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How can I tell my parents that I'm gay?

259 Answers
Last Updated: 11/10/2021 at 2:20am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Danielle Gonzales, PsyD


Hello! My name is Dani, I am a Psychologist and registered Psych Assistant. I have a passion for helping a different types of clients from all diverse backgrounds!

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Parenting
August 14th, 2015 3:03pm
This is something that's incredibly different for every person. It depends on what your family dynamic is, on how dependent you are on them (financially and otherwise), and what you think their reaction might be. As bad as this sounds, sometimes it's better to look at the entire picture and what could possibly be their reaction (good or bad) and looking at that, decide whether it's the right time or not. If you find that it is, then sitting down and talking to them is one option. I've had friends who have written letters or emailed them, but it all depends on you personally and what you think will be best.
June 19th, 2015 12:55am
Just sit them down, tell them your gay, and see how they react. Even if they react badly, they can't do anything to change it. It's a personal decision that no on can change. You have a right to be LGBTQ.
July 17th, 2015 2:32pm
Coming out is an important milestone in the personal growth and self acceptance of an LGBT person. It is not just a one day decision, but a process that takes a great deal of strength. The decision to tell your parents about your sexuality can be very intimidating, mostly because we have no control over the reaction that we may or may not get. Starting with a personal inventory can be helpful. How much have you accepted your sexuality yourself? Are you ready to be yourself, regardless of any judgment that you may receive from the outside world? It is important to be as strong as possible internally, before taking on any external obstacles. Once you are ready to tell your parents, tackle your anxiety by preparing If-Then strategies for all the possible outcomes. Think about the ways your parents may react, then decide what strategy you will use to maintain a healthy outlook. For example, "if my parents freak out, then I will simply get up and leave and meet up with a supportive friend." Or "if my parents are too in shock to respond, then I will offer to give them some time to process." Don't forget about the positive outcomes that may happen as well! "If my parents say they are happy I am ready to be myself and they love me no matter what, then I will give them a hug and thank them for being who they are." Finally, make sure you have a plan to debrief. Telling your parents you are gay may be easier than you think, or it may be more difficult than you thought it would be. Wherever the experience falls on the spectrum, have your support system ready to embrace you afterwards. Whether they will be there to celebrate with you, or comfort you if you don't get the response you are hoping for, having people who love you waiting in the wings will strengthen your resolve and reduce your anxiety. Remember, you were born to be the person that you are. Parents are people too, and however they react comes from their own unique life experiences. Their reaction doesn't change who you are as a person, how much you deserve happiness, or how awesome it is going to feel to be your authentic self.
August 14th, 2015 12:08am
My parents are dead. But my foster parents support me. The truth is all they care about. Ilovthem!!!
June 18th, 2015 4:23pm
There is no 'easy' way to tell anybody about such a private matter. However, speaking about it in a calm and firm manner usually works better with parents. Speak to them like an adult since you are an adult. It may be shocking at first but those who love you will grow to accept this part of you. Stay strong and make sure they know that this is something that is a part of you.
December 16th, 2014 12:52pm
You just need to sit them down and tell them. Remember respect. It may be tough for them to process but stay true to yourself. You're your biggest fan and it's you that has to live your life. Not them. Respect their reactions and opinions but don't let any negative reactions or opinions pt you down or define who you really are. You're an amazing person no matter who you choose to love or how you choose to live your life.
