Coming out is one of the hardest things to do, and deciding to finally come out of the closet can be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Here is a question I got from a reader a few weeks back about how to go about telling your parents you are gay.
Telling My Parents I’m Gay
“Hey Mr. Q,
I’ve read a couple of your articles and I really like them. I myself use to be pretty homophobic but then I started to get curious after a few failed relationship attempts with females. Well, a few months ago I met a guy that I guess you can say I fell in love with. We have been dating now for almost 3 months but I have been hiding from people like my parents. I’ve come out to friends and siblings but I can’t muster up the courage to tell my parents because I still feel sort of ashamed for what I am doing and every time we have sex I can’t fully enjoy it because in the back of my mind I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Is there any advice you can give me? Thank you! You are truly appreciated! ????”
Thank you so much for the message and thank you for giving my site a read. I am glad you found it helpful.
Honestly, the fact that you have told someone means that you are already off to a pretty great start! The most important thing is to have some friends or family as support in the beginning and then move up from there to tell someone like your parents (which is usually the hardest part).
I had a really similar situation as you when I was getting ready to tell my parents. It took me a whole 4 years after coming out to my mom to build up the courage to tell my dad.
My advice to you is to tell them when YOU are truly ready, no matter how long it takes.
Don’t feel pressure from friends or boyfriends. Coming out is a personal decision and YOU know yourself and your situation the best out of anyone in the world. When you are finally ready then the next step is to pick a good time to come out to them.
Timing is Everything
If you are living with your parents it can make coming out to them a bit riskier. You need to think about their potential reaction and if you are at risk of having no place to live, especially if things go sour. So if you are still dependent on them you need to do more to read the air more and make a good judgment to protect your well-being. (Check out: When You Shouldn’t Come out of the Closet).
Assuming that your parents aren’t overly conservative and that you are in a relatively good place then the next thing to do is to find a sibling or a close friend who you can talk to for advice. This is maybe the most important part and provides a nice fallback to then work up to telling your mom or dad. I talked with my sister a lot before finally telling my parents and it allowed me to build up my courage and gain an outside perspective.
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Having someone close to you that you can trust will make the experience much easier in the long run.
It is important to remember too that coming out is a bumpy road, and when you do finally tell your parents that they might not accept you straight away.
As scary or uncomfortable as this may sound, the long-term benefits of being out and the support you can receive further down the road is definitely worth the stress and struggle upfront.
Being open and honest will be one of the biggest weights off your shoulders and after the storm has cleared away, can make your life exponentially better.
Coming out never really ends, and it is something you will do for the rest of your life, but it definitely gets easier and easier every time. For me when I think back, it was the best decision I ever made.
I hope this helps a bit.
All the best,