1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Trying to Come Out to My Parents

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by alainbeaux, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. alainbeaux

    Regular Member

    Jul 29, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Sexual Orientation:
    Out Status:
    Not out at all

    I’m trying really hard to finally work up the courage to come out to my parents. My big incentive is that I’m about to move to California to continue my education. I’d like to take this opportunity to start fresh and tell my parents my sexual orientation. Throughout the years I feel I’ve been holding back from them, and have felt isolated in my own home because I haven’t shared all of my feelings with them. My parents aren’t truly homophobic, but they do have their moments. For example, my mom cried when gay marriage was passed last year because she felt it devalued her marriage, and pretty much every time we drive by a gay-friendly bar they’ll make a very derogatory comment. There’s also the occasional graphic and derogatory comment about gay sex. It’s comments like this that have kept me in the closet. Otherwise, I have a wonderful relationship with both my parents, and they love me unconditionally, but I’m so afraid to tell them because I’m afraid it will totally change the way they see me, and I don’t want things to change between us. My mom likes to think she raised the perfect boy, and I’m afraid that if I tell her she’ll be disgusted and disappointed and think she did something wrong in raising me. I want to tell them so badly though! I also don’t want to spend the rest of my 20s in the closet. Especially since I’m about to start going to a new school. One thing I deeply regret is that I remained totally closeted all through college, even though I went to an extremely liberal school. I’ve never been on a date or kissed anyone, and I want so badly to feel what that’s like. I’ve fallen in love a couple times with straight guys, and it made me feel so alone and angry with myself for having these feelings. I have so much love to give, but I’m afraid to let it show.

    My parents are going to be helping me move in to my new apartment and stay with me for a bit to help me get settled. I’m thinking of telling them right before they leave to go back home. That way I won’t have to face them for an extended period immediately afterward. Does this sound like a good idea?

    I’ve never come out to anyone in person before, so I’m also wondering if I should wait to come out to my parents until after I’ve become more comfortable telling other people.

    What do you guys think? Should I tell them before they leave me, or hold off for a bit longer?

    One thing I’m also apprehensive about is of is how the gay community will treat me. Clubbing isn’t really my thing, and I’m not interested in tons of partying, drugs, one-night stands, or anonymous sexual encounters. One of the things I want more than anything is to share my life with another guy in a faithful, monogamous relationship and I’m worried that it will be very difficult for me to find someone like that in the gay community, which is known for being less monogamous than heterosexual people. Are my worries justified at all, or am I just showing how ignorant I am about this?

    Sorry if that was a bit long, but this is the first time I’ve ever shared these concerns with anybody, and I feel really desperate for advice. I can’t talk about this stuff with anyone. I would appreciate any tips for coming out! Thank you so much for reading this! It means a lot!
  2. MrHojalata98

    Full Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Likes Received:
    First and foremost I think it's important for you to accept the pace at which you've had to process this whole thing. Coming out, relationships, none of that is a race. You're going to meet people who came out well into their 40's, 50's, 60's, and then you'll meet people who never had to come out because they just always knew. We all have different backgrounds, different ways we were raised, and unfortunately in spite of all the progress that's been made, a lot of us are still raised in an environment where two men being together is not only not an option, but also looked down upon. So whatever reasons or fears you may have, don't invalidate them. You're making progress, you being here asking for help is proof of that, so celebrate that.

    Going more into your actual post, I don't think any one person here could really tell you if it's the right time to come out. I can only share my own experience and hope it helps in any way. Hopefully it will because from what you wrote I was under similar circumstances with my own family. They were never truly homophobic, but the little remarks, the looks of disapproval when a gay couple was on tv, all that stuff. The best advice I can give you, be patient. Hope for the best, but in case it comes to worst, you need to stand your ground, be firm with what you're telling them, and make it clear that you're not going to change. I had to come out to my dad three times before he started taking me seriously. And that was after the initial two month period in which he couldn't look me in the eyes. I know that doesn't sound very encouraging, but I'm here three years later and my dad is still one of my best friends. While that time was very hard, years later, I came to understand him. I don't justify his reaction. But it took me years to come to terms with my sexuality, it was unfair to expect him to accept it seconds after hearing the news. It took time, but little by little he's gotten better. I can talk to him about any worries I'm having with relationships, my boyfriends have come over and met the family, he's helped me pick out what to wear for dates, things I never really expected I'd get to do, at least not with him. You also want to be prepared for all the usual questions. While it obviously varies, from what I've seen, the biggest shock and worry for parents when their kids come out are either their kid's safety, or grandkids. Depending on your family, religion might also be a topic that comes up, but I'm not very well versed on that subject. Regardless, think ahead of time what you want to say to them in case any of these are actual worries of theirs. But above all make it clear that you understand if they need time, but that you're still you. You're still the kid they've raised from a toddler to a now adult, and you being gay doesn't change that.

    As for your worries concerning the gay community, I completely understand. I have a very limited perspective on the matter. Being only 18 I haven't gone clubbing or any of that stuff either, however even with my limited scope I still have experienced the gay communities love for hook up culture and fear of commitment. Of course that is a gigantic generalization. But it is hard to find a gay friendly environment that isn't too oversexualized. I unfortunately don't have too much advice because of that, all I can say is keep your eyes (and options) open. Meet guys through friends, friends of friends, if you're moving for educational purposes maybe your school has a GSA or something along those lines? If you're also not opposed to the idea, online sites (that aren't hookup sites) could also be an option. I have no idea how successful sites like those usually are, but you'd atleast get to be a bit more specific with what you're looking for before meeting up with a guy. I don't know, I'm kind of brainstorming out loud at this point so I'll stop. But if there's anything you want to talk about or want me to give my two cents on a subject, just ask. Hope I helped any.
    #2 MrHojalata98, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016