Coming out to parents can seem pretty scary, and sometimes it is. More and more people are embracing the idea that a lot of people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual to name a few. But many are still in the dark about being open with sexuality and that can come off as rude instead of ignorant. Deciding when and how to come out can be tricky, especially to conservative parents. But worry not– the Internet is filled with sites devoted to helping people come out or who have friends and family come out and don’t know how to react. Taking things at face value when discussing a topic like this to parents may be the way to go, so tread lightly and learn what and what not to do in this situation. Do you know How to Come Out to Your Parents?
The GLBTQ2A Resource Center is a website dedicated to educating all types of people on sexual orientation, tips on coming out of the closet, dealing with a LGBT roommate, and more. One article that will be shared here is all about reactions from parents and what to expect after coming out.
How to Come Out to Your Parents: Be Honest With Yourself and Your Parents
Before coming out to your parents, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you comfortable in your own skin? Every family is different, but there is the huge possibility that your parents may not be so accepting at first or ever. If that is the case, are you comfortable enough being yourself that it won’t knock you into regret for opening up?
- Do you still live with your parents? If you live with your parents and they tend to be more conservative, ask yourself if the rest of your time living at home will be pleasant or will you be walking on eggshells around them until you move out.
- Who will be there if your parents aren’t? If your parents can’t support your decision to come out, will you have a support group to help you get through some hard times that may follow or will you be all alone? If things start to get emotional it’s important to know you have friends to support you.
- Are you sure about this? Be confident with your decision to come out, even before telling anyone else. Make sure you know before letting others know.
How to Come Out to Your Parents: Get Educated!
If you’re debating whether or not you should come out to your parents, it is better to know some facts and stats before you sit them down. Be prepared to answer a torrent of questions that may be difficult for even you to answer.
- Get some books, pamphlets, articles, and any other reading materials you can find to educate parents about some facts and clarifications
- Test the waters by coming out to friends first. Those who stick by your side will be able to help you devise a plan for telling parents. They can be around for support and can dispel some negative emotions should your parents react unkindly.
- Having a counselor or an authority figure you can talk openly with as neutral ground can help with the learning process between your parents and you, They can give their unbiased advice hear out your parents’ concerns
- Your parents should remember that even if they accept your decision, they don’t have to stay in the dark. Teach them about being an ally so they can be supportive and educated.
- Understand that it will be hard to be accepted by everyone, so find a support group that knows what it’s like– it’ll be easier knowing someone has already gone through what you’re going through.
How to Come Out to Your Parents: How to Come Out of the Closet
Here’s a little breakdown of how to come out to your parents, now that you’ve decided it’s the best options for you.
- Don’t surprise them. Sit them down and talk to them face to face. Coming out over email or during a holiday with the whole family might not be the best way to do it. Keeping it simple will make for less drama. Be straightforward and don’t skirt around the subject; your parents already know you want to have a serious discussion when you ask them to sit down and talk to you.
- If you are a lesbian coming out, stay positive. Every day more and more women feel empowered about their sexuality in a world that is so male-dominated.
- Give them time to process. Don’t expect an answer as soon as you finish telling them. Not everything requires an immediate reaction. You’ve just brought up a subject that is very important to you. Let them know that you understand if they need time to develop this information and that you are more than willing to answer questions.
- Trust yourself. If your parents see that this is who you really are and understand that you’re confident being this person, they will know that they’re still doing their job as parents to make sure you’re happy.
How to Come Out as Bi
As a bisexual, you are attracted to both females and males. This can sometimes be confusing to parents who think of sexuality as being attracted to either one gender or the other– not as a fluid scale.
- As with coming out as being gay, you don’t have to tell everyone. You make the rules here. You don’t have to tell anyone you don’t want to; there should be no pressure to share.
- Understand that you may receive some backlash from people who think that bisexuality is not a real sexuality and that you should just “make a decision already.” Being intolerant most often comes from ignorance, and by now people should already know that nothing is black and white anymore.
- Be prepared when it comes time to explain things. Some people may think you are gay or lesbian, not bisexual. Don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know the difference. Keeping people educated is key to cutting down on confusion!
Knowing how to come out to your parents doesn’t need to be a confusing jumble of facts, dispelling misconceptions, feeling like you’re walking on eggshells around your family and friends, or regretting your decision. Take the time to prepare yourself before sharing the news with others and make sure you have a strong support group in the event of negative reactions. Lastly, do it for yourself. If you feel pressured to come out because of someone suggestion to do so, you’re not ready. Do it when it feels natural to you.