VirPed Panel: 11 February 2024

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  • VirPed Panel: 11 February 2024


The below are answers given by selected members of the VirPed forum who are all pedophiles. They are speaking for themselves and not for the organization.

“Anonymous Youtuber” asks:

Are you out to your families about it? If so, what is their reaction? [If not, why?]

I am out to my mother. I came out to her when I was 17 years old, after we saw a coming-of-age movie together about a young boy struggling to come out as gay. I told her on the bus ride home. She was initially shocked and asked me what I meant, so I told her that I was anti-contact, not an offender, and that I was struggling to accept it within myself. After some questions, she accepted it. I can talk to her openly about it, and it feels good that someone in my family knows and is in my corner.

No one else in my family knows, and I don’t think that they will because they all publicly and privately share disdain for “pedophiles,” not knowing that someone they love is a pedophile. I’m happy with only being out to my mom.

In the pre-internet era, I was pretty much in a state of oblivious denial. I couldn’t tell family as I had no idea what to say. I focused on career and sports. I thought I was unique. When I first accessed the internet, I found groups that helped me understand myself. I met dozens of minor attracted internet people, in real life. Shortly after accessing the internet, I told my brother about my sexuality and showed him some articles. But he said he’d known for several years and thought it was no big deal. I didn’t speak to my dad about it before he died. My mom found out from the court when I was arrested for images. When I was released on bail, I talked to her about everything for a few hours. She was a bit shocked but got used to it. If it were voluntary, I likely would have never told her.

Well, my sister knows, but it wasn’t by choice. I came out to my ex wife during our divorce. I think a part of me wanted me to tell her why we had some issues on my side of the fence so that she would understand some of my reactions in the past. My ex wife responded by telling her entire family. Many years later, my ex mother in law decided for whatever reason to reach out to my sister to involuntarily out me. It was ok, ultimately. I love my sister, she’s the most empathetic and open-hearted person ever, and she was even sweet enough to tell me some of her darker secrets to make me feel better about myself when she found out. It certainly could have been much worse.

I am out to my boyfriend and to several friends, but I’m not out to my ex-wife, parents or extended family. My family is conservative and Christian and only moderately tolerates the fact that I’ve come out as gay. They believe narratives around trans and gay people being predators and molesters. I don’t think it would go well, and I don’t want to arm their bigotry with any more ammunition.

I’m not out to any of my family (or anyone else I know excluding people I know from MAP communities)

I’ve spent a lot of time on and off considering coming out to my parents, one or both (they are separated). My mother is a very understanding person.

I’ve almost come out to her. I came close to telling her once but fell short of revealing the full truth after a negative reaction…

Me: “I don’t feel any attraction at all to people my own age”

Her: “Older or younger?"

Me: “Younger”

Her: “How young?” [And she said this with a frown on her face, which prompted me to alter what I said next…]

Me: “Early 20s” [This is technically true, but of course not the whole truth]

The conversation quickly diverted to something else to avoid awkwardness.

This event has left me feeling that coming out to her might not be a wise thing to do. It may leave her with an uncomfortable fact that she will find difficult to process. While she is an understanding person she can also be naive, and she probably has some of society’s negative misconceptions towards minor attracted people ingrained in her, so would take some work to educate her to the fact that a great many MAPs have never and will never offend, nobody chooses it, and it isn’t always about sex (in my case it’s a deeply emotional attraction)

Out of my family, I am only out to my older brother. He was the first one out of 4 I have come out to.

A few months before I came out, I tested the waters by telling him of an article about non-offending MAPs I had read. I then got to know that his opinion was sympathetic-ish.

The actual coming-out was more panicky. I was reallly struggling with the fact that I felt like no one knew me at all, and the decision to tell him was abrupt. I told him to be quiet until I was done, to remember me as the brother he always knew, and to understand that I have never and will never hurt anybody. He got visibly nervous when I said those things.

And then I came right out: “I am a pedophile.” “I am sexually and romantically attracted to pre-pubescent boys”.

I continued by telling him what it was like growing up with this, how I came to understand it etc. At the end he just gave me a big hug, said he was so sorry that I walked alone with this and said that nothing would change between us. Lastly he said: “If me taking on 10 extra pounds meant relieving you of a 1000 I would do it any day”

Those words have meant so much to me. Everything is still good between us and this was 1 and a half years ago now. My best-friend, his wife, and another friend also know and they essentially had the same positive, supporting reaction.

My parents divorced and both remarried. I’m out to my mother and stepdad, not the others.

I told my mother many years ago in the middle of a Winter night conversation when I was only 21. For the first time she revealed that she had been abused sexually by family members when a child. I volunteered that I was a pedophile, although attracted to boys. We obviously both needed to talk about a hidden aspect of our lives, but in retrospect I couldn’t have picked a worse moment to bring my secret forward. Still, she took it calmly. For a long while we both left both topics alone, except once when she brought it up to say she didn’t think I should adopt or foster kids (I’d idly talked about it).