June 20th, 2015 7:16am
*There is no single, sure-fire way of telling your parents that you are lesbian or gay. 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. 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". These are difficult things to answer if you feel at all unsure of yourself. **The first aspect to your situation is your homosexual feelings, and the second aspect 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. 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. **It is best that you are as confident, and indeed as happy about yourself as possible, before talking to your parents. This can be very difficult if, for you, being happy about being lesbian/gay depends upon your parents accepting the fact. If that is indeed the case for you, you may need the advice of a sympathetic counsellor, but be sure that you approach one who can accept lesbian/gay attitudes. *For others, the confidence needed to approach their parents can come from several sources: from joining a lesbian/gay youth group or a social group if you are older; from having lesbian/gay friends or Social Media friends who may be in the same situation. Or perhaps from talking to parents who already accept their lesbian/gay offspring or from getting to know a family where one or more of the children are accepted as being lesbian/gay. It is for you to decide which of these will give you the confidence to approach your parents. **Choose your moment. All families have times that are right for talking, and these are usually better than trying to create a moment. Sometimes events may make this choice for you. When something is on your mind, it can build up to such a point that it simply spills out. Let it happen. Your unconscious mind often knows best about these things. Also be prepared for one of your parents making the first approach. They may have found something that alarms them or feel that you have something on your mind. You will be caught off guard and feel trapped. Admit that you are lesbian/gay and say you would like to talk about it. That is enough to start with. People want to tell their parents that they are lesbian/gay for many reasons, but mostly these are to do with *honesty* and *love*. Just occasionally you may want to tell them so you can hurt them, perhaps when you are in a bad mood. This rarely works, and usually rebounds badly. Neither is it fair. Your parents have not made you lesbian/gay, even if mistakenly they think they have. They will realise that you are talking out of temper and your words will carry less weight. *There are no standard phrases or words for telling your parents that you are lesbian/gay. Many people start by saying they want to tell their parents something that fear has forced them to keep hidden, or that there is something on their mind that they find very difficult to talk about. If your parents have wondered whether you are lesbian/gay that is when they will ask you, making this probably the easiest way for the subject to come up. **Perhaps a good approach to take would be to say, "I've known for "X" years that I'm lesbian/gay and I've been too frightened to tell you. I didn't want to hurt you and I was worried you might reject me. I hope you don't, because I don't feel any different about you". However, there are not many daughters or sons who would start a conversation like that. Indeed, it's enough to say, as most do, "I'm lesbian/gay", or "I think I'm lesbian/gay", or "I've known for a while I'm lesbian/gay", or whatever words come most easily to you. Tell your parents why you have not told them before. Usually this is because children fear rejection by their parents, or have not wanted to hurt them. You may have got used to these fears, but they will be new to your parents. *There are two points nearly all gay children have in common, which are best mentioned early on. The first is that coping alone is extremely difficult and so pressure has built up inside you. This may help your parents to understand moods and reactions of yours that seemed out of character at the time. **Homosexuality is part of you, it is not all of you. It is not as important, for instance, as the type of person you are. However, it is impossible to become a full, happy human being if your sexuality is denied, particularly by those who love you. By helping your parents to see this last part of you, you will be helping to strengthen the bonds between you, and greatly raise everyone's chance of happiness.
June 18th, 2015 11:23pm
Tell them that you need to talk about yourself and about your feelings and that no matter what you love your parents and you're just a human being and like everyone else.
June 21st, 2015 4:24am
Everybody has their own way that they come out. Some are blunt and direct, "Btw mom, I'm gay" while others are more shy, maybe more emotional. And some of those will get the response, "Oh, son, we've known. Thanks for finally telling us." and some will receive the exact opposite. Point is! There are many ways to come out- and if you're ready to open up to your family, it should be in a way that is most comfortable for you specifically. Don't feel rushed. Don't feel pressured. Be who you are- and you'll know the best timing for yourself. Much love.
November 26th, 2014 6:10am
Every Lesbian Gay Transsexual Asexual Bisexual & Pansexual (Did I miss anyone?) needs to be honest with themselves and true to who they are before life passes you by.
June 18th, 2015 3:59pm
Wait for the right moment, when they are in a good mood and aren't too busy. Don't wait too long though! Tell them you want them to respect you and that you aren't any different from the others. Good luck X
March 28th, 2018 10:28pm
Don't worry about it. You should at least relax yourself first, then bring them together and tell them gently. One way to say it is: "Mom, Dad. I hope you won't be upset or unhappy with me, but I don't have interest in (your opposite sex)." It may take time, but everything will be okay. Remember that.
June 19th, 2015 2:35am
My parents are pretty accepting, but I understand that not everyone is so lucky. I was upfront and honest. My policy is to be unapologetic for who I am. I would have a sit down conversation. Be cool, collected, and confident. Never be ashamed of who you are!
June 19th, 2015 4:41pm
By straight up telling them. There's not really a reason to be afraid because they're your parents and they should accept you for who you are and what you like. It's unconditional love. And if they don't mind then it's great but if they do, who cares? Are you going to waste your life pretending to be someone you're not?
