February 19, 2010

Letter To My Family - Updated 2.20.10

First off, thank you for all the support and suggestions from the community.

I have decided that before I can actually do anything, I need to rid myself of the barrier of fear. That barrier of fear is: fear of my family's reaction. So, I told my Dad that I want to tell them, all of them. With his blessing, I have drafter a letter, and want to sit on it for a few days to make sure it is all I want it to be.

I wanna post it, and get any feedback from all of you.

Updated version as of 2.20.10


First I want you to know that I love you, and I hope you will always love me.

There is no easy way to say this, so here it goes, I like guys, and have for most of my life.

For the longest time I had hoped my biggest fear and temptation of my life would go away, and that I would not have to deal with it. However, it hasn’t and I need to go about it in a different way than I had in the past.

I had resisted for so long, but in the last year I have made some choices and I have gone through a church discipline council. I don’t know where this will all lead me. I am working with my bishop right now, but life is a struggle.

Once it’s out there, I am ok talking about it, for the most part, its just getting over that first initial point of telling that I am scared about. So if you want to chat about it, its ok.

I am going through a lot right now. I am figuring out how to deal with this very real situation in my life, and I didn’t want to continue living under this false façade. That is why I finally decided to tell you. I had planned on keeping this a secret for as long as I could, but like I said, I need your prayers and support more right now.
I love you very much, and hope that this doesn’t change our relationship.


I decided that I would e-mail it to everyone. Otherwise they might get it all on different days, and I can save money.

My fingers are crossed. I will most likely send it Sunday night.


  1. I hope the letter goes over well with your family. It sounds like you could really use their support right now.

  2. Opening up about something like this to your family can be a truly nerve wracking experience. Just remember that the things you say in this letter will largely determine how they react to your coming out, and to how you deal with this issue for the rest of your life. This is your best chance to set their expectations and determine the ground rules of future interactions.

  3. A very honest and heart felt letter. I pray they will be blessed to see you through Father's eyes.

  4. @El Genio-
    You're right. At my attempt to be 100% honest with them, I was also setting them up for a false state of where I am. I made some changes to reflect that.

  5. El Genio hit the nail on the head. Is same sex attraction only a fear and temptation to you? I understand if it is. For a long time that's how I viewed it. Your family may view this as an invitation to help you escape it, though, because of your description. If they push you to one side of the fence and expect you to overcome it, are you okay with that?

    I wish there was an easy way for you to say all of this, because there should be. This is a basic fact about you, one that shouldn't be met with so much shame or fear of rejection. I hope your family will react better than you anticipate.

    In any event, this is a great step, and I'm happy for you. This might be scary, but in my experience, everything gets better once the closet door starts to come down. Good luck!

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  7. With all due respect to prior commenters and to you too, I think you need to revise this letter somewhat. As someone who writes for a living and has some experience as an editor, I can tell you that it's rare for a first draft to be perfect. This one has good material and can be improved. So let me give you some honest feedback.

    In its current form, this letter's main theme is fear. You are scared, okay, understood. Everybody gets scared sometimes. But this letter repeats the theme like a mantra and makes you sound far weaker than I suspect you are. Dan's comment just above shows that he got the same impression, and Dan is a very smart, perceptive guy.

    It would be more compelling and credible to say just once why you are frightened and then leave it at that. And don't put it at the beginning, either, because that'll be the lens through which your readers see everything else.

    This includes anything which suggests your disclosure is reluctant. If this coming out is hard for you, say so, but only once, and do it simply without adjectives. Then move on to the substance.

    A letter like this should be outlined. Consider outlining with a series of single sentences what you want each paragraph to say. Put them in an order that will flow logically and most compellingly. This is a PR piece that should not only be honest, but should also maximize the chances of a positive, supportive response from your family. It should be simple, flow logically to that end.

    First impressions are powerful and stick with people. This letter will be your family's first impression of you as a gay man. While you may feel fear, you must not let it rule your life. Even if you feel like it is at the moment, this letter's going to set the tone for your relationship with your family from now on. You want it to be as positive as possible.

    If you'd like some private editing help off blog, I'd be happy to talk further.

  8. I agree with all that you are all saying.

    Question: I re-worked the first draft, which did say "fear" way too much. So are you'r comments about the first draft, or this draft posted above?

    My friend last night did help me a lot with this letter, but I am open to more help [Alan :)]. I am open to advice and specific suggestions. I will just have to really think about everything before I send it out, to make sure it is what I want.

  9. Alan, I want to hire you. :- ) Seriously, Quinn, you're getting good advice.

    I do want to add one more thing: be aware your family's initial reaction will not necessarily be an indication of how they will ultimately feel. Don't be discouraged if they don't see things your way at first. A few might even say things that they later regret. It doesn't matter. They love you and will come around in time. You'll need to be the grownup and have patience with them. Over time you can use this as an opportunity to bring your family closer together with honest, intimate conversations.

    You'll get through this and come out stronger on the other end. It may take a while.

    If there is anything I can do or if you just want to vent, please feel free to e-mail me (addr on blog profile).

  10. Quinn:

    You nailed it on the second draft. I don't think I can add anything. It is simple, heartfelt, more courageous, and loving. I look forward to hearing about how your family responds, and pray they'll do so in the same loving way as you've couched this letter.

  11. Thanks. Im sitting here with the e-mail ready to send out.... Im just lol scared... lol.

    Im waiting for my BFF to call and give me some moral support, and then I will do it.

    I'll let you all know how it goes. I bet the phone will be ringing off the hook tonight.