While there are many heartwarming stories out there about families brought closer together when someone comes out as gay, there’s still a lot of prejudice out there and it can sometimes be difficult. That’s particularly true if you come from a conservative family, like actor Matt Bomer did.
He’s been talking about how he came out to his parents to Out, telling them, “Telling your family is a huge, huge deal. I really view my life as divided between the time before I told my parents, and the time after. And the decisions I made, and the life I lived, before and after, are vastly different. It’s night and day.”
As he says of the time before, “I was raised in a conservative Christian household. We weren’t even allowed to watch ‘secular’ television, anything that was deemed not proper for Christians.”
He then relates the story of his coming out, “I wrote a letter to my parents. I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person… There was radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months… And then I came home and we had the blowup that I’d always feared. But we got that out of the way, and we got down to the business of figuring out how to love each other. I would say within a matter of years we started to figure it out. It was a struggle. It’s a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and set of beliefs and understandings and completely flip the script. So I’m empathetic toward everyone. And my family is so loving. My mom just asked me, [my husband] Simon, and the boys to go down and speak to her women’s group in Houston so, you know, I’m here to tell people it can get better. Because I had so many people in my life saying, ‘You need to get rid of all expectations — you need to cut them out.’ But I was like, ‘They’re my family’.”
As he points out, “I want to say that since then, my family’s come around and they are amazing, incredible grandparents to our kids.”
So even if coming out can be hard and cause family problems, that isn’t always the end of the story.