Coming out to the Family - A pedophile about his outing
One pedophile has written about his outing. His story was a post from the Virtuous Pedophiles support group:
Coming out to the Family
Over the past few years I have been slowly coming out to all my family and some friends. It has been a bit of a journey and I thought I would share what I have learnt from these experiences to help others with their decision of whether or not to let others know, and how to approach it.
Why did I come out?
Coming out was initially very difficult and for the first few years of being aware of my pedophilia I did my best to hide it. I eventually went to seek some counselling as I was drowning with guilt and that spun me into a suicidal state. This led to me coming out to my parents as I was planning to commit suicide and felt I should at least let them know the reasons behind my potential suicide.
A couple of years after that I got myself to a good place, deciding then to start telling my siblings and friends because I wanted to be open and honest about who I am. I hate living with secrets and I have found it very freeing to let those I care about know more about who I am. I would say it has helped me accept myself even more knowing that others accept me as well.
Thankfully, the responses were mostly positive with a couple neutral and nothing negative. My parents were the ones who took it the worst, but still pretty well. They are very religious and believed that this is not what God would want, and that I should pray for it to go away. They still love me and accept me, and our relationship is fine, but they don’t like discussing the topic. The other responses varied from a bit of disbelief to complete understanding and support.
The first time coming out was very difficult with tears involved, but I felt much better afterwards and was able to start my journey to self-acceptance. Telling others after that first time was much easier, especially for the last 5 or so people. My state of mind may have also had some play in that as I was struggling a lot when I first told my parents, but I was in a good place by the time I got to telling others (there was a year or so gap).
I found that age has quite an impact with younger siblings responding much better, being more willing to ask questions and understand more about pedophilia. This came as no surprise to me and I generally planned how I was going to approach it based on how old the sibling was that I was talking to. If I was to give an age to split up the different reactions, I would say everyone under 40 took it really well and were willing to discuss it further, and those older were a bit more of a mixed bag. The really interesting part is that the older siblings, and my parents, thought that the younger ones wouldn’t be able to handle knowing about my pedophilia.
One response that really surprised me was two of my siblings had suspected my attraction to young girls based on some of the events earlier in my life (nothing I had done wrong), but said they didn’t want to risk mentioning it in case I reacted badly. In some ways though I feel more surprised that more people didn’t pick it.
I also told most family members about having been suicidal back when I was really struggling with this and found that people were more upset with that idea than the pedophilia.
I am glad that I have come out to all my family as I like having a more honest open life and to let others understand some of the struggles I have been through. I will say though that after having told them I do feel more judged or aware of my interactions with children, even though it is quite likely all in my head and they aren’t doing it at all. I have found that this feeling does fade with time.
Why were the responses so positive?
There are a few factors that I think contributed to having a generally positive response. The first would be strength of the relationship between family members. The second is that my family doesn’t find any topic off limits to talk about. We have a very open dialogue about any and all issues relating to life, society, bodies, no matter how taboo or disgusting they may be. The one exception to this is that my parents will never talk about anything sexual though.
The third would be who I am as a person. My family have all had a lifetime of seeing the friendly, helpful and honest character traits that I build my life on, leaving no doubts in their mind about my safety around children.
Finally, I think the society I live in (_________, Generation Y) helps as well. People in __________ were pretty closed off talking about taboo topics, such as mental health, but over the past 10 years there has been the start of a big cultural change where people are becoming more open to talking about things. This is evident in the differing reactions of the older siblings compared to the younger ones.
How I approached telling them
The first step to telling someone is deciding who to tell. I decided the order of coming out to my siblings based on how open I thought they were to the idea. I went for the easier ones first, so that if any reacted negatively later on I would have other siblings to fall back on for additional support.
I was able to identify the easier ones simply enough by knowing who had talked about pedophilia in the past. A couple sisters in particular had mentioned feeling pity for those attracted to children during random conversations, so I knew they would have no issue with the topic. The other factor was how close I was to each sibling. There are some I have spent much less time with, so I decided to leave them until later and work with the closest family members first.
Once the decision had been made the most common method was to send them a text with a message something along the lines of: “Hey, would you have some time over the next week or so for a private chat? I’m happy to do it at my place or yours, let me know what works”.
This seemed to work pretty well, with everyone giving a time usually within a day or two. By saying it was private they knew to keep others away and could prepare themselves for a serious topic, and it allowed them to give a time and place that best suits them.
When it came time to actually talk to them the approach changed a bit, but as I reached the last siblings I had a pretty structured intro, which went something along the lines of:
“I’ve been getting around the family letting you all know a bit more about what I have been through in the past, and about some of the stuff that may be coming up in the future. I am bringing this up now because I’d rather you hear it from me, than from some gossip or whatever from others. The topic is a tough one for some to handle, so at any point you want to stop just let me know and we’ll end it there.
There’s never an easy way to say this, but to put it bluntly, I am attracted to young girls.”
I generally follow up with a couple more specifics, such as rough age range, usually bringing up the word pedophile, and then saying that of course I have never done anything illegal (otherwise I wouldn’t be telling them about it). I then give them a moment to react or ask any questions. I will often say that I am happy for them to ask any questions, and if they have none I may state some facts about pedophilia. The conversation generally goes from there and will came to a natural end.
I have now told a good number of my friends as well, and the response from them has generally been even better than my family members. Once again, the better (and/or longer) the friend has known me, the better the response. People tend to judge you more on who they know you to be than just the pedophilia. If you have shown to people that you are a stand-up member of society the fact you are attracted to children generally does not matter much.
If you’re thinking about coming out to anyone I think it’s important to know how open the person is to alternative ideas and how well they know you. These two factors will be key to having a positive experience for both of you.
Remember that there is always a risk that you will receive a negative response from someone. Just because it has all gone well for me does not guarantee the same for others.