I'm a queer Syrian-American woman living in the U.S. Not out to my family except for the times they've caught me with emails/letters/etc which blow up and blow over. I'm graduated, with a strong social network, and with an income.
Point being, if I moved out as I very much want to, I would succeed, and maybe even thrive. I'm not worried about the reaction of my family. Of course it'll be upsetting and difficult, but I can manage their anger and my guilt. What I'm worried about is the physical effects on my family. What if my father has a heart attack? What if my mother can't take it anymore? I'm the oldest of five, and I know if I move out, the younger 4 will lead much much more restricted lives. They might even get sent back to the Middle East.
The question that has haunted me for years is, how much do I let all of this hold me hostage? I love my family, and as long as the word "gay" is never spoken they are nice and sweet to me. I'm afraid of plunging my family into an unrecoverable crisis that will have far more repercussions than simply my own well being.
If anyone has had any similar sorts of experiences, sharing your story would be very, very welcome.