Being Gay and Living with Parents


Whenever I sleep somewhere else, my little brother ends up taking the brute trauma from my parents’ constant bickering. It’s kind of funny, especially the bit where they make fun of my entire existence because I’m gay.

Let me explain.

According to my brother, my parents have a tendency of talking shit behind my back when I’m away. He’d mimic my dad first, and in his best kind of Americanized fobby accent, he’d yell, “fucking gay!”

Then my dad would explain to him that it was because of my sexuality that my life became the way it is: working two close to minimum wage paying jobs and just all around struggling. My mom would join in on the banter and she guaranteed him that once I take over the house, my man’s going to move in and I was going to kick him out.

It all tied in to this recurring theme of, your life will be better as long as you’re not like your brother.

Yet, not a tear drop from me. The pain I feel is minuscule. Actually, it was a lot worse back then because I actually got kicked out. Sometimes it even got physical. And in the last episode of “Neil is gay, and we need to control him,” I had to open up my own phone line because my dad was being a helicopter parent and calling dudes on my call history.

(*Note to all you gay teens out there: don’t share Apple ID’s with your parents*)

The predicament today is different. Instead of the parental units blowing up my phone, they kind of just wait for me to get home so they can give me the death stare. It blows over in five minutes. Ultimately, I think they understand that I need downtime otherwise I’ll drive myself crazy. Also, I’m a few years shy from 30, and being lonely at 30 is not only embarrassing for me, but also for whatever reason, embarrassing for them.

But it’s tough living with homophobic parents. It’s hard approaching certain subjects without pissing them off. Leaving traces of anything gay-related around the house is enough to set them off. I can’t even record RuPaul’s Drag Race.

That’s not to say my parents haven’t made strides in tolerating my sexuality since me coming out. They have, it’s just that they’d rather not see it.  I’m not sure if I’m being naïve, but their silence toward me being gay is just as deafening. And after hearing about what my mom said, I won’t even think about bringing any guy home to meet them. It’s just not in the cards — not in this lifetime at least. Suddenly, now I know why they’re not calling my phone.

So what do I do?

I ask Google.

And of course, the first motherfucking item is an Ask Abby wannabe with two parents asking an expert of how to deal with their gay son who’s living with them.

Their question?

Can you help us figure out how to address the matter of our living arrangements with our grown son who is currently residing with us and who recently informed us that he’s a homosexual? He now refers to himself as “gay,” is beginning to tell other people about it, and seems to view homosexuality as permissible in his moral outlook. Needless to say, this evolving situation has turned our world upside down and thrown us into an emotional tailspin. Among the numerous things we are grappling with, one concern is a very thorny practical question: should we allow him to continue living in our home or not? We genuinely love our son, but we don’t want to condone or endorse his lifestyle. What do you think we should do?

The reply’s kind of long, but my favorite bit was this…

It might be helpful to include your most basic requests and stipulations in a formal, written shared-living arrangement document that you can all sign in solidarity.

…and now here I am imagining some suburban white family serving a contract to his gay son — who for some reason, I imagine is LeGanja Estranja — and the first line of the agreement reads: (1) No Anal Sex Anywhere on This Premises.

Then the answer goes on as follows:

This last point is especially important if you have younger children in the home. Your son needs to understand that you, as parents, have a very real responsibility to guide and protect his minor siblings – especially if you detect anything you regard as a negative influence.

…which makes me wonder whether or not my parents wrote this damn question. *hand on chin emoji*

I [x] that bitch of a webpage and find this horror story, which reads:

“One night, we were in the basement, just like old times, only now we’re adults and we don’t just make out anymore. It was late, and I assumed my parents would be asleep,” a 26-year-old named Tina, from Washington D.C., told Cosmopolitan. “Next thing I knew, my old-fashioned, Italian-Catholic dad comes downstairs and witnesses Ken and me in full-blown missionary-style action. He immediately ran upstairs to my mom, and he couldn’t look at me for a long time after that.”

And while I can sympathize with sista girl, I still believe that being caught in the missionary position while being heterosexual is not the same as being caught gay-handed, with your legs hoisted above like mighty flags on top of your man’s shoulders. Gay shock value trumps most — and that’s because it’s anal.

I know what you’re all thinking. The solution’s been staring at my face this whole time. It’s time for me to move out. As I try to waft away those thoughts of having to move out of my comfort zone away, I’ve thought about this enough to know that maybe it really is time to pack my bags.

As it stands, financially, I’m in a tough spot. But being under my parents’ roof gives me the advantage of saving up. Everyone in the Los Angeles area is always looking for a room mate, so that right there just splits the costs.

