How can people in LGBTQ+ relationships deal with rejection from their family?

AifeAife Posts: 945 Moderator

Hey everyone,

For many people in LGBTQ+ relationships, opening up to their family and friends can be difficult. Sometimes this can be met with rejection which isn't always easy to go through. There's a great article on The Mix website that gives some advice about what to do if you get a reaction that isn't what you wanted:
If your family or friends haven’t responded how you wanted, it will sting. It may even feel like your heart’s been ripped out. If this happens, surround yourself with people who make you feel good and give it time to settle down. There are a number of organisations and helplines you can contact for extra support at the end of this article.

Remember: if people have a problem it’s their problem, not yours. Your sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Ever.

How can people in LGBTQ+ relationships deal with rejection from their family?

Whether you're in an LGBTQ+ relationship yourself or not, we'd love to hear what your thoughts on this topic :yippe:

- Aife


  • AifeAife Posts: 945 Moderator
    Hey @ellaleftwonderland, you've mentioned some great advice here about how people in LGBTQ+ relationships can deal with rejection from their family. I really like your advice about people surrounding themselves with others who do accept them for who they are because rejection from family can be really hard for some people.

    There's a study that found evidence to suggest that disapproval from parents and family can actually increase the quality of an LGBTQ+ relationship. What do you think about this research?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts :)
  • LaineLaine Posts: 180 The Mix convert
    Rejection can suck especially from families but what I find helps is spending all your time with those who do care and do understand, be there for your partner and let them be there for you. surround yourself with friends who respect and understand you, and give your family some time to cool down, its extremely unlikely that hate lasts forever. they'll come around and you can repair your relationship with them but don't let it bring you down because there's so much love in the world x :)

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Two little ducks
    ​Hi :wave:

    I think this is a really important question since there are still so many people out there who aren't accepting of the LGBTQ+ community and when it is someone that is close to you, it can be really difficult to deal with this.

    ​I think a lot of this is due to the fact that we believe family will always give you unconditional love and when you find that this isn't the case anymore it is hard to accept.

    ​I want to suggest a few different ways to deal with this, depending on the situation that someone may be in:

    1 - In the beginning, family may have worries and doubts that do stem from social norms. For example, the older generation aren't used to the world being so open to things like sexuality and identity. Only a few decades ago you had to hide these things and they were heavily discouraged and discriminated against. So sometimes, people just aren't as open to it, but if they see you are more comfortable, happier and embracing yourself they will see that it is natural and right. In this case, showing them that you are happier being who you truly are may help their worries.
    Example: showing them that you are happy and safe with friends, on social media and in other areas of your life.

    ​2 - If it is a similar situation as above, some people may just need to be exposed to the LGBTQ+ community. By this I mean seeing how forward-thinking and open the world can be now.
    Example: showing them how big the LGBTQ+ community is online, how many events there are, how many activists and celebrities there are who are all thriving and embracing their true selves.

    ​3 - That being said, if you are being discriminated against, harmed, put down, rejected etc. and the family member (along with anyone else you come into contact with) can't accept who you are then you have to ask yourself if this is negatively affecting you. Is this person putting your happiness first? Are they purposely shunning you? If so, sometimes space is the answer here.
    Example: tell them how you feel and take some space away from them, They might come around and accept you in this time, or if not, you have some time to sort out your next step and have time to think if you want to heal the relationship or accept that it may have to change.

    ​4 - Like LaneBoi says, we have to surround ourselves with the best people who empower us, support us and want us to be happy. If a family member is rejecting you then they aren't doing these positive things. Here, you may have to distance yourself from them and instead embrace everyone in and around the LGBTQ+ community.
    Example: turn towards people in the LGBTQ+ community and make friends online, at events etc. to spread your wings and connect with people like you.

    Aife, the study you mentioned is very interesting and that they found:

    "evidence to suggest that disapproval from parents and family can actually increase the quality of an LGBTQ+ relationship"

    ​This just shows that even if you loose a relationship with a family member, you will gain so many more. With people who accept and love you for who you are. And these relationships will be even stronger and fulfilling!

    ​I hope that this helps anyone who is dealing with anything like this.

    Let me know if anyone is feeling this way and wants to chat even further. :)


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