*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.