I’ve been considering coming out to my parents for a while now. I came out to some of my closest friends. But the problem is that I’m 13. My parents are just gonna say it’s a phase and that I’ll grow out of it. But I’m absolutely sure that I am bi. Any advice on the subject?
Let me start by saying that it’s okay to be hesitant on whether or not to come out to your parents. Coming out is a life-changing experience and that can be a very scary thing, especially when you feel like the people you love will just dismiss your identity as just a phase. It’s also frustrating when you are dismissed for your age and told that you’re too young to know who you really are. That can be very upsetting, and it’s completely understandable for you to be concerned.
I can’t tell you whether you should come out to them or not, as that’s something only you can decide, but I can hopefully give you some perspective and resources to help with your decision. Is there any reason you feel like now is the time to tell them? It’s okay to keep your sexuality a secret from your parents if you don’t feel entirely comfortable telling them. Never feel pressured to come out if you aren’t ready. You also say they will probably dismiss you when you tell them. How do you think a dismissal from them will make you feel? Do you think you can handle it if they don’t take your identity seriously? What is the absolute worst case possibility for you coming out to your parents? Are you ready for that possibility? More specifically, is there any chance at all that they could react violently or even kick you out? Do you have a safety plan (where you’d go, how you’d support yourself financially, how you would continue your education) if they did kick you out? This all may sound extreme, but it’s vital that you make plans to protect and care for yourself in a worst case scenario. Please carefully consider these questions and remember that the most important part of this entire process is to make sure you are safe and comfortable.
If you do decide to come out, there are resources available that both you and your parents could potentially use. The Human Rights Campaign has a resource guide to coming out that you can find here: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out Your parents may also have some questions or concerns, so you could, if you’re comfortable, show them the resources available through the organization PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Made up mostly of parents, PFLAG works to help people become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. If you go on their website www.pflag.org you can click “Get Support” and then click “For Families, Friends, & Allies” to find a number of resources. Two pamphlets found there worth checking out are “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions About GBLT People.” These could be solid resources to hopefully help your parents come to terms with your identity. I also suggest the books “Now That You Know – A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children” and “Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together.” All of these could possibly help your parents out during this process.
Also remember that we have a social media site here at www.trevorspace.org where LGBTQ young people and allies can meet and socialize in a safe space. Here you could talk to people your age going through the same issues you are and hopefully find support and advice. Your safety is the highest priority, so please do what you feel is best for you. If you ever need any additional support remember that the Trevor Project is always here, whether it’s through TrevorChat, askTrevor, or our Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR.
The Trevor Project