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How do I come out to my parents?

289 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2022 at 1:23am
How do I come out to my parents?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lauren Abasheva, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.

Top Rated Answers
August 5th, 2016 3:35am
There is no single, sure-fire way of telling your parents that you are lesbian or gay. Just as no two families are exactly the same so the method, even the words, will vary from one family to the next. But many reactions are common to all families, and knowing this, it is often possible to work out the best method for your family. Very few parents imagine that their children could possibly be lesbian or gay. Even those who may have had suspicions still feel shocked, sad or angry when confronted with the fact. Try to understand this. You have had, perhaps, several years to gradually come to terms with the fact that you are lesbian or gay. Your parents, when you tell them will have had no time at all. Although teenagers sometimes find it difficult to accept that no one knows them as well as their parents there is no denying that they have watched you develop from birth to the present moment. So they will find it hard to accept that there is a side to you they never knew about. In the immediate reaction there are certain things that nearly all parents say. These include "How can you be sure at your age?" "I went through a phase like this, you'll grow out of it". "You haven't tried hard enough with the opposite sex", and, ominously, "What about this terrible AIDS?" These are difficult things to answer if you feel at all unsure of yourself. If you are young and under the age of consent legally, after a recent equalisation of the law in the United Kingdom, 16 for both homosexuals and heterosexuals (Age of consent in other countries) remember there are two aspects to your situation. The first one is your homosexual feelings, and the second one is your sexual experience, if any. You should therefore carefully consider to what extent you are going to reveal yourself to your parents. Be very careful in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Homophobia (hatred or prejudice against homosexuals) has many forms but it is based upon ignorance and can be dispelled by knowledge. Remember your parents will have to consider how they will deal with relatives, neighbours, friends, and perhaps their employers or the local church who may become aware that you are lesbian or gay. Try to understand this concern, perhaps point out that you too have to deal in greater measure with the hatred of others. Your parents' reaction may be to become overprotective. Remember that to balance all the homophobia, there exists a lot of positive and enlightened thought and attitudes.
August 10th, 2016 5:16pm
How to come out to your parents depends on every persons situation. There are some who would just say it upfront because they know that their parents are very accepting. There are people who waits to be successful so they can prove themselves first. But at the end, its just up to you on how you will do it.
August 13th, 2016 5:44am
First you need to accept yourself. It's all about when you are ready. Once you accept who you are and are confident you can pretty much take it from there. Confidence is key in coming out.
August 19th, 2016 10:48am
Just be honest with what you feel, parents notice a lot more than you think. Its no doubt that it is very scary.
September 3rd, 2016 12:38pm
Ooh that's a tough one. First you've got to to make sure that it's the right time. Make sure that your parents aren't going through any stressful situations. Then make sure you know what to say. Make sure you can approach them in a calm manner and explain it to them in the simplest terms so that they don't make any assumptions. Make sure you're serious so they know you aren't joking. Good luck! :) :)
September 24th, 2016 3:54pm
Everyone's story is different, especially when it comes to how we are dealing with our own sexuality. My own personal experience was a positive one- almost insignificant to any other life events that were going on- I had been hanging around a girl who became my girlfriend slowly, and my mom just noticed how close we were. She one day just asked me if we were dating- and I said yes. That's all there was to it. Not everyone is so lucky, some people may have difficult situations/non-understanding parents. And for those of you suffering with this, I am truly sorry, but it gets better. #positivefocus
October 7th, 2016 2:58am
Just tell them whenever you feel is right. Remember you can't be closeted for the rest of your life.
October 27th, 2016 3:18pm
Everybody has different ideas of how to do it. For example, if you know your parents will accept you then maybe bake a rainbow cake or pancakes. I came out through a simple conversation. I also used the coming out song by Ally Hills, which is kind of goofy but I love it. The most important thing is to do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable, and to make sure it's safe to come out (eg if you think your parents may kick you out, then it may not be the right time to come out). Good luck!
November 10th, 2016 10:49am
Well, there's no easy way to do this. However, this is a safe way. First off, please be sure about what you're going to say. Being direct is a good way to go, though make sure there's no malice or uncertainty in your speech. Buttering them up before you confess is a good tactic, too. Please be careful about the environment(how will the people around you effect your parents temperament), time(when they're relaxed/the day was not hard on them) and your parents prior mood. You can also ask their opinions about a hypothetical situation where you're a part of the LGBTQA+ spectrum before asking them to sit down and listen. Thank them if you do come out. These things are something not many people are accepting of, and if they react positively, or not negatively, be sure to show gratitude, that this meant a lot to you. Lastly, be absolutely sure you want to go down this road. There's no pressure to say something you're not ready for, or something you're guaranteed to receive bad results from. It's going to be okay,you can do this!
April 1st, 2018 11:55pm
Sit them down, and gently explain to them your situation. Let them know that you are still the same person, you just love a little differently.
