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My parents don't know I'm gay and they are super religious, and homophobic how do I deal with this?

8 Answers
Last Updated: 06/22/2021 at 1:53pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Monique Bivins, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a real passion for helping my clients to overcome life's obstacles . My work with clients is nonjudgmental, supportive, and interactive.

Top Rated Answers
November 20th, 2017 11:53pm
Since I don't know about your specific scenario, I don't feel like I can give you a straight answer. However, I can give you a few "if:then" statements or suggest a few questions that you'll want to ask yourself that may help you to find the answers your looking for. Most of these assume that you're asking this question with the intention of trying to come out to your parents (at least at some point), but I want to let you know up front that it's perfectly okay to not come out - especially if you feel that you aren't safe in your family and/or community. Obviously safety isn't the only concern, but some people think they need to come out when it may not be the best time or place. In the end, the only person who can make that decision is you. I wish you the best of luck. The first few questions are in regard to how you fit into the situation with your parents. Are you living at home? Are you financially dependent upon your parents? If the answer to either of those are "yes", then that makes the decision much more difficult for you as, if they are as homophobic as your question seems to imply, you may end up getting thrown out or cut off financially and you'd be putting yourself in danger if you had no one (and/or nowhere) to go to for help. Even if you aren't dependent on your parents for anything, you will probably want an emotional support system if you decide to come out to them and they react badly. However, if you are dependent, I'd recommend getting your support system in place and finding out who'd be willing to give you a place to stay (or help in other ways you may need) should the worst happen. The next question has to do with religion. Do you share in your parents' belief system? If you do, they may bring your faith into question if they believe that your religion teaches against homosexuality. However, there are religious organizations out there that are completely devout and would support your being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. If I were you, I'd get a bit of information on one (or more) of those institutions and be prepared to offer those places as sources for your parents to learn more about how being LGBTQ+ isn't incompatible with their/your religion. They may not be open to that, but it's might be something worth being ready for just in case the opportunity presents itself. Are you out to anybody? One of the most important things, whether or not you decide to come out to your parents, is an affirming support system. Even if there's only a single person that you are close to that can fully support you through this time, you will be all the better for it. You could even use the building of your support as "practice rounds" of coming out before taking on the intimidating task of coming out to your parents (again, don't feel pressured to, but I got the impression that you were interested in being out and were worried about how they would react). If you don't feel like there is anyone in your personal life who would be that kind of support, then the 7cups LGBTQ+/MOGII sub-community is a great place to start! This is a difficult situation and it's never fun to be in a place where you aren't sure you'll be accepted by people who are close to you. I wish you the best. I don't know if you can respond to my answer if you have any further questions, but you're welcome to try. Or, if anonymity isn't necessary, you can always find me on the LGBTQ+ forums!
December 12th, 2017 7:31pm
The best way I can respond to this, is to be honest and hope for the best. If they are worth being in your life they will accept you. It might take time, but they will. Life is to short to hide who you are from the people you love most.
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
October 1st, 2019 11:33pm
First of all, consider if it's safe for you to come out. If you feel like your safety wouldn't be affected and you want to be free to express yourself, you can come out, maybe even by writing a letter if you feel uncomfortable. I'd say it's important to first come out to people you know can be supportive, like friends or family members who have expressed inclusive views. This way, you'll feel stronger because you're being supported, and you'll know you won't have to be alone through this experience!
November 21st, 2017 7:40pm
Well, you have a few options for you and you would really need to decide what's best for yourself and your situation. You can choose to not tell them, and possibly move somewhere else where you are free to be yourself without them knowing. Or not tell them specifically and still just live as you would like. You could come out to them and try your best to express what it means and how important it is that they support you (sometimes even homophobic people can change!), in this case it might be good to have some sort of backup support system just in case they don't take it well. It's always good to have supportive friends anyways. Really, in the end, just try to not let their negative opinions get to you. You know that you're still you, and you're a good person, and that's all that matters. There are going to be people in the world that accept you and some who don't, but you're still you no matter what.
January 7th, 2019 8:17pm
Well in my experience I’ve reached out to people, either online or in my life, that can support me and remind me of who I am. I’ve chosen to accept myself, even with all of my flaws, because there is no one else I can be. I know here at 7 cups you can find a plethora of people in similar situations who would love to be here for you. I think the best thing you can do is love yourself for who you are. And accept that there are parts of you people may never understand, but it doesn’t matter. Because you will feel happiest when you are true to yourself.
September 7th, 2020 2:32pm
It's really hard living with parents that night not accept you for who you are. If you are living with then you shuold first make sure you're safe. your sexuality is something that is yours to decide with who you share it. as long as you feel safe you couldd get some friend to help you. depending on where you live you could get help from an LGBTQ+ organization. and most importantly - remeber you are amazing just the way you are and you are loved and valuable as a person. I hope you can find a way to be surrounded by people that care about you and that your parents accept you for who you are - their child.
February 1st, 2021 8:26pm
If it's not safe to come out at home, hold off until you are in a safer space. If you have LGBT+ friends/ not homophobic friends talk with them and create a safe space for yourself outside your home. If you don't have queer friends look for safe spaces around your town such as PFLAG or other LGBT support groups. Alternately find spaces online, however if you are online be cautious and aware. There are some apps that are especially designed as safe spaces for queer youth, so those may be your best bet. Also, watching positive portrayals of gay characters on tv/ in movies is no replacement for living openly as yourself but it can make you feel better and more confident as you wait for the chance to do that. If you do really want to come out to your parents, make sure that you have somewhere you can stay in the event that you are kicked out and a support system to be there for you. Point being, come out if you feel it's absolutely necessary, but if it's not maybe wait until you have a safe place with good people around you. In the meantime listen, learn, and try to find confidence in your identity despite your parents hatred. Books, movies, and other queer people are sometimes the most comforting things when you yourself can't be out for some reason.
June 22nd, 2021 1:53pm
I would recommend waiting until you have a safe place to go, like a partners house if their parents are happy with your relationship or a family member who is not homophobic. Ask the person who you find safe before hand if you can stay there in case your parents kick you out (which is not uncommon), then tell your parents when you are ready, don't let anyone tell you when, especially if you think they wouldn't love you. If they accept you for who you are, then great, if they don't and kick you out, you have somewhere to go.