What is the best way to come out to older relatives?
Last Updated: 01/28/2020 at 11:11am
Linda Miland, MA
Licensed Professional Counselor
I have a passion to help individuals address and challenge thoughts ,feelings and lifestyle factors that are contributing to mental health issues.
Top Rated Answers
I personally think a card would be the best way to come out to older relatives because they may accept a more traditional way.
I think the best way to come out to older relatives is to sit down with all of them and tell them how you feel in clear and calm way. Write down everything you want to say so it will be easier. Just be strong and its okay to cry.
Maybe you can explain them your feelings first, without using labels to define your orientation, at least at first. Be open about how you feel, explain them what does it mean to be like you, reassure him that who you are deep down doesn't change. Encourage them to ask you questions if they don't understand something. Be patient if it will take some time for them to fully understand: due to their upbringing, it may be hard for some of them to conceive of the LGBT reality. But if they'll make an effort to understand you, be encouraging and open-hearted, and they'll accept you one day!
Some of the older generations were raised in a different society where heterosexuality was the only acceptable way of life, which makes it difficult for some of them to adjust to the relatively new acceptance. Perhaps first ask their opinion on lgbtqia* or mention that a 'friend' has just come out and see their reaction and based on that consider the best way to tell them :) I hope you receive the best support from them!
Older relatives are usually assumed to be a little less accepting of coming out, but this is not always the case. The best way to come out to them is to just tell them. Ease your way in by telling the rest of your family, or just tell everyone at once. Whether you just dip your toe in the pool or jump in, you end up wet. Face-to-face conversations are the best way to go, and they'll respect you for telling the truth.
I'd recommend slightly hinting, until they know or it won't come as a shock to them. Hope this helps :)
Talking. about anything.. and if there is no talking theme.. create one like introducing you favourite band to them or a cook program something that later you could talk about.
For older relatives, I chose to come out by sitting them down and telling them slowly making sure they understood. Of course they didn't accept it straight away but they eventually came round, and we are all good now. Eventhough it wont be like it was before, at least now they can accept me for who I am.
There is not a manual when it comes to coming out to certain people, however there are people who already came out and like to share their tips with other people. Everyone is different, keep that in mind, and older people tend to have a closed minded. As much as they should respect your opinion you should respect theirs, i could advise you to avoid using bad words, just how you would normally interact with them in a normal day. Be patient and try to answer the questions they may have. All the luck xx.
Simply starting out with letting them know you have something important to say. Remember they are your family, they love you
Be honest and tell them.Everybody likes honesty. Make sure to make them understand how u feel as well.
The best way would all depend on you and who they are! If it's someone you are close to, you might want to just tell them in person. If it's someone more distant, you may want to reach out via social media, email, or snail mail. It's truly up to what you are comfortable. Sometimes, if they're someone you think may not be super accepting, it's better to get it out to them early, so they have time before they see you to process it. Good luck!
Talking to them and testing the waters before slowly letting them know, giving them time to think. Due to a lot of old set bias it can be really hard to approach them and get a positive reply, but slowly working into it and being gentle in talking to them can help ease that.
Firstly, don't come out if you aren't ready yet or if you think it isn't safe. Approach them calmly and at a time when they are happy or feeling good about themselves, don't approach them when they are very annoyed or mad about something. Tell them you need to talk to them privately and you can explain how you've always felt about the situation and how you've come to realize that you are gay/bi/trans/etc.. If they panic, you have to stay calm because you should always expect this to happen. Contact another relative or a friend if it gets too serious. If they don't panic and accept you, great! You can give them a hug if you want. Thanks for reading, I hope all goes well for you, coming out or not :D
I've just noticed that the happier you seem with the life you're living the better the reaction will be. Sitting them down and gushing about how happy you are can help. We forget that older relatives know a lot of stuff and might not be as clueless or inexperienced as we think. But then again you know your family best, if you already know their opinion on certain topics and how they would most likely react I think it is fair to not tell them and safe yourself the heartbreak. Some things are not worth it. Good luck with your journey!
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