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Family, Culture, and Honesty

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So, I've been thinking a lot about honesty lately and what that means in Arab/Middle eastern culture. I'm Egyptian and it seems to me through my family that honesty isn't what I thought it'd be at all. My family want's to live in honest moments of fake experiences, they pretend things they don't like do not exist to continue to live carefree with this "honesty" and only pay attention to the details that they actually accept and are interested in. I recently came out to my parents, something I never thought I'd do though I've planned on it since I was a teenager. But yes, I finally came out to them a few weeks ago and I was really happy with their response, they told me they loved me, they'd still accept me and I felt really good about it for awhile. I had been imagining this dramatic argument or even getting kicked out of the house so many times that I felt this couldn't be better, but then I realized what had been bugging me. For some reason I still couldn't feel close to my parents even though they told me everything was okay, but it's because it wasn't. They didn't wanna share the news with any of my aunts or uncles or any other family, none of our friends, etc. They just told me they didn't have to know, it wasn't anyone else's business and it didn't need to come up. Idk I guess I tried to act okay with this but it was actually really irking me on the inside, my parents didn't love me, those were just words. That was the truth of their fake experience, the one they had tricked themselves they were living, what they didn't think about was how real the experience of rejection and humiliation it is for me. I guess I'm just sad, I'm tired of living under these fake feelings where we just have to pretend things are okay or "normal" when it's okay when things aren't. I want to share to see if anyone else has this experience with their family? I feel out of place sometimes because I don't feel the need to lie about my feelings or ideas to assimilate to cultural norms and expectations. It hurts me, it's manipulative, it's dishonest, it makes me feel like I can never trust whether something is really true, or just for the looks of things. .

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  • This exact same thing happened to one of my Palestinian friends who came out to her parents. Her mom acte accepting but then it turned out she was only okay with it if my friend kept it a secret from the rest of the family and the community. The family live in the US but in a tight knit Palestinian community in Chicago. But my friend is like 40 and she and her partner had a baby and she was like NO i will not hide my life anymore I've had enough. If you don't accept my baby and my partner we can't be in each other's lives anymore. That part was really heartbreaking for everyone and she spent a year not talking to her mom because she didn't want to hide anything about herself anymore. This took a lot of therapy and friend support. Now, a year later, her mom is coming around a little bit though it isn't totally 100% and she's still not comfortable with her being public, but my friend doesn't let that stop her. Luckily my friend has a really supportive wife and friend group so it helps with the feelings of sadness, but it never truly goes away for her I think. Anyway, all of that is to say you're totally not alone and you're right I think this is a bigger issue for us culturally.

    Reply to femmeprincess
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  • 17-24_m_w_h2_f1
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    First of all, congratulations for coming out because this is a huge step no matter what the results are. Secondly, I understand that you feel hurt and manipulated but try to look at the subject from other aspects. Maybe they are still processing the situation, they were probably shocked when you came out to them. Weren't you afraid of coming out to them? maybe they are afraid too of coming out to your uncles and aunts. Yes they could be manipulating you but there's a possibility they aren't. Talk to them again and try to get a clear vision before jumping to assumptions. Good luck!

    Reply to Omar000
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  • 35-50_m_f_h2_f2
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  • 12-16_f_w_h1_f1
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    Coming out was a bravery on your side ,a huge step in the right direction ,your family loves you ,they are just taking their time grasping you from a new angle upon disclosing your sexuality to them . They are probably trying to protect you , despite themy embracing your sexuality yet they wouldn't be sure how would the rest of the family react to this news , they are just ensuring your peace of mind ,by shielding u against backward reactions , comments you wouldn't like or back stabbing by family members of whom wouldn't understand, take things step by step , give it time ,u did okay by confiding into them and refusing to live a lie, yet adopt their perception for a while, they are mostly protecting you till they process it a bit more ,best of luck in everything

    Reply to indigo
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