Hi Trevor project
I have a question and problem. The other day I was talking to my sister about my brothers girlfriend and I accidentally said that she was cute and I would date her. As a result my sister kept asking whether or not I was a lesbian and I tried to deflect the question as much as possible because I just couldn’t tell her that I was before I told my mom but I said that I wasn’t confirming or denying it and she just took it as my admitting I was gay. She said that she wouldn’t tell anyone but the next day I found out that she had told my mom and my mom asked my brother if he knew I was a lesbian. And he does but he didn’t tell her that. Well now I’m afraid to be around her because of what she might say because I know that she think being gay is a sin and now I have no idea how to face her. And I know that my secret is out and I should just come forward and tell her the truth but I’m afraid that she won’t love me anymore and will treat me differently which is not what I want. I need to know how to come out to her without her hating me afterward.
Thank you for writing to The Trevor Project. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help in such an important time in your life and I want to congratulate you for being so brave. Coming out to your family can be intimidating because of how much they generally mean to us and how much they affect our lives.
While some find it beneficial to come out while living with their parents, other decide that it would be in their best interest to wait until they are older. This decision is completely up to the individual you should never feel pressured to come before you are ready. If you do decide to come out, one important thing to remember is to have patience. This is very big information for them and it is possible that it will take them some time before they are able to truly understand and accept who you are.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself that might help you decide whether or not now is a good time to come out. A question to consider is how much stress you are experiencing trying to keep your sexuality a secret. Do you believe you would feel relief from being open with your family? Another important question to address is whether or not you feel safe coming out to your family. If you believe your parents might disown you or kick you out of the house it is important to find a trusted adult to confide in and have a back up plan. This could include a teacher, counselor, friend’s parent, or even aunt or uncle.
If safety is not an issue and you are ready to come out, there are resources available to help. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About” which may be of help to you. Your family 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 members/friends to help them become more understanding and accepting of you.
If you ever need help please remember that we have a 24/7 LifeLine at 866-4-U-TREVOR that is always available if you need to speak with someone. We also have TrevorChat and TrevorSpace available at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ if you would like to chat with someone live or want to join a safe space and meet other individuals in similar situations to yours. Please always remember that we are here for you when you need us.