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Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I guess I'm here for help and advice, or maybe just to discuss, or maybe simply a safe space.

I'm a closeted gay guy and intersectional feminist. Other than my sexuality, I am in a position of privilege. I come from a financially stable background and I'm white, cisgender and almost every recorded ancestor of mine was a native of the British Isles. If I was heterosexual, I'd be the epitome of British white privilege. Despite this, I acknowledge my position and wish to make the world a better place, and make a difference, no matter how small. I believe that everybody should be treated equally, both morally and legally, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, etc. Unfortunately, my family don't share my views. In fact, almost all of my close family have a far-right social and political ideology.

If the rest is too long, scroll to the bottom for a more brief summary.

While my mother has mentioned in casual discussions that she'd still accept her children if they were gay, my whole life I've heard "casual" homophobic slurs. This caused so much internalised homophobia. Not only did a younger me see heterosexuality as the only norm, but also homophobia as a normal; morally and politically correct thing. Many a time around the table during a sunday dinner, a discussion has arisen around gay rights. "The bloody gays have more rights than we do", my mother would say, with clear intent in her tone, continuing on to claim gay marriage as "wrong". My sister would grunt in agreement, my grandfather would carry on the whole charade, putting across his arguably more extreme homophobic views. This stuff hits me hard. To know, to hear it from their own mouths, that not only should I be forbidden from marrying someone I love, but that I am somehow more privileged than them because they can't legally treat me as their lesser. But, as I'm terrified of coming out to them, I have to plaster on a straight face and act as if what they said wasn't just a knife through my heart.

I am inarguably most affected by their homophobia, but hearing their xenophobic comments and racist, islamphobic yells at the television affects me on a different level. To hear their disgusting remarks about minorities, about all the races, cultures and communities that differ from them. To see a muslim woman in hijab walk past while we're sat in traffic, hoping to not hear another "take that bloody burka off" said loud enough to convey anger, but not enough for anyone outside the car to hear. To have to sit through 90+ minutes of racial abuse being hurled at the footballers on the television. It hurts me so much to think that these people can say all these things, all this hurt, but still have the nerve to think they're somehow morally or biologically superior to the people they're hurling abuse at, based on skin tone or religious beliefs. Being gay isn't a choice, but I can hide it. Skin tone isn't a choice, and that cannot be hidden. To see people who also face discrimination, but who cannot hide the reason for other's disdain for them. It affects me so much emotionally to see the sadness and pain that's caused by the people so much like my family.

They'll never say it to somebody's face, it's like they know it's wrong, but still do it regardless. They'll probably never directly cause anyone to feel lesser because they won't publicise their hatred. But they're enablers, as long as people like them say what they say behind closed doors, the generations they raise will continue with these awful views. They're just as bad as someone on a white power march. Sometimes their comments are truly comparable to that of Nazis.
With the rise of so-called islamic extremism, their contempt for muslims only greatens. Hearing them, on more than one occasion, discuss the mass genocide of 1.7+ billion muslims globally and actually partly believe they actually want such a thing.

With the election of Donald Trump as POTUS, and Britain voting to leave the EU, the rise of the alt-right has just strengthened their views. I used to find solace in social media. To look at accounts posting pictures of adorable puppies, or to see posts about people trying to make the world better. Now, I can't even scroll my timeline without being exposed to racism and homophobia. Having grown up around it for as long as I remember, you'd think I'm used to it. The reality is the opposite. Seeing hatred and contempt for minorities, and the deplorable way people show it physically sickens me.

I'm reaching breaking point. As I grow older, I'm finding it progressively harder to hide my sexuality from my family. I try to avoid them, I try to avoid everything. I've skipped so much school, only keeping up my grades with online learning, within the confines of my bedroom, my only safe space. The social media outlets where I used to find comfort have been taken over by hatred, my family's views get continually more awful and I can't block it out. I need to get out, I need to start college in september and create a future for myself, but I'm stuck. I rarely leave my bedroom. To add to my problems, I've been a victim of my fair share of bullying. This has resulted in terribly low self confidence and a sense of self hatred.

