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I feel like a failure, on every front.

Community Member

My heritage is South Asian and I'm gay. I'm struggling with my feelings of being a complete failure and not being able to support my parents' aspirations in any way. I met my spouse a few years ago and moved to Australia as a natural progression of our relationship. My parents are not willing to accept my sexuality and the challenges that come with it, so they do not know of my marriage. I have a younger sibling who is dating someone who is in the process of getting a divorce, which is culturally unacceptable to my parents.

While I understand my parents should attempt to find joy in the joy of their children, I feel they are constantly being let down and as the elder child of the family, I feel like I'm constantly letting them down. I do not know how to demonstrate to them that their children are happy while not being bound by the societal status and standards that we grew up in. Most of all, I am tired of the constant lying. Every single day, I have to lie to them, make up situations and create a web of lies that I sustain by my failing sanity. My spouse is a great support, but there is always that hatred that I have against myself gnawing at me.

These are just my ramblings, I don't know what I'm asking for or what I really need.

4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hiya Stayin'Alive,

Welcome to BB Forums. I'm really glad that you were able to post your story here. It takes great courage and bravery to be able to share your feelings and troubles.

It must be really tough for you, to have your parents disapproved of you to be who you truly feel you are. To be the eldest of that family and be a role model to your younger siblings like what your parents (or any Asian house hold family) expect of you, that is a lot of burden and responsibility that your parents have imposed onto you. Whenever you can't meet those responsibilities and expectations from your parents, you feel like a complete and utter failure. I'm really sorry to hear about that.

As much as our parents wish for the best of us, and they have this perfect idealization of who they want us to be. We must understand that they've lived through their years with countless numbers of experiences and events that carved them into the person that they are today. By recognizing that, we can learn to accept their flaws, and accept the sympathy that we have for them for not being able to have the child that they've expected from you. Living a life of only meeting the expectations of others, would just mean we're being dishonest to ourselves.

But if I may say, you've done really well thus far for yourself, and found an amazing partner throughout your journey and living a happy life together with them. And so long as you're living a happy life with your partner, I feel that's all you need to do to show your parents that you don't have to meet their expectations in order for yourself to be happy. They may not be acceptable of your sexuality for now, but if you continue displaying how you're living a happy life, and the life that you want, perhaps over time they will learn to accept you for who you are.

Live true to yourself, and if you choose to let them know the truth, know that their anger and disappointment is not something you are responsible for, or can control. It is something that your parents will have to manage themselves, and learn to accept. Their expectations of you, is for them to manage, because only you know what you truly want out of your own life, and that is the only expectation we should be managing ourselves.

Stay strong my friend, you are not alone, and always happy to chat with you more.



Hi Stayin'Alive,

Welcome to the forums, we are so glad that you've taken a big step in sharing your thoughts and feelings here. We're really sorry to hear how you're feeling, and how many challenges you face in your relationship with your parents. It sounds incredibly difficult, and we can hear how much it affects your health and wellbeing.

If you need to talk this through, our support service is here for you on 1300 22 4636, or via webchat 11am-12am AEDT each day: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
Alternatively, you could reach out to our friends at QLife on 1800 184 527, who's trained LGBTI community members would welcome your call: https://qlife.org.au/get-help

Please don’t think you're rambling - our community are here to listen and offer their kind support to you during this difficult time, and you never know how your story might help someone else. Do keep sharing, if you feel comfortable to do so.

Kind regards,
Sophie M

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Staying'Alive,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am really happy to hear that you are in a supportive relationship with someone, that really helps when we are faced with these kinds of challenges.

A parents approval means a great deal to their child. They can make us feel fantastic - like we are doing everything we should be doing, or make us feel terrible - like we are doing everything wrong, a complete disappointment. We actually internalise these feelings, so its not just that we feel bad that THEY are disappointed in us, but also that WE are disappointed in ourselves. It is one of the most challenging things to deal with. So the fact that you have managed this so far, and are living according to your own needs is TREMENDOUS. I know its hard because you are not being honest with your parents, and that is a separate challenge but you have been resilient enough to do what is right for you. I think you're fantastic.

When we are not honest with our parents we feel like we are not being honest with ourselves either. You are living in honesty with yourself though in that you are living your life as a gay man so I hope you know that. It sounds like the burden of constant lying is upsetting you (and I completely understand why). I cannot tell you what the right thing is to do because its different for each person. I do think it would be a great idea to seek professional help. A psychologist could help you talk about, and navigate this relationship trouble with your parents. It can really help to bring clarity to the situation and to act again in a way that feels right for you.

Also there is an organisation called Qlife: https://qlife.org.au/about-us

QLife provides anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. It's services are free and includes both telephone and webchat support, delivered by trained LGBTI community members.

I have no doubt whatsoever that there will be many peers at Q life with very similar feelings and stories as your own. This might be a great way to reach out.



Mark Z.
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Stayin'Alive,

I want to share my story with you.

I'm also Asian background. 15 years ago I met a girl and I knew I want to be with her for the rest of my life. She was from a poor family. My parents had very traditional mindset and strongly believe that I should marry someone with equal family status. After countless quarrels, I still can’t persuade them. I became depressed, even suicidal. In the end I made my decision to marry this girl.

15 years passed and I never regret my decision for a second. We're a family of happiness, together we overcame countless life challenges. We have 2 beautiful kids. My parents started to change their attitude a bit only in recent years. But even now they're still trying to warn me to stay away from my wife's parents, thinking they are my financial burden and they will destroy my life eventually.

What I'm trying to say is that, this is your life, and you're the master of it, not your parents, not anyone else. You can show love to your parents in other ways, but not to sacrifice your own happiness. Find a chance, tell them the truth, tell them that your sexual orientation is actually widely accepted in most of places in the world. They may be mad on you, be gentle with them but stand firm, time after time they might change, if they don't, you've done everything you can.

Love yourself and take care of yourself first my friend.