- 4 years ago
- Wedding: December 2013
I’m new here, but I’ve read through some of the other posts and it really seems like there’s a nice community here. I hope someone might have advice about my situation. I wasn’t really sure which board to post on, since it’s relevant to so many, but here goes…
So my partner and I got engaged at the end of August 2013. We are both in our mid-20s, queer, and don’t have a lot of money/resources. We live together already, but neither of our families knows that. She’s estranged from her family for the most part, and I’m not super close with mine, but trying to build a relationship with them.
The problem is, my parents are very religious and generally against anything queer. I came out to my parents over the past few months, which has been difficult. My mom basically doesn’t want to talk about it and denies everything/ wants to avoid the subject. And my dad listened but didn’t really say anything to me about it. He just seemed very uncomfortable and hurt and confused, but didn’t say anything more.
My parents know (or at least I’ve told them) that I’m queer and have a girlfriend/partner. However, I only recently told them that my partner is someone they have already met (I invited her over once last year, before we were really dating seriously, and introduced her as my friend). They don’t yet know that we live together or that we are engaged.
I thought that inviting my partner to thanksgiving dinner might be a way for them to get to know her and see that we are a cute, real, stable couple who love each other dearly. I thought maybe spending some time with both of us would help them to see us as real people and to stop seeing LGBTQ people as this huge/scary unknown force.
I asked them if they were okay with me inviting her to thanksgiving dinner. My mom gave a lot of excuses (“the house needs fixing, we might be traveling, our plans are unclear”) which basically tell me that she’s too uncomfortable to consider it. My dad, on the other hand, said nothing, but just started breathing in a stressed way (we were on the phone).
What should I do?
It seems like my parents don’t want to even think of me being with another woman at all. The idea that I have a girlfriend freaks them out and makes them very uncomfortable. They haven’t told me I was going to hell or anything, but my mom has definitely tried to lecture me with bible verses and explain to me why I should “stop all this nonsense.” I don’t even know how I’d break it to them that my partner and I have been together almost a year, and living together almost half that time.
How can I get my parents to see my partner and I in a serious light, and not just an “uncomfortable topic” they can put off thinking about forever?
My partner and I are trying to decide when to get married. For me it kind of depends on whether my parents will want to come or not, but how can I even bring up such a topic with them when they can’t even yet understand that I’m in a serious relationship? Would it help to tell them that we are engaged, or would that just be information overload/a downward spiral for them?
My partner and I would like to have a very, very small wedding/celebration—intimate, secular, up to 20 people, but perhaps as small as just us, my sister, and my partner’s best friend. If my parents don’t want to support our relationship, then I’m not sure if I should invite/tell them…but at the same time, I wonder if it might be too sad/painful both for my parents and me that they aren’t there, and to find out later? Or maybe it would be a relief, since we wouldn’t have to see their sad/uncomfortable/judgmental faces on our happy day?
Should we just elope and tell my parents later? Or should I invite my parents and see what they say? If I invite them, how should I do it—write them a letter/email, call them, say it in person? It would be so hard for me to say it in person. Just thinking about it makes me almost cry.
Ugh. Sorry this is so long, but I really can’t figure out what to do on my own. Please help?