Both topics recently resurfaced, decades later, when she told me some more details about who it was who abused her. At that time my marriage had ended, and it was hard to explain why to her without explaining that my pedophilia had a role in that (i had finally joined pedophile communities and felt bad about concealing this from my then-partner). That was when my stepdad got to know the story too.

I’ve never been out to a sibling and I can’t see any good that could come of telling my extended family, even though I remain curious about whether there are more pedophiles among them. However, I think you have to be close with someone to come out in this way, and I’ve never been close with them. At the moment I’m close to invisible to them. If I came out, I’d be placing myself under an obligation to explain what kind of pedophile I am, to reassure them and centre their questions and idle curiosity. I don’t mind doing that for people who mean a lot to me and who have been there for me, but I don’t feel like I owe this to others.

I’ve never come out to anyone outside of the map community. I wish I could tell my family, I tell them almost everything else but I can’t risk it. I have young family members, so I can’t risk my family deciding I’ve abused them or might do so in future. It hurts not to be able to cause I’m quite close with them, maybe one day but for now the risk is too high and the rewards aren’t high enough to even it out.

I think that coming out for pedophiles is a very risky thing to do, because the consequences can be absolutely devastating if it doesn’t go well. When we participate in online communities such as VirPed, we sometimes forget the extent to which pedophilia and pedophiles are stigmatized. We could be outed further by the person we came out to (because they feel a need to protect everyone from us), which could lead to loss of employment, housing, and even getting physically attacked.

I came out to my mum when I was 16, at a time in my life when I was desperate to talk to someone and was too paranoid to reach out online. She was initially accepting, but later she found it difficult to stomach the thought that I had these feelings for children even if I didn’t engage in any sexual activity with real children. It was very hard for her to deal with, and I felt a little guilty at the time for putting such a burden on her. A few years later, when I had joined VirPed and received more support, I realized that I wanted to work and volunteer with kids, and over time I found it very rewarding and fulfilling. My mum was horrified at the idea, and didn’t think I should be anywhere near children if I had these feelings. Because I was getting support from VirPed, I concluded that my mum didn’t need to know about this, and I told her that I no longer had these feelings for kids.

I continued to work and volunteer with kids, and I loved it, but every time it came up my mum would threaten to call the organizations that I worked at or even the police if she thought I still had these feelings. She has also threatened to turn my devices into the police (even though I have nothing illegal on them) because of her fear that I might be doing something illegal. Because of the stigma, she viewed me as someone who needed to be kept on a lead and never be allowed to be around kids. And this isn’t even close to the worst coming out experience I’ve read about. I urge any pedophile reading this to seriously think of the consequences if a coming out doesn’t go well, especially if you work with kids or have young relatives.

I was outed to my family after being arrested for possession of child pornography. This is not an ideal way to come out. However, as painful as it was, it finally gave me an opportunity to be transparent and real, and find out who loved me for me, and who loved the “false me” with the pleasant mask of seeming normalcy. Most family members are ok, but do not want to talk about it. Fine. Some members were appalled, and we don’t say much to each other. But the people who are closest to me understand, and know that it was not my choice, that I try every day to be virtuous, and that I am just another flawed, soft mammal. I would never go back to denial, despite all the stigma and shame.

I’m out to four people in my life: my parents, my sister and my therapist.

Coming out to my parents came at a time in my life where I was feeling completely hopeless and depressed. I had been in denial about my attraction to boys for a long time and when it finally hit me it floored me completely. I Didn’t eat or sleep for days and would spend all my time reading about pedophilia and child sexual abuse online, casting myself as a monster even though I knew I was never going to act on my fantasies. I don’t know how I came to the conclusion that coming out to my parents was the only solution to my misery, but I did know that they loved me unconditionally and that I could tell them everything, even though I feared what sort of burden I was about to place on them. I took the decision almost on a whim one night I was staying at their place.

It was a huge relief finally to be able to let them in. I had written a letter for them to read and told them to come talk to me when they were done, since I didn’t trust myself not to break down completely before I could get those four words out. There was a lot of hugging and crying, and a huge sense of relief for both myself and my parents. They had known I was unhappy but couldn’t figure out why, since on the surface I had all the prerequisites to thrive. There was no suspicion or apprehension about me being a pedophile. They knew I could never dream of offending and even told me that I shouldn’t be hard on myself for having these attractions.

Shortly thereafter I came out to the therapist I had worked with for anxiety-related issues for 2 years. An older lady who had ‘seen it all’. I trusted her and she was accepting and helpful, and even got a chuckle out of me when the first thing she told me after reading the letter was “I was certain you were gonna tell me you were gay”. What a mensch!

The next few years I was OK. Not really happy and still feeling lonely, but not depressed. I found Virped and peer support three years after coming out to my parents and I can now truthfully say that I live a happy and fulfilling life. I have since come out to my sister as well, not because I was suffering and needed support, but because I wanted to let her into my life and tell her that I was happy.

I came out to my wife after many years of marriage. I just got to the point where I didn’t care if she left me or not. I couldn’t live a secret any longer. She was very supportive and has helped me immensely. I am not out to anyone else outside the MAP community.

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