GLBT National Help Center Blog

Helping the LGBT Community

Things to Consider When You Want to Tell Your Parents You’re Queer

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If you are living with your parents and/or are dependent upon their financial support, here are some things to consider if you are thinking about telling your parent(s)/guardian(s) that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered.  But before going further, step back, take a deep breath, and congratulate yourself on wanting to do this.  We know it’s not always easy, and we hope you give yourself the credit you deserve for thinking about such an important decision.

  • Is there a potential for danger or abuse to you, physically or emotionally?  Your safety is the most important concern.
  • Are you in danger of being kicked out of your home?  If yes, do you have an alternative place to stay?  Have you asked how long you could stay with them?  Is it a short term offer, or could you stay there for many months or even years?
  • Have your parents made any comments about GLBT people that could give you an indication of how they will react?
  • Go through the various ways you think they will react.  How will you feel about the potential reactions?  If you think they’ll react badly, do you think that the initial reaction will be lasting, or will things calm down?  How will you be able to deal with that reaction?
  • Is now a good time?  Are there other factors at play that will affect reactions?
  • For those with more than one parent/guardian, do you want to tell them together?  Apart?  Who should you tell first?
  • How do you want to start the conversation?  Do you want to preface the news by telling them you’re nervous of what they’ll think, or dive right in?  Or do you want to write it down in a letter, and let them read it while you sit with them?
  • Often, family members take their cue from you.  If you start off by telling them, “I’ve got some news I know you’ll be upset about…” you might get a different reaction than if you started the conversation by saying, “I love you very much and want to share something about my life with you that I feel good about  …”

This is not intended to dissuade anyone from coming out, but merely to make sure that all things have been considered in this decision.  We find that most GLBT people have a pretty good idea of how their parents will react, but it’s good to think through one’s approach.

Coming out to one’s family can be a big moment, and even if parents have a negative reaction that is not extreme (i.e. abuse or kicking the GLBT person out), many newly-out people find that there is a sense of relief that comes with not having to hide such a large aspect of themselves.

If you do decide to speak with them, give us a call afterwards.  We’re here to offer you support.


Written by glbtnhc

September 12, 2011 at 8:54 am

Posted in Coming Out

One Response

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  1. We support you in your truth and want you to know you are not alone!

    My friends have started an awesome movement called FREE2LUV celebrating everyone’s freedom to love!!

    Check it out www/

    They have some really cool merchandise & they give back to gay & questioning youth organizations!

    Aurora Dimitri

    September 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

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