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Ask Trevor is an online question and answer resource for young people who have questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity.

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I really want to come out to my parents


Hey i’m feeling really kinda sad and depressed. i really want to come out to my parents but i’m afraid they’ll disown me. i haven’t told anyone that i’m bi and i really want to talk to someone. also i think i might be falling for one of my best friends who i think is straight and i haven’t told her i’m bi either because if i do she might not want to be friends with me anymore….what should i do

Submitted by Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Your feeling torn about whether it makes sense to come out are completely normal as a young person.  Oftentimes, young people feel uncertain about how their parents or loved ones will react, that they won’t understand and may respond negatively to something that they may not have familiarity with.  You’ve taken the brave first step in acknowledging your bisexuality and it’s a very normal, logical feeling to want to share this with friends and family.  Ultimately, however, there is no one right decision.  The decision to come out is deeply personal and depends on various circumstances which we can discuss.

One of the greatest benefits people express about coming out is the sense of validation they ultimately feel by letting those they care most about know something very personal about them.  It can lead to feeling less lonely, greater support systems and the formation of new friendships.  Some questions for you to consider as you decide on whether to come out:  Is it stressful for you to keep this part of your life a secret? Are you concerned about feeling unsafe either physically or emotionally if your parents were to respond negatively to your sexuality?  What about your best friend?  By telling your best friend do you think there is a chance she could divulge this to other people at put you at risk in any way?  Whatever you decide, you should make sure you are comfortable and safe.  That is the most important thing.  Make sure you have a safety plan for worst case scenarios.

You may want to consider finding ways to broach the topic indirectly by talking about an LGBT actor on television, book or movie to gauge how they might react.  Consider confiding in a trusted teacher, school administrator, counselor, or family member who can give you advice about your specific circumstances.  Also, there are a number of great resources online that you might find helpful.  Check out the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” (http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out).  Additionally, there are many articles/FAQs on Advocates for Youth, a website that provides helpful education and suggestions for young people just like you who are asking themselves these same questions  (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=724&Itemid=177).  If you do decide to come out to your parents, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is an organization that has tones of resources that may answer those difficult questions they may have (www.pflag.org).  Ultimately, you have to know that even when you may feel at your lowest, that you are not alone.  Millions of people all over the world are in similar situations like you.  You’re strong for acknowledging your sexuality when most may spend their lives never coming to terms with it.   Be proud of who you are and know that you can always speak to someone live at The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR or at TrevorChat.   Best of luck.