Monday, September 24, 2012

Draft coming out letter to my aunts, uncles and cousins

Hello everyone!!

Over the weekend, I've been thinking a lot about coming out to my extended family.  I have come to think that the best way for me to do it was to write them a letter.

Do you think it's a good idea?  I will transcript my letter below, so please tell me what you think of it.


Hello (__)

I write you this letter to make you know about the recent developments in my life.  For more than a year now, I have imposed on myself a lot of questioning and thinking.  The goal was to get to know me better and once that would be done, to accept and love myself as the person I would discover I am, without trying to change me.  So, I am gay and I live well with it.  My family knows and supports and continues to love me like before.  I admit that without that, it would be very difficult to go forward, so I really thank them for that.

I admit that I am lucky in the way that I have never been victim of intimidation and mostly, it has never shaken me to think that I was gay.  You probably wonder why I waited for so long before coming out.  I would say that it is something that needs to be done when you’re ready.  It makes it easier, even if it is not easy at all.  Coming out to my parents was the most terrifying and difficult experience in my life.  Like we say, you have to live it to understand what it is.  I imagine that it is like being a parent: we may have many ideas on what it could be, but we really need to live it to understand all the subtleties, the doubts and fears that loom over our head when it happens to us.

I would like to use that opportunity to explain what it means that I am gay.  It means that I like men and that I want to make my life beside another man.  It’s simple, isn’t it?  Now, here is what it doesn’t mean.  The list is much longer, because there is still a lot of strong bias in our society.  It doesn’t mean that I am weak, that I will die of AIDS, that I am sick, that I am less of a man than straight guys, that I can’t love a man as much as a man can love a woman, that I am depraved, that I am unfaithful, that I don’t want to be a father, that I could not be a good father, that I will suddenly act differently, that I am ignominious, that I don’t deserve to be happy…. And many more!

Finally, I would like to explain my choice to send you a letter instead of talking to you in person.  First, I am not the type to make a big public announcement. I prefer to go one or two person at the time to have a better contact.  So, I could have tried to meet you in person to tell you.  Maybe you would have preferred it this way.  But, as I explained above, coming out is very difficult, even if I feel ready and that I accept myself.  It is really stressful and shattering  to shake all these emotions, this is why I chose a less stressing way.

If ever you feel the need to talk to me, ask me questions or present me another guy (!), you can call me or reach me by email.

Thank you and see you soon!


  1. Hi JF,

    I would like to express an opinion since you asked. But please understand that I am not gay, so I can never truly understand what it is like for you to come out, regardless of the way you choose, or your relationship with that person.

    With that said, I think if writing a letter gets out the information you want your relatives to have, and it minimizes your stress, then that is definitely the right way to go. This decision always has to be - whatever feels right to you at the time. And no one can decide that but you.

    Whenever you decide to come out to anyone is a wonderful thing as long as you are comfortable with it.

    Best of luck, always.

  2. Hm, this is a difficult question to answer and I think most of it depends on you and the relationship you have with your aunts, uncles and cousins. Are you close to them? Do you know how they feel about certain issues? Whatever you feel is the best way to tell them or not is more than likely the way to go, because you know them best. Whatever you decide, I wish the you the best of luck. *Hugs*

  3. Thank you Susan and Shell, your comments comfort me in my choice.
    I am not really close to all of these relatives. Many of them I see less than 5 times a year, others 10-15 times. I don't know what they think about homosexuality, however I believe they are all respectful.

  4. I would like to know if you think I give too much information in the letter. Should it be shorter?

    1. Perhaps, but not necessarily. If you're asking if it was me and I was writing the letter would I make it shorter? Than yes, probably, but that's because I don't disclose a lot of information to people I'm not close to. Still, I'm not entirely sure I would go into what being gay doesn't mean, because if they do seem to be a respectful bunch,then they should (Lord,I would hope so) already know much of that.

      Having said all that, it's your letter, not mine or anyone else and you should write and include as much or as little as you want to.

      Good luck!

    2. Touché, Shell!!

      I was preoccupied with that paragraph about what it means or not to be gay. Your argument is very good. I had not considered that since they should be respectful, I don't need to tell them these "basics".

      If it ever becomes necessary, I will tell them in person, but I don't think it will happen.

      Thanks a lot Shell, you prove that not being gay you can still help a gay man ;)

      Oh and yes thanks to all for telling me that it's my letter and I should do what I'm comfortable with. I am actually comfortable with that first draft, I don't want you to think that I am not. But it is always good to know what others have to say, even if we wouldn't do it the same way.

    3. O! I'm sorry if I came off touche, JF! I didn't mean to, although I do tend to be a bit on the blunt side. :) Hope you're having a lovely day!

    4. Oups, there's a misunderstanding.
      Touché is french for spot on. I didn't know Touche meant something bad in english

  5. Personally I would not write a letter but that is because I am not that close to my relatives. I see most of them a couple times a year. I also do not think it is any of their business. If it matters to them, then it should be okay for me to ask them personal questions like why did you divorce or why don't you have kids. If I was close to a aunt/uncle then I would talk to them about it, otherwise i would let my immediate family spread the word. However, you need to do what makes you comfortable. If you want to send out a letter I would just keep it simple and say "I'm gay, I'm happy and if you want to talk to me feel free to do so. " But make it sound a little better than that :).

    Sending you hugs and good luck.

    1. Thanks :)
      Yeah I get what you mean, but I do need to tell them, even if it's not of their business.

  6. someone who is more comfortable in writing his thoughts rather than expressing them face to face, I can see why you would choose to write a letter.

    The letter you write should come from your heart, honest and true. If this letter expresses that, than it is the way to go, whatever the reaction. Stay true.