I was raised in a very open household. My mom and I talked about everything from sex, to periods, to drugs. She always told me I could come to her with anything, so I did… a lot. I think being so open with my mom really allowed me to become the person that I am today. I think it’s super important to have a close relationship with your parents and know that you can go to them with anything. At the end of the day, support from your parents is something that everyone needs. Especially, if you are a gay teen.
I’d like to think that the world has come a long way in the acceptance of gay people. There is nothing wrong with loving and being sexually attracted to the same sex. It’s not a switch that you can turn off, and you certainly can’t choose to be gay. Your parents, close friends and family should be your support system when you decide to come out. They should have your back no matter what. But for some of you I know that this is not the case.
Coming out to your parents can be really scary and hard if they are not open minded about being gay. We’ve all heard heartbreaking stories of teens coming out and being horribly mistreated and in worse case scenarios disowned by their loved ones. This is so upsetting because coming out should be a time of immense happiness and feeling that you are supported by the ones that love you most. But I know that some people don’t have the same open minded parents and coming out can be very stressful. Here are 8 tips to coming out to parents who are close minded and strict.
Know What To ExpectBe prepared for your parents to be shocked, deny your sexual orientation, express their feelings whether positive or negative. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of feelings that you are going to get from your parents. You know them better than anyone and if they are super close minded you need to ready yourself for their feelings towards you. But remember there is nothing wrong with being gay, bisexual or confused about your sexuality. Illustration source: Shutterstock
It's Okay To Be ConfusedKnowing if you are gay is a personal journey that you have to make. It's okay if you're not completely sure about your sexuality. Prepare beforehand about what you want to say to your parents. Go into the conversation with a few key talking points that you want to get across. This will help if your parents start to ask a lot of questions. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Don't Take Comments PersonallyMany times parents will try and take the blame after you've come out and they may say some hurtful things. Don't take these comments to heart. It can take parents time to adjust, especially if they're close minded or strict. Don't let their comments make you feel ashamed about coming out and talking to them. In the end, being comfortable with your sexuality is the most important thing. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Ask For Their LoveWhen coming out to parents who are not as open minded, take it one step at a time. Say things like, "I just need you to love me right now." This is something that all parents can relate to - loving their child. Getting to the stages of acceptance and support will come as long as they let you know that no matter what they still love you. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Be PatientSometimes coming out to your parents will not lead to instant acceptance. It could take weeks or months for them to move through the stages and be able to fully support who you are. Once you've decided to come out, make sure that you can be patient with your parents. This is a process for them too. You might want to suggest family counselling as a way for all of you to be able to express your feelings in a safe, non-judgmental place. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Pick A Non-Stressful TimeIt's important to pick the correct time to come out to your parents. If you can, talk with them at a time when they're not dealing with other stressful situations. Yes, coming out is about you, but it is also about gaining your parents support. It will be hard for them to give their full support if they are dealing with financial issues, a loss of a family member or trouble in other areas. Try to make the time to come-out as positive as possible because it is! Illustration source: Shutterstock
Be Prepared For Any ReactionsYou know your parents better than anyone. You've seen how they've handle different situations where they've felt uncomfortable. Prepare yourself for any emotions that your parents might have. Whether it's anger, tears, confusion, joy or even no emotions at all. This is an emotional time for them too. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Make Sure You Have Support From SomeoneLike we said, coming out is a process that is different for every single person. Some parents might need longer until they can fully accept and support who you are. Other parents may never reach the stage of full support and acceptance, and that's okay too. Just make sure that if you don't have your parents support right away that you have support from someone. Whether that's a friend, another family member or your school's counselor. It is important that you have people who are there for you, if your parents can't be. Lean on these people during this time. Illustration source: Shutterstock
Are you struggling with coming out to your parents? Are you not sure if your parents will accept you? Let us know your stories of coming out to your parents.