How to Come Out to Your Parents?

Elvis Elvis

If you haven’t come out to your parents yet, you probably understand that hiding who you are is more difficult than being in the minority in the first place. If you like acting so much, then turn it into a career, not a prison for your sexual identity.

When I was a teenager I had a very difficult time coping with my feelings. I was always attracted to the same sex, but wasn’t sure what everyone else would think of me. I knew I had to come out, but was afraid that I’d let my family down somehow.

Many people deny themselves a liberating existence in fear of being scrutinized by their family. You can only live this way for so long before your secrets eventually come to the table. Meanwhile, you have to avert everyone’s attention (or avoid people altogether) just so you can enjoy the part of your life that you’re hiding.

I used to do this a lot. Before I came out, I would choose my gay friends very selectively, and would oftentimes opt out of social functions because I was so afraid of being “discovered”. This led to a lot of paranoia, headaches, and depression.

When I meet people well into their 20′s or 30s who haven’t decided to come out, I am both amazed and grief-stricken. Even if they are hundreds of miles away from their loving parents, it just means they’d rather run away and hide than be truthful about themselves. Imagine if both of your parents died without knowing that part of your life. Do you really want that for them? for yourself?

How to Come Out to Your Parents?

Surely your parents deserve to know that much. Before you decide to divulge the truth, you should take precautions to lubricate your coming out experience. The first thing you need to consider is correct timing. I came out at 19, feeling that I was mature enough to be taken seriously, and responsible enough to control my own life.

So consider your age. If you’re 15 years old and absolutely sure of yourself, you should be prepared to hear skepticism. Oftentimes parents will assume it’s just a phase when you’re that young, but that doesn’t have to stop you if you want to come out and behave freely.

Are you still young and living at home? Do you honestly believe either one or both of your parents will send you packing? This is another reaction to consider, however unlikely it may be. In the end, you know your parents the best. Use your best judgment.

My dad is an alcoholic so I had to wait for one of his “dry” days to tell him. I didn’t want to tell him anything under the influence of alcohol. It could severely alter his reaction and I preferred a reasonable situation. In short, I anticipated the worst outcome anyway.

So when the time to come out is feeling just right, you should feel your heart beating faster, a lump in your throat, or your stomach in a knot. That’s normal, otherwise you would have easily told them sooner. I remember sweating and being able to hear the conversations in the next apartment! It was a real adrenaline rush for me.

Now is the time to remind yourself that this is the start of a new chapter in your life – a critical and positive decision that you are strong enough to make. Take a very deep breath, and just blurt it if you have to. Just get the message out there. After you reveal the truth, let it sink in.