Coming out to your parents or guardians

When LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual or other diverse identities) peeps tell someone their gender identity or sexual orientation, this is called ‘coming out’. Telling your parents or guardians about this can be a big step.

If you feel ready to tell them, but you’re not sure how, here are a few tips:

Choose a good time. Make sure you feel calm and prepared, and that your family is chilled as well. It can be harder if the family is in crisis or your parent is in a bad mood.

Be prepared to answer questions. This might mean educating your parents or guardians about your identity or sexuality. You can even read up on it beforehand if that helps you to feel more confident.

Be patient. If your parents had no idea about your identity or sexuality, this will be a shock for them. If they have judgements about you, they may take time to work through these and come around (and sadly, some may never).

Safety first. Tell someone you trust that you are going to come out to your parents or guardians. If they become abusive or you are scared, get out and go to a safe place (decide where this is beforehand).

Coming out can be a scary, difficult or painful process, even if it’s the right decision. For more about coming out to your family, read our article, “How do I get my family to accept my sexuality or identity?”

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