Coming out to Conservative Mennonite relatives

Posted on May 6, 2012


The coming out journey continues… I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since my last post! Last time I was talking about how I came out to my dad’s family. I finally printed out a letter that I was going to send to my mom’s family, but realized it needed a few touch-ups.

My mom’s family is very loud, very strong-willed, and very conservative Mennonite. When we were growign up, my mom was the only one of her sisters who had stopped wearing the veil- the little cloth that Mennonite women wear in obedience to 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Most of her sisters have given it up or wear it less now. They are still against dancing drinking- and of course homosexuality.

My letter explains my closeted years, my previous desire to become heterosexual, the false promises of ex-gays, and my own new beliefs about my relationship with God and what he thinks of who I am.

I’m a little terrified to send it. I also feel a little awkward telling them. To more liberal folk, coming out is telling somebody about who you are. To conservative Christians- it’s talking about who you want to have sex with, and no one wants to picture their nephew having sex. So I know this letter will be taken in the worst possible light, but I don’t want to wait until I’m dating or until someone else tells them.

After I’m sure they’ve received the letter, I’m going to come out on Facebook. Most of my years in college have been spent at Christian institutions, so I expect some negative feedback. Also, most of my friends are church people, and though I love them, I do believe that they won’t be able to think rationally about this.


I had a great talk with my sister today. It is so nice to have someone to talk to about all this who doesn’t get fed up with my yammering. My commune buddies are mostly accepting of me, but not my sexuality. It’s interesting. They say things that make it obvious that they don’t want me discriminated against, and I think that politically they would support me, but they still can’t wrap their heads around God making gay people. They believe I’m a Christian, they believe that God loves me… but they think homosexuality is wrong. I hope to continue to challenge them on it. The Good Book says we shall know Christians by their fruits!

Posted in: Coming Out, Theology