I’m really stuck right now….I really want to be open but almost all family are Christians and my mom is anti-gay, my brother jokes about it as well as ALL my friends. I know i need to tell them but how do I tell them? Will they disown me? I’m getting more depressed every day…..
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for writing to the Trevor Project about your concerns and worries about coming out to your family and friends. It is hard coming out and being open to friends and family, especially if you think they will not accept the news very well. Having this conversation with loved ones and people who are special in your life is a challenge and it is ok to feel a bit concerned and worried.
As you try to decide whether or not to come out, and when, it is helpful to think about a few things beforehand. Some quesitons you should think about: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about them finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
Your family and friends may have many questions about your sexuality 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 family and friends to help them 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 familyor friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
I hope these resources are helpful for you. Remember, you can always contact the Trevor Project directly if you need to talk to someone over the phone. The number is 866-4-U-TREVOR and you can call anytime you need to. Also, TrevorChat and TrevorSpace are also great additional ways to find support and answers to your questions and concerns.