I am a gay 13 year old in eighth grade. I have finally realized that I am gay. I have told a few of my closest friends at my school and they have accepted me for who I am, but I am very afraid to tell my parents. I have heard a lot about some parents kicking their children out for being gay or a lesbian, and I don’t know what to tell them or don’t know when the time is right. I need help.
Original letter submitted by
The confusion you are feeling over whether you should come out to your parents is completely normal. Young people often feel uncertain about how their parents or family members are going to react, that they won’t understand, and may even responding negatively. You have taken a brave step by telling your few close friends, so it is only natural that you would want to share this with parents.
There really is no right or wrong answer to your question. The decision to come out to your parents is deeply personal and really depends on each individual’s personal circumstances. There are some questions for you to consider as you decide on whether to come out to your parents: Is it stressful for you to keep this part of your life a secret from your parents? How do your parents feel about LGBT people? You may want to consider findings ways to discuss the topic with them indirectly by talking about a famous person who is LGBT, like an actor on television, to see how they react. In addition, are you concerned with feeling unsafe physically or emotionally if your parents were to respond negatively to your sexuality? Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and safe. Make sure you have a safety plan for the worst-case scenarios.
There are a number of great resources online that might be helpful. Check out the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” (http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out), which contains really helpful information. Another resource is “Advocates for Youth” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=724&Itemid=177). It contains helpful information for young people like yourself who are asking themselves some of the same questions. If you decide to come out to your parents, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is an organization that has resources that may answer those difficult questions they may have (www.pflag.org). Ultimately, you have to know that even when you may feel at your lowest, you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world are in similar situations like you. You’re strong for acknowledging your sexuality. Be proud of who you are and know that you can always speak to someone live at The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR or at TrevorChat. We are always here for you.