This all leads me to right here, right now. Awake at close to 2am typing this up, even though I doubt many will see it, and even fewer care enough to read it. I can't sleep. Sometimes I'll just roll around and eventually drift off. Other nights, like tonight, I just can't fall asleep. I know I have real anxiety issues, but at night I get the same anxious feelings, but have no idea why. No clue what I'm anxious about.


TLDR SUMMARY

My family are homophobic and racist and I'm losing my safe spaces and my anxiety and self-esteem are worsening and I can't sleep and I'm basically here to find people to discuss all this with, to hopefully provide some comfort and perhaps a new safe and happy place for me.

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    DreaDrea Posts: 292 The Mix Regular
    Hi edc,

    Everything that you have written is surely something which is an issue not only for yourself, but also for a lot of other people! It's very very admirable that you are so accepting of other cultures, races, religions, sexualities etc... It can be very difficult particularly when you are growing up sometimes to continue to relate to your family and to share the same views, because naturally being brought up a certain way can then clash with the views and opinions which you build by yourself as you grow up. Another thing which is good to point out is that although you admit you grew up at certain points in your life thinking that homophobia was normal, you have clearly changed your views and a lot of people would struggle to accept a change in views so well done for that!

    It is clear that you are struggling to come to terms with living with your family and maintaining a happy relationship and atmosphere, yet being unhappy with their views and opinions. Coming out on these threads is a great step on its own and it can be difficult. Many people on these threads often have troubles coming out to their families and ask for help similar to yourself. I have a friend who is in a relatively similar situation, yet she decided to tell me and a few of her other friends first. She is yet to come out to her parents as she is equally as fearful of losing that relationship with her parents. From a personal opinion, I cannot wait for the day when people can just tell their parents that they gay/lesbian/transexual etc... without fearing what reaction the parents will have (or anyone for that matter). However, one thing to keep in mind is that you are the future in this case! Build on your opinions and keep going with the encouraging views you have on equality because these sorts of attitudes tend to radiate and acceptance and equality often improve the more people are for it!

    In terms of coming out to your parents, there isn't much we can suggest since we aren't of course familiar with your family! However, if you are comfortable doing so, you could start off by telling your friends or someone who you're closer with and ask for their opinions on coming out to your parents. here is a link which may help you about coming out: http://www.themix.org.uk/sex-and-relationships/sexuality/how-to-come-out-3741.html

    In terms of social media, there are ways to block the posts you may see which are bothering you! If this is facebook, you can unfollow certain people so that their posts or shares do not come up on your wall, without actually having to delete people from your facebook. There is a similar tool with twitter and instagram and theyre known as the 'mute' tool where you again don't have to see posts by people you don't want to delete completely.

    You mentioned that you were bullied and that you have developed low self-confidence and self-hatred. You are definitely not the only one who has suffered from this and when I was in high school, I had a similar issue. However, self-confidence tends to increase over the years and judging by your whole post, you seem like a very fair person with the right intentions! The fact that you feel so strongly about equality says a lot about how good of a person you are, so if this helps we hope that the self-hatred gradually diminishes! People who bully show the kind of people they are, and not the kind of person you are. I like this quote 'What Sally says of Susie, says more about Sally than Susie'.

    Hopefully we've covered most of the issues you addressed here but feel free to ask again if there is anything we have missed out on replying to! You are young and in terms of personal views, many current generations differ from the views of their parents and that's perfectly normal and okay, because attitudes change throughout the years, and there have most definitely been many changes since your parents very young age and your current age. With the anxiety, see if you can find ways to control it naturally such as going out and spending time with friends or taking the advice and telling people other than your family about your sexuality if you're comfortable with that. If not, it would be great to hear from you to see how you're doing and then we can guide you on finding some help to tackle the anxiety!

    Hope you have a great day and sorry for the essay!

    Drea:heart:
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