Nothing is better than finally meeting the partner of your dreams after you’ve firmly and completely come out of the closet. Families are usually split about half and half these days when it comes to how they react to being told that their son or daughter is gay. Some families are very supportive of their child’s lifestyle while others are hurt, angry and in denial.
Sadly, many people lose their families over their sexual orientation. For those that still have their families in their lives, there will come a day when you’ll want to bring home your lover to meet them. The only reason that this can be a bit different than any straight person introducing the love of his or her life to the family is because there are so many varied degrees of acceptance that a family can be at.
First of all, if you have a supportive and loving family that wants only your happiness, you’ll have an easy time of it when bringing home your lover for the first time. All you’ll need to do is to call your family well ahead of time so that they can prepare. This is no different from a straight person preparing to bring home a lover. You’re just being considerate in case there’s any cleaning or cooking that your family wants to do before your arrival. When you and your partner arrive, introduce him or her to your family and allow them some time to get acquainted.
If you’ve only recently come out to your family and they’re still grappling with the news, you may need to tread a bit lightly. Make a date for you and your partner to meet with your family ahead of time. This gives you a chance to gauge how your family really is taking the news of your lifestyle. If you feel safer on your own territory, host a lunch or dinner at your home. In this way, you give your family an escape route if they start feeling uncomfortable. Keep things light and don’t be overly affectionate with your partner until everyone has adjusted.
For families that simply refuse to accept who you are, there’s not a lot you can do. In fact, you probably don’t want to subject someone you love to the treatment that he or she will most likely receive at the hands of homophobic family members. Tell your partner about your family. Show him or her photos and tell stories about your childhood. Let your partner get acquainted with your family through your words. In that way, if your family ever turns around and decides to love you and accept you unconditionally, your partner will at least be somewhat familiar with them.
Families are meant to be important. However, if your family cannot seem to accept you and your newfound happiness, you may need to move forward in your life without them as a part of it. It’s not your fault. You deserve to be happy. If they can’t be happy with you, they don’t truly love you. Move on with your partner.