June 19th, 2015 7:29pm
Depends on your parents. I mean... you know them better than anyone. Some questions cannot be answered but only with other questions. Maybe that question isn"t the actual issue
July 22nd, 2015 6:43pm
We all know, that this could lead to a drastic positive In relationships with your parents or a negative relationship with your parents. It all depends, on our parents. Everyone is different, we're not perfect but we all should strive for our happiness as in individual to be with whom we love and everyone should have their right In that. x This is going to be a huge step, and I believe theirs NO perfect way in telling your parents your gay and expecting a reaction that you have wanted, but if that happens that's amazing. First off, recall how your parents feelings are to homosexuals and try to address it. How you feel, and how much it means to you for their acceptance. Be honest and strong, be patient with them and submit to showing them how proud you are to have them as parents and sharing that moment with them if everything turns out from a positive point of view after you drown who you love as a person. Remember, nothing is easy in life but you have all the rights to be happy with you want, whether your parents accept you or sadly not, their still your parents and deep down in their heart they love you. Don't be afraid to be you and tell them who you really are. x
June 19th, 2015 7:34am
Just go ahead. Be bold. And tell them! There's very limited chance that they won't accept your preference.
June 19th, 2015 9:22am
I believe that just coming out and stating it strong is the best way. Be like 'I am gay and that is the way it is. It's not a phase or an experiment but just how I am' If your parents do accept it then great and if they don;t than that is how it is. Don't try and change or lie for anyone, its your life and you get to live it the way you want :)
June 19th, 2015 10:55am
I would sit them down and just be as honest as you can, I hope they understand. I hope all goes well .
June 19th, 2015 7:24pm
If your family love you, they will understand. But you can say "This isn't a different thing. I feel like this and i'm happy with that."
June 19th, 2015 8:04pm
Sit them down and start by saying you're nervous about this you're going to tell them, but that it's very important for you to get this out and you hope they will be considerate and respectful with their reactions and be reminded that you're their child no matter what and that you need and deserve support. Or don't say all of this to them :D but just sit them down and look them in the eyes and take a deep breath, then speak, and look down at your hands or at the floor if it's better than looking directly into their eyes... do what makes you feel most comfortable at that moment and realize the strength you have by opening up about this.
July 2nd, 2015 4:19am
First be sure that you want to tell them. If they have different beliefs, consider how they may react. If you feel that you should tell them, then find an opportunity where you are in private and everyone seems to be in a relatively positive and calm mood. Approach the subject slowly, ask test questions like "how do you feel about the legalization of gay marriage"? That will give you an idea of how to tailor (or if you should mention) the conversation.
August 12th, 2015 5:22am
I am all sexes and no sexes. I do not require a body to love.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
September 9th, 2018 2:30am
You don’t have to do it if you don’t feel like it match for you. I don’t think coming out is necessary, I’m speaking like a lesbian girl. Just stop hiding, talk about your feeling and don’t be afraid! If you really want to talk about your sexuality with your parents you have to be sure about what you’re feeling and be proud of who you are. Just sit with them and speak with the heart, tell them your story exc. There’s an entire community who loves you. Be yourself and I’m sure they will love you like we do.
November 27th, 2014 10:24pm
Just be confident! I'm sure you're parents will accept you just the way you are! You just need to make them feel like you are going to be happy with their opinion!
December 4th, 2014 11:19am
Just ask them to talk, 'don't say anything please, just listen.' and then tell them. My cousin did it this way and my Aunt was supportive more than anything. Now a days, it's unusual for a parent not to be. You got this!
December 30th, 2014 12:26pm
Being straight forward is usually the best way. Beating around the bush leads to frustration on all sides.
June 18th, 2015 9:40pm
sit them down and be honest thats the best way im sure they will support you no matter what happens
June 19th, 2015 4:31am
Wait for an appropriate time when things are going really well and say you have something important to tell them, and slowly tell them piece by piece, if they're good family they'll be so proud of you for telling the truth instead of bottling up all those feelings.
June 19th, 2015 4:51am
Your parents made you, whether they realize it or not, they'll always love you despite their views on things. Tell them, you found happiness. And that's its with ( whoever)