Six Tips for Coming Out to Your Parents

8.8.2004

By Out.com Editors

1) Choose a relaxed moment to have the conversation. It's probably not a good idea to have this chat when the television is blaring or just after your mom or dad has yelled at your sister for not doing the dishes. At the same time, you don't have to announce that you want to have a 'serious conversation,' if you feel that over-dramatizing the event is not comfortable for you. Trust your instincts about the proper moment.

2) You don't have to tell both your parents at the same time. Sometimes it's easier to have a conversation first with your mom, then your dad, or vice versa. The first conversation will give you some practice in coming out that may be useful for the second go-round.

3) Don't prejudge or try to predict what the response of either of your parents might be. Any person you tell is capable of surprising you. Often, your mom or dad has already figured out that you're gay, and so your telling them will not be a surprise, because it only confirms what they've already thought.

4) When you have the conversation, it's important to try to concentrate on what your feelings are. This might include telling your parent that you are nervous about what you are about to tell them but it's important to you that they know.

5) Remember that however your parent responds, that response is about him or her. If the response feels a little negative, that may be because your parent is responding out of what they have learned'or not learned'about homosexuality. This often has to do with a certain kind of religious upbringing that they went through, or some other influence. The fact that you are gay is a perfectly normal fact of life. If your parent doesn't see it that way at first, remember that this attitude can change!

6) If your parent has difficulty dealing with the fact that you are gay, you may suggest that they contact a wonderful organization for parents of gays called PFLAG, whose website is www.pflag.org. Good luck!

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