15 May 2003

Is there a safe way to come out to my parents?

Is there a safe way of coming out to my parents? I want them to understand that I’m not just experimenting.
– Rachel

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

Dear Rachel,

The coming out process is an extremely personal matter depending on the individual and his/her/their own situation, hence there is no right or wrong way of coming out, let alone ‘safe’ way.

In your question, you don’t mention if you are already out to anyone, such as friends or those close to you, hence the first step before coming out to your parents is first coming out to yourself – understanding and being comfortable with being GLBT as well as being sure of who you are as an individual.  In addition, educating yourself about homosexuality not only will help you but also will better prepare you in responding to questions or statements of others, such as your parents, when you do come out to them.

I suggest reading some articles in our Coming Out section, which may help answer any other questions you may have as well as help you dispel any wrong ideas others may have regarding homosexuality and gender identity.  In addition, reading some of the personal stories of others that came out may be useful – by learning about other’s experiences, you’ll know more about who you are, what stage in the coming out process you are at, and what to expect when do you come out.  In addition, there are a number of articles in the Family section that will help those close to you better understand and deal with the questions and feelings that they may arise when you do come out.   Having a support system is always appreciated when one is going through the coming out process, hence let your friends and allies know that you’re getting ready to come out so they can support you.  If you haven’t come out to your friends or don’t have a support system in place, I suggest you contact a youth group ; they can not only provide support but also answer questions you may have as well as provide the opportunity to meet other youth who may be going through the same situations as yourself.

Knowledge, education and understanding & being comfortable with yourself are key.  Don’t rush things, come out when you know it’s time to do so.

Be strong and good luck.

Team AlterHéros