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General Support and Advice If you would like support and advice on something that doesn't fit into any of the other Support Area forums then you can post it here.

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Old 10th Jan 2017, 09:35 PM   #1
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I need advice, please

I'm...I don't know why I'm here. I'm straight but I want to support the LGBT community. At the same time I'm christian and my family is pretty homophobic. My cousin came out awhile back and I wasn't there for him. I've read some of the stuff on here about that process and it sounds like you're in a pretty vulnerable state when that happens and I just wasn't there for him. I loved him like a brother, how could I do that...Anyway he came out around the time gay marriage was legalized in the US and so I was also hearing a lot from my family (mostly my dad) about how disgusting it is and how wrong and then my church was also focusing on scripture dealing with homosexuality so I wasn't in the most receptive of moods when I got the news I wasn't always this way.

Now before the whole gay marriage thing my perception of homosexuality was that they’re just people. My family never brought it up and my church was focused on other topics. So I had a friend in high school and he told me he liked men and I was just like, that's cool, me too. I didn't think it was that weird a thing to say, it was like telling me the grass was green, it phased me in no way, I had no concept of gay. He brought it up a few more times and I reacted more or less the same, he even told me about guys he was crushing on and we just talked about it as naturally as I would have with a female friend. I didn't realize it then but he might have been fishing for a reaction, trying to make sure I heard him or believed him or something. A few times he asked me if I was a lesbian and said he'd love me more if I was. I think he was kinda hoping he'd stumbled upon a homosexual friend.

I miss my old perception when people where just people and I didn't label them. I feel like I've realised this too late though. It's been quite a while since I made contact with my cousin and with this realization I just more than anything wanted to talk to him again. I tried messaging him around thanksgiving and Christmas but I don't think he even saw one of my messages. Christmas eve I was going to message him Merry Christmas or something but I got this message from Facebook instead. It basically said he either deleted his account or blocked me. I'm scared I've lost him forever. I want a do over, I want to support him where I failed to before.

Was it too little too late? Should I still try to get in contact with him? Should I just stay away? I don't know what I'm doing, my family is so homophobic so I have no one to talk to about this...
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: I need advice, please

<<from a closeted kid, Christian/Christian family>> Baby steps. You can be really passionate about it, and have the best intentions, and push him away even more/permanently because you're trying too hard. He needs to know you're there. No lengthy messages or conversations - just that you aren't leaving his life or neglecting him because he's gay. That being said, don't abandon attempts to start conversation. If all he knows is your family's homophobia, he probably lumps you all together. You might not have chances to tell him everything you want to. Little things go a long way. Inviting him to stuff. A smile. Including him in activities. He just wants to be treated normally.

---------- Post added 11th Jan 2017 at 02:29 PM ----------

And, while it might not always be appropriate, it is okay to call your parents out on homophobic comments. Just something like "Hey dad, I think that bothers him. Maybe it would make things more comfortable for everyone if we didn't say stuff like that."

"I miss my old perception..." That lies completely with you. You don't have to let other's opinions of your cousin and his "lifestyle" decide how you feel about it. You don't have to label people. See them for people - the beautiful people that they are. When you start trying to look past the outside, it changes everything. Even if you have to do so quietly and from afar, you can be a good ally. Even if you don't/aren't able to talk about their sexuality or LGBT topics, or come to their defense, LGBT people can know that you're a safe place. Keep it up! It sounds like your hearts in the right place. <3
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: I need advice, please

I think you should at least try to reach out. You could explain you went here, and that you feel bad for not being there, and that you wish you were. Above all do what feels right
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 01:45 AM   #4
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Re: I need advice, please

Thank you both for taking the time to respond to this thread, it means a lot to me. I think you're probably right, I might have come on to strong and pushed him away a bit. I'm going to reach out to him again and just let him know I'm here if he ever needs to talk.
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