How do you tell your parents and family that you are gay without big consequences? And plus my parents are very religious.
First off, you should be proud of yourself for having the self-awareness and courage to recognize your sexuality and wanting to take the next step to share this very personal aspect of your life with the rest of your family. Many young people go through this same internal debate about coming out every day all over the world. You are not alone and have a lot of resources and support groups available to you.
There is no one way or time to come out to your loved ones. It’s a deeply personal issue and depends on individual circumstances. Before discussing how to come out, consider the following questions? What motivates you to want to come out at this moment in time to your family? Do you feel that by telling your family you will feel less alone or experience less stress or anxiety? For many people, coming out can be a liberating experience and help alleviate some of these pressures of being gay at a young age. It may make you closer to your family and help you establish a support group of people who love you. However, there are also risks of coming out at a young age, particularly if your parents are very religious, so you should consider how they may react before taking this step. For instance, do you worry that your parents might kick you out of the house or that your safety would be at risk if they found out you are gay? Some people wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before they come out. The importance in whatever you decide is that you are comfortable and safe at all times. To test the waters, consider bringing up a gay character from a television show or book to your parents to see how they react.
We have some resources for you that may help. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out is very helpful. If you decide to come out, consider writing out what you will say and rehearsing it with someone you can trust like a friend, family member, teacher or guidance counselor. Additionally, there are numerous guides that deal with coming out and religion, such as PFLAG’s guide, “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/FaithinourFamilies.pdf. Last but not least, the Trevor Project is here for your and is available through The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-Trevor or TrevorChat if you need someone to speak to. Avatar97, you are not alone and this is just the beginning of discovering great things about yourself as a gay person as time goes on. Stay strong and safe!
The Trevor Project