July 14th, 2018 4:57am
Sit them down and say to them, there is something I’ve wanted to tell you for a while now, and it’s been bugging me for a long time. Mom, dad, I’m _______
July 19th, 2018 4:22am
Coming out is a very personal experience. First of all, you need to decide if you really want to do it, analysing your personal situation. The way you come out to others, especially to your parents, depends on how you deal with the subject and on how you expect them to deal with it. Some people might have more understanding parents, others might get in real trouble for coming out. This experience must be dictated by you, and only you. If you've already analysed your personal situation, you can decide on the best way to tell your parents. Some of them might need a little preparing first, because, unfortunately, sometimes it ends up as a shock. Maybe you could start telling them a little story, giving them a little background on your life, kind of directing them to the matter. Then, you could say that nothing would change, that you're still the same person and that you'd like them to know the real you, to get them closer to your life. After smoothing the path, you could come out. Of course, this is one of many ways to so it. Everyone has their own. Just make sure you stay safe. Some people might need a bit more of time to come out and that's okay, there is no right time for doing that. You need to feel comfortable and secure. Good luck!
January 4th, 2019 12:08am
Make sure you won't be endangering yourself when you come out Make sure you have a reliable friend that you can sleep over if your parent kick you out Make sure your parents understand the termonology, do this gently, "hey did you know..." or "I found this term at ... today, ... I think it was, it means ..." Remember your safety is your current main and biggest concern I understand the urge to come out but if it is not safe do not come out I don't mean to press this but it's important If you need amy help there are plenty of listeners oh 7 cups Hope this helped -pop
April 5th, 2016 2:30pm
Keep it simple, don't apoogize, you don't have to be sorry for a beautiful person you are. Be patient, answer their questions. And give them time.
April 7th, 2016 6:19am
Just sit them down and tell them the truth and how you feel about it. Also tell them why you made the decision and how has it changed you.This will help them understand and accept the decision that you have made.
April 13th, 2016 10:05pm
It can be hard to determine if your parents will accept you. I was lucky enough to have a mother who came out to me first. My dad, though, I had no idea. I knew he loved me, I know he still does. So one day I just told him 'Dad, I'm pansexual.' on the way home from dinner. That was that. He's asked me about it since, but the point is, it can be hard and it can be super scary. But it's okay, even if they dont like it, even if they get mad or dont accept you. Because you were strong and brave enough to tell them in the first place. Thats huge!
April 15th, 2016 7:10am
This is always a hard question because we don't know your situation. So in general: Get some support. Take a look at If you can and your parents will help you find a supportive counselor to help you understand your situation and help you understand if your parents are able to be supportive. The first rule is keep yourself safe. I wish you peace. J
April 20th, 2016 10:40pm
Simply talk with them, explain to them everything you feel and the most important thing is to do this when you feel 100% ready.
April 21st, 2016 9:14am
Coming out was really difficult for me, i was extremely scared. I kept putting it off. I finally worked up the courage over family dinner. I sat my mother and aunt down for a discussion. It took me a while to say it. Luckily their response was positive and accepting. The best you can do is try.
April 21st, 2016 11:36am
It can be very very difficult to come out to your parents, especially when you don't know what they're reaction is going to be. I would suggest sitting down with a cup of tea, and just say that you need to talk to them about something that means a lot to you, you want them to be open minded. approach them slowly, sometimes it can be a shock. and people react the wrong way. If you're too nervous to talk to them, write them a letter.. let them take their time to read it, and to come to terms with it.
April 23rd, 2016 1:02am
First of all, make sure you feel comfortable with yourself before you come out to other People. As long as you feel you are in a safe environment, the risk is low (e.g. if there was a negative reaction, you have a place to go for a few days), and you want them to know. Never feel pressured into coming out before you feel you are ready. But when you do, it will be a relief - trust me!
April 23rd, 2016 4:03pm
Honest. Just tell them straight away. Do not be afraid to tell them the truth. If they really love you they will accept you no matter who you love
April 24th, 2016 1:04am
First of all, Make sure when you tell them that it is just you and your parents. Something like this would be best if told during a dinner perhaps? Just tell your parents that you have something to say and tell them... & Then tell them. Yes they will be shocked & There might be some conflict of some sort but remember this is all due to shock & It is not you, Your parents love you but it might be hard for them to comprehend so please be patient with them. The shock factor will wear off but it may take time. Best hopes to you!
April 28th, 2016 9:07pm
It's always good to have a friend there with you when you do, make sure it's someone that you trust.
April 29th, 2016 8:27pm
First of all, if you think coming out would put you in a dangerous situation, don't do it. Your safety comes first. If you feel comfortable in your situation, you can approach your parents about it. Make sure they are in a good mood before you tell them. Coming out is a different experience for everyone who does it.
May 5th, 2016 6:18pm
Only come out if you feel that it is safe and are comfortable, and when you do, tell them in the best way you think they will understand. That's what I did.
May 6th, 2016 3:43pm
Most importantly make sure it is the right time for you and that it isn't too forced. Also make sure it is safe and that they won't act too negatively or mistreat you because of it. Good Luck!
May 7th, 2016 3:10am
I think it's best to come out when you're most comfortable & ready just have a sit down conversation
May 8th, 2016 10:07pm
You can find a counsellor to help you make coming out to your parents easier. The counsellor can also be useful to your parents if they have any questions or concerns about how to better understand you.
May 11th, 2016 5:32am
Call a family meeting, and go over it with them. Explain to them in your own words that even if you like people your parents do not 'approve' of, this doesn't change who you are as a person, just who their future 'in-law' will be.