Facing Old 'Family Members'

Here we are smiling in this photo - so happy and joyful to celebrate and share this moment with our cousin at her wedding on Friday, July 17, 2020.

Jamie and Souphak at a wedding

What I, Souphak, will also tell you is how I painfully cried over the weekend.


  • I had rough bumps with my family and extended family after I “came out.”
  • At the time of our marriage, a handful of family members on both sides didn’t show up at all at our wedding. Some claimed they were “Christians” and others just came and made rude comments at the wedding.
  • You can say, we no longer associate with them and have distanced ourselves from those that had conditions - “I love you, but…”.
  • Ever since I came out, I felt like I had to prove my worthiness because it wasn’t well received.

A few days ago, I was reminded again - I am not worthy, I am not enough.

Those people who I no longer associate with showed up for our cousin’s wedding. It hurts because they weren’t there for ours.

And then there were those fake hugs that aren’t genuine at all. You try so hard not to make eye contact and then it happens - they come reaching for a hug and you just cringe, still, and frozen.

I felt ill. I was sick to my stomach. I lost my voice. I lost my power to speak up. You don’t deserve my hug! I was speechless so I gave them a quick fake smile and got away as fast as I could.

In the next few days, I began to go to the extreme with my doing. My actions were not well thought out and even my wife told me to slow down. I realized something. I have attached my worthiness in the “doing.” This time, I was doing it at impulse.

Finally, after some hard crying and journaling, I began to explain to my wife what was happening with me. I was so hurt and had to grieve. We cried together.

So now Jamie and I are in new discovery (as a team) - to find words to say to those ‘family members’ who truly don’t care or showed us any support. Love shouldn't be with conditions. 

And when that opportunity arises again, I will speak the truth, let them know I no longer am accepting their hugs, and they’re not worthy of mine. Next time, I’ll be ready.

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