Tips For Coming Out To Your Parents

You don't need us to tell you that this is not often a pleasant experience, nor do you need us to tell you that it's always going to be a very personal experience. Every parent will handle it differently and every response to it will be different. However, speaking from personal experience and listening to the stories of others, there are a few tips we can offer to help you with your coming out.

A wise gay man once told me 'If you're ever asked by your parents if you're gay, just say yes'. It's easier to say 'yes', run out of the room. and give them time to process it than it is to sit the family down and do the whole 'Mum, dad, siblings, family dog, I have something to tell you' thing. Think of this as the 'ripping off a plaster' approach.

Before you go in, assess your parents attitudes. For example, whilst your parents may be accepting and loving, they might also struggle with the more 'out and proud' approach straight away. In which case, it might be best to tone your vibe down before you announce the news. As much as you can do at least without risking who you are and want to be.  After all, it's your right to be apologetically you.

Don't do it when everyone's drunk and you have that 'liquid courage' thing going on. Alcohol might give you courage, but if your family have also had a bit too much to drink, it might backfire. We can say things we don't always mean when we're drunk. We can also be a bit too honest about things when alcohol is in the system, and although honesty is indeed the best policy, I'm sure we've all been in a situation the day after a heavy night where we think 'ahhhh... I WISH I didn't say that!'

Remain calm. Easier said than done, especially if your parents/friends are particularly unforgiving. But even if they're screaming and shouting, rising to it won't help. It's hard to stay mad with someone when they're not fighting back, so don't take the bait.

Nothing is permanent. What we mean by this is even if your parents don't talk to you for a while after coming out, it doesn't mean they dislike you suddenly. It's very hard to dislike your own child. They might just be having a hard time adjusting to the news.  Don't cut them off straight away.   No matter what was said previously, often it's up to you to be the bigger person and that's 'OK'.

Take into consideration, in this day and age, your parents probably have an idea anyway.  Especially your mum.  It's call 'mothers intuition'. Just because they haven't talked to you about it, doesn't mean they're in denial. They might just be avoiding the topic because they think either you haven't come to terms with it yet, or you don't want to talk about it. You might be pleasantly surprised with an 'Oh thank God you finally said it.'

Be honest. While we mentioned being loud and proud may not always go down well, if you have things to get off your chest then share them. Making jokes or covering up how you feel may lead to the dreaded 'Maybe its just a phase' statement and that's probably going to make you feel worse about coming out.

If you need to cry, cry. You are only human and chances are, if you've bottled things up for a while, you'll have a lot to say and will show a lot of emotion.

Remember above all else, there are always people who love you, whether it's family, friends or even that person you talk to every day online. There will always be somebody there for you and you are not alone.