AfterEllen.com Debate Team: Would you date someone who isn’t out to her family?

Hello AfterEllen.com Debate Team, and welcome to Round Two!

Saving Face is one of my favorite lesbian movies of all time. If you haven’t seen this movie (you need to), the main character Wil (Michelle Krusiec) hides her lesbian relationship with Vivian (Lynn Chen) from her mother (Joan Chen).  Wil and Vivian’s relationship flounders because of Wil’s fear of being out to her traditionalist mother. 

As with most movies, everything works out in the end. But Wil’s relationship with her mother and girlfriend suffer for a time because she chooses to keep her sexuality a secret.

Before I was happily married to the most wonderful woman in the world, I dated a woman who wasn’t out to her family. Every Christmas, I’d receive a “Thanks for being such a great friend” card from her mother, while my mother, who knew we were together, would shower her with gifts.

I convinced myself that her refusal to come out was about her relationship with her parents, not our relationship. But how could we have a future together if she wasn’t going to include me in her family’s life?

I never thought I’d be in that situation since I am/was so adamant about being out, but, alas, you can’t help who you fall for. 

The coming out process isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you can’t force anyone to come out.  But, just like buying a bathing suit, the choice is personal. And I believe you have to choose to come out when the time feels right for you.

In an ideal situation, everyone should be on the same page. But can a relationship last if one of you is out and the other is not?

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