How do I get my family to accept my sexuality or identity?

Living with a secret can be hard, especially if it’s about your sexuality or identity. Many people in the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer/questioning) community go through this because they’re scared they will be rejected or even harmed if they come out.

That’s why it’s your decision if you want to tell your family. It is always good to have your family’s support, but not all families will accept different kinds of sexuality and identity, and some families take time to accept it. Before you tell them, take time to think about how you can protect yourself from negative reactions. If you live at home and you fear your family might reject you, it may be a good idea to wait until you are living independently, or can make other living arrangements before coming out.

If you are ready, the first step will be to tell them. You could explain to them how difficult it is for you to live a lie, and remind them that you are still the same person they know and love.

Then give them time to get used to the idea. Your family might accept your sexuality or identity really easily, or they might take a while. And some families may never truly accept it.

You can try to educate your family about who you are and what it means to you, but you can’t force them to accept you.

If after some time they still don’t accept you, you can keep contact with those that have accepted you, and choose how you want to deal with those who don’t.

Whatever anyone says or thinks, you have a right to be who you are, and to love who you love. For more information on how to handle relationships, check out the “Connecting” section on B-Wise.

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