you, as their loving daughter, and to allow them get to know and love your SO as an individual person who is important to you, the way you would with a friend who is very important to you. 

    Some time ago, I posted the attached article in another thread. I believe it may help to explain better what I’m trying to describe.  Perhaps it will help you and your parents.


    Post # 16
    3432 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    If you are trying to build a relationship with your family, I think you need at least to invite them to your wedding–although you can also tell them that you’ll understand if they are too uncomfortable to attend.  They may not come.  But if they do, the familiar symbols of a wedding are likely to help them begin to understand that your wedding and your marriage are as important to you as theirs are to them.  And even if they don’t, at least they will know that you didn’t exclude them from such an important event in your life.  Not inviting them could be seen as either rejection of them, or an “admission” that your wedding isn’t as important as a straight wedding, since clearly you would have invited them if you’d been having a straight wedding.

    And I’d suggest telling them you are engaged sooner rather than later.  It may take time for them to come around, if they ever do.  And the longer you wait to tell them, the less time they have to come around.

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