I want to tell my parents but my dad was watching the news and is now very homo about gays and lesbians. What should I do? He already makes me feel horrible. This would just be fuel for his flame. He is always like this since my mom left with my little sister.
Well done for writing in. Coming out to your parents is so hard, especially when they have made you feel like they won’t be sympathetic, or even that they are hostile to the idea of you being gay. It’s especially hard for you because it sounds like your Mom and sister aren’t around to support you. So remember that it’s very important that you tell your Dad only when you feel it is right and it is safe for you to do so. If you think he is going to be hostile, then you need to have friends or family or another adult who you feel safe with, maybe a teacher or school administrator or councillor, to be there for you. Even having a safe place to go to if need be, is important. Some people feel it is better to wait until you have left home and are safely established on your own before telling a parent. But the decision is yours. You are in charge of when and how you tell him.
It can be really helpful to understand that his hostility to your being gay can be as a result of his fear and ignorance. He may not know any gay people, so his only understanding of what being gay means comes from hostile and stereotyped images from the media. This sounds like it’s the case for your dad. He will also be filled with fears for you and this can make him seem angry at you. He will feel he doesn’t know how to protect you from all the fear he is feeling.
So it a good idea to be really well prepered before you tell him, so you can answer his questions and calm some of his fears. So here are some great resources that I will tell you about. The more educated you are about coming out, the better you will be able to handle the conversation.
Check out http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you.
There’s also a great organisation you may have heard of called PFLAG. Your Dad may have many questions about your sexualit and may need time and help to become more understanding and supportive of you. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your Dad to help him become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your Dad won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help him become more understanding of you.
Either way, these resources will really help you to prepare for this hard and important step.
Remember that you can always call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, or chat with someone on TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace.
We are always here for you Ariel.
Good luck to you.