How do I tell my parents I'm not straight without having them freak out/ kick me out/ hate me?
Last Updated: 10/28/2019 at 1:49am
Penny Dahlen, Ed.D., LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I am committed to helping you find your passion, heal old wounds, and flow smoother in all aspects of your life path! I use a compassionate listening approach.
Top Rated Answers
Don't! If things are looking bad, don't risk it. Coming out is a choice, not a burden. Wait until conditions are favorable. Best case scenarios, they aren't conservative and would support you. I wish you all the best! :)
The best thing to do is perhaps test the waters first, that's usually the first step I use when coming out to anyone, but especially family members. If they react okay to a friend not being straight, or are open to talking about the subject, such as a Schools GSA or the Gay Rights movement, then it is probably going to be okay to tell them. It's important to remember however, that you only tell them when the time is right for you, and you feel ready. How and when you tell them shouldn't rely solely on their feelings, but on yours as well.
It depends on your parents and family situation. If you are sure the wouldn't be supportive, have a back-up plan if it would come to the worst and they would kick you out. Maybe mention it to them by talking about a gay couple and see how they react. Make sure that they are not stressed, they willprobably be calmer about it. Before you come out be 100% sure and confident, that makes it a lot easier. And please know that you are beautiful just the way you are.
First and foremost—do not feel pressured to "come out" if you feel like you will not be safe to do it. If you feel secure, try explaining to your parents simply how you feel, how long you've felt this way, and/or how much their love and support means to you. Education is the first step to bridging that gap, so the more questions they have answered might dissolve any concerns or worries they might have. Good luck!
You've got to be happy in life no matter what happens, sometimes you need to be selfish to be kind to people.
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.
Normally parents are more understanding than we give them credit for, but as that isn't always the case, it's best to tell them in a public place. Telling them in a public place will make it harder for them to react in a way that might cause physical or emotional harm. Some people like to have a support person with them: others prefer to go it alone. It's all very personal between yourself and your parents, but if they have always been good parents to you they will love you no matter what. Most parents I have met whose kids came out to them have just sort of shrugged and said "It's only news to you" because they had known for a long time that their children were not straight. Just remember that whether or not they support you the relief you will feel in getting this off your chest will be SO worth it.
Unfortunately you can't control how they'll respond. If you don't think they'll respond well you don't have to tell them. Your safety is what's most important! You could always wait until you're in a position where you're not dependant on them (when you've moved out etc). You could always try bringing up sexuality in a conversation, for example "*celebritys name* just came out as gay, I think it's great because now other gay people will have someone else to look up to!" and see what they say? or maybe you could talk about your situation but instead of saying it's about you, say it's about a friend instead to see what they say, for example "*friends name* is *sexuality* and is really scared to tell their parents.. they're scared about how they'll react.. I don't really know what to tell them.. What should I say?" and if they respond negatively, it's probably best not to tell them until you're a bit more independent for your own safety.
One thing that I've done is just tell them. The longer you drag it on the harder it becomes to hide. If you just tell them flat out it takes such a weight off your shoulders. Or if you can't handle telling them by yourself get a close friend or another close family memeber, like a siblings, to be with you. Tell them what you want to tell your parents and if you can't finish they can be motivation for you.
A great way to start off is to casually bring up LGBTQ+ topics. For example, maybe bring up something about a gay celebrity, or a gay friend. If they don't react positively, don't feel pressured to come out. There's a lot of pressure in the LGBTQ+ community to come out, but for a lot of people that isn't a safe option. Coming out is completely personal, and you shouldn't let anyone else make you feel pressured to do so or not to do so.
There's no way to predict their reaction for sure. However, it could help to start by coming out to the family members closest to you and/or those who are more supportive of the LGBT realities. If you're not sure who could be supportive, you can try discussing the LGBT topic to check their opinions. Be yourself and explain why and how you started questioning and came to your final conclusion, how you feel, what it means to be like you. If you open their heart and let them know what this journey has been like, maybe they will be more likely to be empathetic! Make sure they also know you'll be there to answer their questions and help them understand you better, if they want to. And remember: true love can defy prejudice. It has happened before, and it can happen to you too. If there's real love between you, they will accept you!
Well it depends on how your parents are. Tell me a bit about them. Then I can give you a better way of coming out to them.
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