How do I tell my parents I’m gay?

Coming-out is a unique journey for everyone and there is no book of rules stating when or how you should tell your parents. Some tell their parents right away and others wait years to do it.

Here are just some of the questions we would ask you if you were to call us:

Do you have other people who support you?
A friend or relative who knows your situation could come in handy if you need someone to talk to after telling your parents. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a place you could spend the night if things go badly. OUTline and other support lines (see below) can act as a great resource throughout the process.

Is this a good time?
Timing can be very important. If your parents are dealing with other stressful issues right now (a death in the family, loss of job, separation), it might be in your best interest to wait for a time when things are more stable. Also, coming-out in anger or during an argument can lead to a rash response simply because the atmosphere is negative.

Have you put yourself in your parents’ shoes?
Remember, you’ve had some time to think about and adjust to what your sexual orientation and gender identity means for you. Your parents may not have had that opportunity.

Are you in control of your journey?
While friends and partners can be a great support for you, make sure you are ready to come-out and they aren’t pressuring. Also, using someone else to come out for you can send the message that your friend “put you up to it.” It’s important to make sure this is what you want and it is on your terms.

Are you ready to be patient and supportive?
Your parents may go through a lot of emotions and thoughts when you come-out to them. Be prepared to give them resources and explain why it is important to you.

For more things to consider, check out this brochure by the Philadelphia chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG).

If you’d like to talk one-on-one about coming-out to your parents, don’t be afraid to call us at 519-836-4550. We’re open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-9pm and are always ready to listen.

You can also contact one of these other toll-free support lines:

Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688
Guelph-Wellington Distress Line: 1-888-821-3760
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

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