Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Come Out to Parents?

Last week, Andrew Marin posted a "Youth Questions" video where he was asked the question, "How do I come to my parents?".  You can listen to his response here:

He then solicited responses from his blog readers and I posted the following response, which is where my head was at when I wrote it:
I like the idea of having someone being there with you when you have the talk. Here are some of my thoughts on coming out to your parents:

1. Ideally, you will come out to your parents when you are not dependent on them. I have friends who’ve been kicked out and cut off from their parents after they came out. Sometimes it was a short period while they initially reacted. Some parents still never communicate with their gay kids again. It helps if you have your own place and your own income and finances if this happens to you.

2. I don’t care if they are your parents. Don’t let them say nasty things to you after you come out to them. (This relates to Andrew’s observation that you can never take back your negative reaction.) If they become verbally abusive towards you, leave and finish the conversation after they’ve finished with their rant and calmed down. If they need to vent and say nasty things, let them do it when you’re not there.

3. Don’t horribalize your situation. If you’re crying when you come out to them, you might clarify that you’re frightened of their rejection, not about being gay. Otherwise, don’t let them convince you that being gay is terrible. Don’t let them try to convince you about lies about what gay men and women are like based off their fears and misinformation. You are the gay person. You are the one who actually has the experience and perspective of being a gay person. You have the ability to adhere to or reject any gay stereotype that’s out there. You are you and you are special and unique. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
So how about the readers of this blog? What advise would you give about coming out to parents?

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