Dear Papa Bear,
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year. He is in the closet and it affects how much we can communicate with each other. His major fear is that his family and friends won't accept him. I've never had problems with telling people that I'm gay. But, I can understand his fear, because we're both from very rural parts of Minnesota, and I've had my fair share of trouble.
I've come to terms with him refusing to tell his friends and family. I'm really curious as to what you think could be done to ease him to tell his parents. I love him so much, and I'll continue to sneak around like we do ... but it's not something I enjoy doing. What could I do?
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Every person’s family is different. You may not have had too much of a problem telling your family you were gay because they were pretty understanding about it, which is very lucky for you, but your boyfriend’s family may not be so tolerant, which is why he refuses to tell them and why he is still in the closet.
Under no circumstances would I advise you to try to force him out of the closet, and especially don’t go telling people who don’t know he is gay that he’s gay. I remember when my ex did that, and it was super-embarrassing for me.
Do not coax or pressure him in any way. Let him make the decision on his own when he is ready to do so. In the meantime, just let him know that you love and support him no matter what, and if he needs to stay in the closet for a while, you will still be there for him.
Remember, they also serve who only stand and wait.
One day, inevitably, he will come out. Be patient.
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