Telling your parents that you are lesbian, gay, or bisexual can be a very scary thing. You may be wondering how they will react, if it will change your life, or if you will get upset when you say it.
HERE ARE 9 TIPS TO HELP YOU TELL YOUR PARENTS:
1. YOU CANNOT PREDICT YOUR PARENTS’ REACTIONS
Even if they think you are not straight, this may still be the first time they are hearing the news. Just remember that their first reaction might not be how they really feel, but it is just that they are shocked or surprised.
2. FIGURE OUT IF IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO TELL THEM
It might not be the right time if your current situation is unsafe for you, e.g. you have abusive parents. Think about these things very carefully before coming out as your safety is the most important thing.
3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME
It can be scary to tell both of your parents at the same time, and this can be stressful. You could make it easier by telling just one of your parents first.
4. CHOOSE A GOOD TIME AND PLACE TO TELL THEM
If you are scared about your safety when telling them, you could tell them in a public place so other people are around. If not, make sure that the time you tell them is when you won’t be interrupted and where you are comfortable.
5. TELL THEM WHO THEY CAN AND CAN’T TELL
This is easy to miss out as you are so relieved to have finally told them, but you may want to come out in steps, so for example, telling your parents first, then close family (like brothers and sisters), then extended family (this could be uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents). It is important to tell them who they can and can’t tell. You might just want your parents to know at first and then tell others afterwards when you are ready.
6. YOU DO NOT NEED THEIR APPROVAL OR PERMISSION
Some parents may disapprove of your sexuality, but it is important to know that it is not essential that they approve of it. They may approve as time goes on and it may take a while, so it is important to be patient.
7. IT’S OKAY FOR THEM TO ASK QUESTIONS
They may want to ask you lots of questions, and it is important that you take them seriously, no matter how silly the questions may seem. They may just be curious and want to understand properly.
8. HELP TO EDUCATE THEM ABOUT YOUR SEXUALITY
Whether your parents react well or not, you could ask them to look at these organisations: FFLAG and Belong To. They are there to help support and educate parents of lesbian, gay or bisexual children.
9. YOU CAN TALK TO US ABOUT IT
Telling your parents that you are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be scary and it is a very important thing to do. Even parents who don’t have any problems with you being lesbian, gay or bisexual may still say something offensive by accident, and this is usually due to shock.
If you need any more help, you can join our community where you post about your situation and one of our support mentors will give you some great advice.
Remember – coming out is different for everyone, you are doing the right thing, you are allowing yourself to be who you were always meant to be.
To read the full version of this article, please click here.