Ask Trevor

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How Do I Tell My Parents?

Question:

My parents aren’t homophobes, but I feel like they won’t look at me the same way if I tell them I’m bi. I want to tell them because I don’t like hiding things this big from them, but I feel like maybe I should wait until I’m not completely dependent on them. Should I wait to tell them? If not, how do I do it without them thinking differently of me?

 

Answer:


Hi there,

Thank you for reaching out to Ask Trevor!  Your courage is greatly admired.  These feelings that you have are normal, and we want to help you find a solution to your current problem.
Regarding ‘coming out,’ it is important to know that only you will know when, where, how, and why you should do it.  The team at Ask Trevor will not tell you to approach the conversation in a particular way or at a certain time.  You know your parents best, and the way you go about discussing your sexuality is totally your decision.  Now, you mentioned that your parents are not homophobic, but you worry that they will look at you differently after coming out.  This concern is completely valid; however, consider looking at your situation in a different way.  Imagine if you do not come out to your parents.  Will you feel lonely?  Perhaps, by telling them, you will find a wonderful support system.  You may feel less stressed and more comfortable at home after acknowledging your sexuality. However, if you have reason to believe that you should wait until you are financially independent to tell them, that is also okay.  Regardless of when you tell them, you must make your safety and your emotions a priority. Pack a bag, prepare to sleep at a friend’s or relative’s home– have a back-up plan in case things go awry.  These precautions should not worry you– they are simply means to guarantee your safety.  Check out the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” (http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out) for additional tips and suggestions.
Unfortunately, you won’t know if you parents will “look at you differently” until you tell them. But again, there is no rush!  By reflecting on your relationship with your parents, you will eventually know when the time is right.  And if they are upset, confused, angry, or see you differently, tell them to check out PFLAG’s (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) website for an online source of support: www.pflag.org

The team at Ask Trevor is proud of you.  You are strong and confident, and you are on your way to finding peace with yourself and with your parents.  Be sure to put your emotions and safety first, and if needed, talk to a trusted adult that will understand your feelings.  Also, make use of The Trevor Project’s resources, such as Trevor Space, Trevor Chat, and if needed, our Trevor Lifeline (866-4-U-TREVOR).  Thank you for reaching out to us!  Be well.

The Trevor Project