|Posted by Live Love Mom on May 25, 2021 at 9:30 AM|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
It can be very intimidating to come out to friends, let alone family. With mixed reactions in families worldwide, it's hard to tell when will be the right time. Even if you know how your family will react, coming out can still be very nerve-wracking. Remember to take a deep breathe and ground yourself. You got this.
The most important thing is to wait until you are ready to come out of the closet. If you are still discovering who you are or are unsure, don't rush it. Take your time and mull it over with yourself. Make sure that this is really what you want to do. You don't want to have any regrets.
Do your research. Make sure you know the proper terms on how to explain your orientation or gender. You don't want to come out as bisexual when you're pansexual, or transgender when you're agender. Remember, they may not know what you are talking about, so you may have to explain it to them.
Start a conversation about politics. Ask your parents what their views are on gay marriage and adoption. Bring it up casually. Their answer should give you huge hints on how they would react to your coming out. If they are vehemently against it, be prepared to either not tell your parents, or for a negative reaction. If they support it, then they will very likely be supportive of you as well.
If your parents show support of gay marriage and adoption, invite them to go to a gay pride parade with you. You could bring your LGBTQ friends as well, or make friends at the parade and meet new people. You could come out there as well, or use this as a learning oppurtunity to teach and learn all about the community and different terms.
When you are ready to tell them and you have an idea what their reaction would be, you can decide when to tell them. Be sure it's face-to-face, as this is the best way to start a conversation about anything serious. You want to avoid certain events like funerals, open houses, birthday parties or weddings. You don't want to take the attention away from a person who threw an event for a milestone. It's best to sit down for a private conversation with your family.
Too nervous but still want to tell your family? Bring a trusted friend with you, or even your partner. They can be the moral support you need and encourage you to take the step you want so badly to take. You can even practice with that friend for every scenario so you are prepared for whatever happens.
Talk to an LGBTQ friendly hotline. There are many out there you can choose from, and you can text or call them. Counselors can help you in the decision-making process and give you some valid suggestions on how to proceed.
Ask your peers, they are likely to have a coming-out story of their own. They may even tell you how they wish they had done it, if it didn't go as planned. You can take note and pick and choose which you want to apply to your own situation.
Know that you are amazing just the way you are, and you were born this way. There is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ, you are whole and you have a whole community out there that supports you. No matter your parents' reaction, you can reach out to your community and talk to them any time.