But it’s hard. I’d be leaving behind my awesome little brother, and possibly giving up free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Not to mention, my parents aren’t completely terrible. Hell, they’re actually quite pleasant. But while the living situation is extremely comfortable, I end up having to emotionally foot the bill by suppressing myself.

Having to explain which friends (gay or straight) I’ll be hanging out with is taxing. Being paranoid of the phone call from the parents while Kylie Minogue is bumping in the background is just as much of a nuisance. And to quote Ega Jones of Thought Catalog…

You’ll meet guys who will want to pick you up at your house on a first date. This is a foreign concept to begin with, as a city soul who likes to maintain an escape route during any social interaction, but you’ll recognize that it’s a chivalrous gesture and, after an internal debate, you’ll reluctantly tell this guy he can pick you up. Fifteen minutes before he’s supposed to arrive, you’ll start pacing. You’ll survey the house and see where your parents are in relation to the door, calculating who will win the race to open it.

Don’t I deserve to experience new things? Yes, I do. Don’t I deserve to meet and date others? Yes, I do. Don’t I ultimately deserve the freedom to express myself? Yes, I do.

And if you’re in the same predicament as I am, you do too.

I’ve unintentionally canvassed for answers in regards to moving out because I’ve always been curious about being independent. Yeah, that sounded bad.

Many have answered to the tune of, “yeah, my parents weren’t really cool with me being gay, so I had to move out.”

“But wasn’t it hard?” I’d bat my eyelashes like a little priss. “Like, didn’t you have to fold your own clothes?”

Blank stare.

“I mean, yeah, but I could actually just be myself.”

For many, sometimes stepping into the struggle of having to sustain yourself can be the biggest sigh of relief. So in the sense of everyone like your family being accepting, sorry! But it doesn’t get better. Maybe it’s time I take a deep breath in and just jump. Maybe it’ll be better that way.

What do you all think? What are your experiences of living with your parents?



About neilprotacio

Freelance journalist who just so happens to know what goes well with certain breads.
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2 Responses to Being Gay and Living with Parents

  1. Alejandra (Sabertooth) says:

    Thank you for this. It’s always heartbreaking hearing about how parents mistreat their children because their expectations of their children do not meet up to the cultural and societal precedents. Because no matter how you look at it, in layman’s terms, it’s abuse. Emotional, physical, and cerbal abuse. A societies microclimate to what the macroclimate is in regards to homosexuality. My wife, unfortunately, had and continues to go through this type of abuse. When we were dating, they found out, yelled at me, treated me like shit, treated her like sgit, verbally and mentally abused her, and separated us to the point where she might as well have been in jail. It was bad and they did alot of damage but thankfully she decided that it was a love worth fighting for and the only love she would ever want.(IT WAS HARD sneaking around but her friends worked together with us to help her come out of that prison and because of people knowing that true love is humanities only hope, we got married January 5th of this year) Although she no longer lives with them, the amount of inderectives thrown at her in regards to “those people that are going to hell” is still disturbing, to say the least, and just plain downright abusive. The fact that she has to hide her marriage and visit them once a week for a few hours is of no concern to them as long as they really don’t know what’s going on, despite then knowing EXACTLY what’s going on. My parents reacted completely opposite and when i came out they told me they lived me and just wanted me to be happy. They understand that love is greater than what people will say. They don’t care what people say because I’m their daughter and all they desire is a healthy relationship with the being that they both created and took care of. They don’t want me ti be like then or to even think like them. They love seeing me formulate my own ideas and own personality and are amazed at how the values they have imprinted in me to love freely, treat others equally, and to stand up for injustice flow freely from my heart. They don’t want a clone of them, they want a successfully HAPPY reminder of their love. They welcomed my wife with open arms and treat her with respect, give her the same attention and freedom to express her throughts, and generally love her. Because she’s a human being but mostly because she loves me. They don’t hold negative feelings because their understanding is that the more love they put out, the less hate will be produced in the world like a domino affect. Her distancing herself from them has caused a dramatic change in her mother who sees that her intolerance of reality pulls her and her daughter apart to way opposite poles. She treats her with respect and knows that it’s a blessing for her to visit even for the few hours. She understands that, in the end, she will look back and only see the absence of a child that she loves but could never have more time because of her decision to shun a part of her that will never go away. My only advice is to leave and distance yourself from your parents. They will either miss their son Neil which they love and sacrificed many times for or say good ridance to the “fucking gay” Neil. Either way, my friend, i wish you self love, understanding, and acceptance of yourself. It is not your fault. Let them deal with their demons. It is not your fault.

  2. Risa Kurosaki says:

    This is exactly why so many of us just keep silent about our sexuality with family for those who are dependents/strong family ties. You go, Neil.

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