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Expert Advice: I got Married at An Early Age and Realized later that I am a lesbian. What Should I do?

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I got married at an early age, and after having my first baby at 23, I realized I am a lesbian. Now, I am afraid to come out to my family because they are not very accepting of the LGBTQ+ lifestyle.

Expert advisor: Mel Williams

I come from an orthodox family that believes a great deal in marriage and having a family. I always felt attracted to women; even as a teenager, I found many of my female classmates attractive. But I didn’t think much of it because I knew that my family would never accept me if I were a lesbian.

At 21, conforming to my family’s beliefs, I married the boy to whom they asked me to get married; it was an arranged marriage. My family was very happy and blessed with the union. Each day after marriage felt like a punishment, trying to be someone I was not.

My husband is a gentleman, but I don’t feel attracted to him at all. While I was struggling with my sexual identity, I got pregnant. After giving birth to my first baby at 23, I realized I couldn’t bottle up my feelings anymore. I can’t continue living this fake life, but I am too afraid of coming out to my family. I know they will abandon me and take my child away. What should I do?

Expert Advice: If you are sure you are a lesbian, the first thing to do is accept it yourself. Then you need to talk to your husband and come out to him. If your family won’t be accepting of your LGBTQ+ lifestyle, then this is a conversation you should wait to have unless you have your husband in confidence and have a support system for your baby and yourself. 

When coming out to your husband, remember there will be consequences. The husband might not react as you expect him to, or he might go ahead and tell the family before you do. So be prepared for the worse and pray for the best. 

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