Lately I’ve been having temptations to tell my parents I’m gay, but I want to know when’s the right time and if I should have some of my other friends that are gay come for support and back me up. Thanks for reading.
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This is a great question, Sniper, thank you for writing. Let’s start with when it is NOT a good time to tell your parents. It is not a good time to tell your parents when:
1) You are in the middle of a big fight. The last thing you want to do is blurt out that you are gay when you and your parents are fighting about something else, as this will come across as your just wanting to hurt them at a time when emotions are already high.
2) At a special occasion, such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or funeral. At those times, the attention should be on the occasion and the person(s) being celebrated, and not on your urge to come out. Doing so will not only wreck the event but make you look like an attention hog.
3) Do not come out to your parents if you know they are homophobic and have said or done things that are overtly anti-gay. If your parents are like that, coming out to them will just ruin any relationship you have with them.
4) Do not come out to your parents if you are financially or physically dependent on them and you suspect they might cut you off if they find out you are gay UNLESS you have a backup plan and can make other living arrangements.
5) Do not come out if you have a strong feeling they will not accept you as being gay.
You have a great idea in gathering up supporters who will back you up on your decision; however, you should keep them on the sidelines and not bring them with you when you tell your parents because this will make it feel to your parents as if you are, in essence, ganging up on them. If you feel comfortable telling your parents, do so in the privacy of your home, in a calm setting, and just between you and those you wish to tell.
Coming out to one’s family, when feasible, is a great thing to do. Studies show that gay men and women who are out to their families tend to be happier and psychologically healthier than those who do not. Unfortunately, it is not always a possible to come out to those who are not accepting of homosexuals.
Sniper, I’d like to recommend a book to you by Dr. Michael C. LaSala called Coming Out, Coming Home, which you can find out about at http://www.comingoutcominghome.com/.
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