Sunday Life: Dear Fiona – Afraid of how parents will react to my gay ‘secret’

Dear Fiona,

I seem to have everything. I’m a university student who has always excelled and I never have a shortage of female attention. I’m extremely close to my parents, who have strong Christian beliefs.

The problem is I’m gay. I’ve always known but am too afraid to tell my parents. They are now constantly asking when am I going to bring a girlfriend home? I feel like living as a straight man as it will break their hearts to know the truth.

Adrian, Belfast


Dear Adrian,

There may be difficult times ahead but you know you must be true to yourself. The torment continuing this double life could potentially result in self-hatred and resentment of your parents. The long-term anxiety you would experience would be much greater than that created by the process of change.

You’re entitled to a fulfilled life, not shamefully hiding your true identity. Love is the cornerstone of all religions and Christians believe where love is, God is. Obviously where prejudice or hatred exists, the opposite applies and your parents should know this.
Have you underestimated them and their reactions?

Parents are intuitive of their children’s feelings and are programmed to love unconditionally so perhaps they know the truth and are seeking your confirmation?

Would they truly prefer you to be a lonely, tortured ‘heterosexual’ man or a happy, contented gay man?

It would probably break their hearts to know you’re even considering the former. A counsellor would help you to gain inner strength and the tools to educate your parents with respect.

You should contact ‘Changing Attitudes Ireland’, which is a new organisation representing gay Christians. You need all the support you can get and they can show your parents that there are alternative Christian views on homosexuality. You have done nothing wrong and always remember that.