living with a conservative family

I’ve always been different from everyone in my family.  Just a little too curious, just a little too ambitious, overall, I was just different from every other member of my family.  Before I get into this I just want to give a quick disclaimer, I’m not saying that all conservative families are like this, but in my personal experience this is what I have observed.

In my house, no one is outright intolerant to any group of people.  My choice of the word outright is very distinct because although they never say that they don’t like a certain group of people, they have backhanded ways of telling us that they have certain biases.  The first memory I have of this is when, one time, after my sister got a new boyfriend, my mom asked me a strange question, especially since I was about 10 years old.  My mom asked me “Is he white?”  This question kind of threw me for a loop and I responded with “What does it matter?”  This kind of shocked my mother, that I was actually talking back to her, but eventually I answered and said that yes he was.  This was just my earliest memory, and there are many more like it, but because of this, I’ve always been scared to be myself around my family.

Around senior year I realized that I was bisexual.  This was something I think that I had known for a long time, but coming to that realization was kind of shocking, because I had never thought that I could ever be comfortable with sharing that information with anyone.  By the end of junior year, I had come out to basically all of my friends, but I agreed that it was something I would probably never tell my parents.  I was very into gay rights and I believe that every person, no matter their sexual orientation or their gender identity should be granted equal rights and protection.  I believe that we are all equal and should respect each other.   But they don’t seem to see it that way.  One time, they even said that transgender people “weren’t people”, a comment which disgusted me. Because of these comments and many others, I still feel like I have to hide a pretty big part of myself from them.

My parents sometimes tell me that I’m too ambitious and that I want too much from life.  It’s because I’m fiercely independent and I don’t like having people very close to me romantically because it takes up too much of my time.  I always felt like the black sheep in the family because I am the only person who has ever had the guts to speak for what I believe in, which includes racial problems and I think it’s something that my mom and dad were never comfortable with, because it made me stand out among my family members.  I love my family, but I am someone who still wants to fit in with my family, but no matter what, I have to stay true to myself no matter what they think of me.

2 Replies to “living with a conservative family”

  1. I would consider my family a little conservative also because like you said they don’t say that they don’t like a certain group of people, but sometimes they have ways of telling us that have certain biases. I think it has something to do with our religion, but I don’t agree with it. I think that it’s great that you were able to see what was wrong in that question that your mom asked even though you were so young. I hope that one day they will make you feel comfortable enough to share that part of yourself with them.

  2. I am always saddened by people that feel like they cannot be themselves around their family. Those are the people who you should be able to share your life with and should be there for you through thick and thin. But it is also good that you are your own person and can see the flaws in some of their thinking, especially in the world we live in right now. I also love the confidence you have in yourself to have pride about who you are and not let them take that away from you even though they might disagree. There is nothing wrong with wanting to live your best life because overall it is for you to enjoy.

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