How do I deal with coming out to a Catholic family?
Last Updated: 08/27/2019 at 12:17am
Polly Letsch, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.
Top Rated Answers
The most important thing is your safety. If you feel like your family wouldn't accept you and/or that it would create a dangerous situation (for example: you still live at home and you think your parents might react with abuse), make sure you have a safety net. A safety net can be family members or friends that already support you, whom you could fall back on. You do not, in any way, have any obligation to come out. If you decide to come out, it should be because you feel it would be best for you, not because you feel like you have an obligation to society or something like that. In the end, know that you're not alone. There are many people out there just like you, and we all give you our full support to come out in any way and at any time you think would be best for you. Your safety and well-being is most important.
First, be proud that you came out. Its such a hard thing to do. You're amazing. Second, know that even if things are shaky at first your true family and friends will accept you and love you. :)
You don't have to come out. If your family is not open minded and your safety is in risk, then don't come out. But if you really want to do it, be sure that you're safe and don't be angry if they don't accept it immediately, maybe they'll get used to it with time.
Take your time and have something prepared as to what to say. I would make sure you have already come out to friends/ other family members that support you in case things go badly with your immediate family. Be prepared for lots of questions. Remember that no matter how they react, they are dealing with a huge shock and they will probably say things at first that will hurt you deeply. Be willing to answer their questions. Most importantly, no matter what, realize that you are valid and your sexuality is valid and you are not a mistake or whatever else they may say.
Coming out to a Catholic family can make coming out even more scary and stressful than it already is. Before coming out be sure to think about the following: Is your family strict about Catholic teachings? Is it safe for you to come out to them? Will they learn to accept you? How have they talked about the LGBTQ+ community in the past?
You can express your feelings as openly as you can, tell them what it means to be who you are, how you realized you are LGBT, and reassure them that nothing changes in who you are as a person, you're still you though this part of your identity is different than they thought. Make sure they know you want to share it with them because they are important to you, and maybe tell them that you believe in your relationship and you're sure they know that nothing changes in the person you are. You can also encourage them to ask you any questions they have about it, let them express their worries and discuss how the arguments against LGBT have been formed mainly on prejudice. Be patient, it's possible that they'll need more time to come to terms with it, but what truly matters is that they give you a chance to be listened and understood: that's a signal that they're willing to give you a chance. Ultimately, those who really love and care for you will accept you for who you are and they'll just want you to be happy, no prejudice can ruin real love! If you're feeling very uncomfortable, you can even consider writing a coming out letter.
You can deal with coming out to a Catholic family by , firstly, telling a close, trusted friend about how you feel. Maybe even her parents could help tell your parents about it. It will certainly lighten up the load.
I would first go to a family member who I am close to and I feel comfortable talking to. If that person does not wish to talk I might ask to try and get my friends to help me to make them understand what I am going through as a perosn and that I did not change as a person.
It is not going to be easy especially if you come from a family with a strong catholic background. You can try explaining to them why you want to come out and how it makes you feel. You just have to wait for time so that they will understand.
Maybe bring up how they feel about lgbt+ people and if they react well, then I suggest coming out but if they react negatively, then wait until you feel comfortable and tell the person you are most closest to :)
Know that it's not going to be easy. Know that you need support. And make sure to keep talking about your feelings as they come around. You can and will get through this for the better.
Coming out can be very difficult, especially to a Catholic family. The most important thing that you have to do, however, is make sure that it is safe for you to come out. If you are afraid that you will not be safe if you come out, you should consider waiting until you are independent and do not rely on your family for financial aid. Your safety is the most important part!
Make sure you are ready within yourself first. Please don't feel pressure to come out if others you know have come out or for any other reason. Make sure you feel safe and secure if you are worried that your family will cause you difficulties. Remember that there is an entire community on the internet AND in real life and that we are always here for you even if sometimes it's just in spirit. When it comes down to the moment itself, be sure to speak slowly and remember to breathe. Say as much or as little as you feel comfortable telling, and make eye-contact if you can. There are many families who will react in many ways that are opposite of each other, so if you are worried, reach out to a hotline or friends/supportive outside family for support, find someone to talk to. I believe in you.
It's never easy coming out to a family that totally or biblically disagree with homosexuality. You feel alone, you feel sick when its time to speak up, and sometimes you lose the words needed to express your truth. I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. There are millions of other individuals that deal with this exact issue every day. Some do not know how to deal with it and they result in the worst possible, but I assure you that this is not the end of the world and you will prevail. First, begin by writing your thoughts down on a piece of paper. It may be easier to express yourself through pen than expressing yourself through words. Next, take the time to look deep within and let yourself know that it is ok and it will only get better from here. If your family gets upset they will eventually move on to something else. Next, find someone that you can confide in and express your desires to come out to your family and ask them if they would come for moral support. Again if you can't express this verbally, then write a note to your family and have them read it. Once you have the courage, come out and you can finally live your truth. All the weight will not be off your shoulders, but some of it is better than none of it. Your family will hit you with bible scriptures, and they may even express to shun you. Just know that God loves you and in due time it will all get better. Prepare for the worst and aim for the best.
If you are still strong in your faith, mention that whilst coming out. Only do this if you are ready. Test the waters by bringing up recent LGBTQ+ events around you or the world.
Related Questions: How do I deal with coming out to a Catholic family?
How do I come out as nonbinary?I've just come to terms with being transgender. How do I come out to my girlfriend of many years?How do I tell my boyfriend that I'm transgender?Is there any chats/groups/forums specifically for Transgender teens 18 and under?What does it mean to be Queer? I'm love with my best friend, but she's straight. What do I do?How do I come out to my parents?How to deal with falling in love for your best (and straight) friend?How can I explain homosexuality to my parents?Hi. I’ve had trouble with my family lately. My mom says she supports me-being an enby but won’t call me by my pronouns. And got angry at me now I’m in trouble. Please help?