I am seeing a girl I really like, but she is not out to her
family. She comes from a high profile family in the Chinese community and says
she is under too much pressure to come out and will bring shame on her family.
I believe we would both be better off if she came out, and I am sick of hiding
when I am with her. Should I stay in this relationship, and how do I deal with
Tired of the Closet
Tired of the Closet,
It is always difficult to understand when you are
out and the woman you are dating isn't. You may wonder "Why doesnt
she love me enough to change, and be honest about who she is and our relationship?"
or "Why can't she understand how freeing it is to be out of the closet?"
This situation can eventually bring on a feeling of resentment, especially if
you have to go back into the closet yourself and play the pretend game of being
"Just friends." By the same token, she feels like you dont understand
where she is coming from, what her needs are in this matter, and why cant
you just love and accept her as she is.
Your statement, "I believe
we would both be better off if she came out, and I am sick of hiding when I am
with her" makes it clear that this is what you think, want, and feel; that
if your girlfriend was out, it would be so much easier for you to deal with.
From what you said, the truth of the matter is that, your girlfriend has
been very honest about what she can and cannot do. She has made it clear that
if she comes out, she would "bring shame on her family." We are wondering
if she has also shared the fact that she could possibly loose her family as well?
Although many articles you read say that there is a growing acceptance of
homosexuality in Asian cultures, the truth is that homosexuality is still largely
unaccepted. Coming out can mean loosing one's family. In Asian cultures, family
is very important. If your girlfriend is living in another country as a recent
immigrant, meaning she has moved during her lifetime, or even if she is first
or second generation, it will be more difficult to break
away from her families
culture of origin. While some assimilation into the dominant culture occurs, the
culture that has the most connection is her "home" culture, for lack
of a better term. There is a sense of having part of oneself in the dominant culture,
and part in the culture of family origin, but feeling not truly connected to either.
What you feel would be best for both of you, may truly be what would
be best for you, but your girlfriend has been clear that she doesn't feel that
this is the best for her. How you feel about having to hide being who you are
as a lesbian is probably similar to how she feels about you pressuring her to
In the end, no one can tell you if you should breakup with
her or not. The choice is yours to make. If you choose to stay in a relationship
with her, then it must be with the understanding that she can't be exactly who
you want her to be. Ironically, she was whom you wanted when you met and began
to date. When she couldn't conform in the way you wanted her to, then you attempted
to pressure her to become someone she isn't.
If you stay together, it
must be with the total acceptance of how she feels and the way she has chosen
to live her life at this time. You must respect her decision that she will stay
in the closet, and go along with whatever she needs to do to remain this way.
This could be anything from not seeing each other at holidays, to not being able
to live with her. This also means that in many circumstances, you will need to
be closeted, something that may be very hard for you to do.
we are sure that you care for each other, you might have to come to the realization
that it may be best to separate, because she is unable to compromise, as you would
like her to do, and you can't compromise, as she would like you to do. It is no
one's fault when this type of situation happens; just a difference of who you
both are, and the places you are in your own lives. That doesn't make either of
you wrong. It just means that you each have to make different choices for yourselves.