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You Asked: Should I Come Out or Stay In?

DearSugar,

I am a 19-year-old male who has recently come to the conclusion that I am bisexual. I like women very much, but that has not stopped me from being intimate with 2 friends of mine that happen to be gay.

I am scared about the way my mother will react and I am not sure if I should tell her. I come from a highly christian family and a wonderful up bringing, but I have always felt that I needed something else...something to fill the void.

Like I said, I like females, but I like men too. What should I do? ~ Scared Gareth

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Gareth --

I wish I could help you make this decision, as it will be an important one for you and you deserve as much support and encouragement as possible. Thing is, every person in your situation has a unique experience and set of challenges, and they must carefully evaluate when to come out and to whom they should come out. I think the very best thing I can do for you, Gareth, is to gather some resources and evaluate them for you.

First, while not based in the U.S., this website is a very, very thorough resource that walks you through all the things to consider and expect when coming out, as bisexual or homosexual, to the people in your life. You'll also find a list of reasons others have given for coming out and comprehensive suggestions about how and when to come out once you've decided you're ready. I strongly encourage you to spend some time at this site.

To read the coming-out stories of people your own age, check out this site. It's good idea to learn from others when you can, Gareth, and the stories help show the range of what to expect, should you decide to tell your family or friends anytime soon.

I wanted to offer a small selection of fiction and non-fiction books, too, because it matters to see yourself reflected in the world, and the art, around you. Go here for the list.

Should you decide to come out to family members, I think this site is down-to-earth and realistic, a good place for family to learn more, be in touch with other parents, and get support if they need it. Might want to bookmark it for the future.

And finally, the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) community has a national youth hotline number for folks under 25, with peer counseling, information and local resources in your area.

I'm hoping you'll now have most of what you need, Gareth, to begin to answer this question for yourself. Let people help, be good to yourself, and I will be hoping your mother -- should you tell her -- finds herself happy to recognize all the wonderful things about you. Good luck, you.

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AntsInPanze AntsInPanze 8 years
Such a mixed bag. Different for everyone. I think in most instances, I'd say COME OUT already! But in your case, I don't know. I guess I would ask, "What do you want long term?" I'm gay but still in the closet only because I live in a very small, redneck town and it can be dangerous. I am moving in the new year and am coming out as soon as my fabulous pedicured foot hits the gas pedal.
andaman andaman 8 years
i mean in a good way, read my comments above and you will see what i mean.
andaman andaman 8 years
yep i have seen that two i heart monster! if it turns out bad you two need a lot of sessions with therapists!
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 8 years
My perspective: If you are Christian, you will love unconditionally as Christ does. That said, not every Christian can overcome their aversions to what they deem "sexual deviancy" (their words, not mine). Be careful in how you approach your mother with this, you may want to feel her out a little first to see how she will react. Maybe a story about a friend and how his mother reacted? That may determine how you approach the discussion you have with your family. I urge you to be honest with your family, I just hope you will be careful. Coming from a very religious culture, I have seen families react both ways. I wish you the best. Know that we're all rooting for ya! Good luck!
andaman andaman 8 years
what i mean is it might be kinder to ler her know the truth from him than her finding it out herself. I hope i've made that clearer.
andaman andaman 8 years
you have a good point lickety split but i think society in general doesn't deal with bisexuality very well. A fair amount of people find the idea disturbing and it's a lot harder for men than women to be bisexual. I think if his mum finds out it might shock her, especially if she's religious. It might be kinder to let her the truth. Also some people are bisexual all their lives. They don't feel the need to choose between homo/hetero. I think it might be his final 'position' to be bisexual.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
personally i would say nothing until i was a little more confident in my position. you probably wouldn't tell your mother that you were sleeping with a girl you were involved with so why do you need to tell her that you are sleeping with a guy? mom's love unconditionally and they want their children to be happy. when she see's that the life you are living is allowing you to be happy that will be enough for her.
ilove2ski ilove2ski 8 years
I have friends that are gay. And I defiantly think that they are happier out. They get to act how they want. They don't have to watch what they say around people. but, its really up to you. Do what you feel comfortable with. Tell only who you want to tell. Good luck sweetie!!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 8 years
I had a bi best guy friend for many years and I can tell you that his real friends loved him just the same and didn't judge him. He came out to his brother after he entered into a commited relationship with a guy he really liked. His brother took it really well and was like, "you're my brother, I don't really care who you have sex with". His mom is very religious (Catholic) and when he told her she initially threw a bit of a fit about marriage and grandchildren, but now chooses to ignore it. His dad isn't religious and has also chosen to pretty much ignore it. If you feel like you are or might be in a longterm relationship with a guy and you don't want your family to hear it through the grapevine then I wish you the best of luck in getting it off your chest. Hopefully your parents will accept that whichever sex you choose to have an intimate relationship with is a personal choice and that you deserve to be comfortable and happy. It looks like DearSugar has some great sources of info for you. Just remember you arn't alone, as you get older you'll realize how common your situation is. Hugs! & Good luck!
andaman andaman 8 years
I am very glad that you are gutsy enough to admit your sexuality. Well done! Have you got any brother or sister? If you do, have you told them? If you have a good relationship with your siblings sometimes it is good to let them know and consult with them before you come out to your parents. Do you have a good relationship with your mum? I know the best policy is to be honest about who you are but from your post I'm worried that your mum might be very strict? It wouldn't surprise me if she will feel terribly upset about the news. But regardless of how hurt she might feel I think you ought to be honest (it's brutal I know). If your mum struggles with it, please seek help together. Talk to someone professional (therapists) about it together. She needs to know how to be supportive of who you are. Don't feel angry if your mum comes across as critical or judgemental of your sexuality. She may need time.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 8 years
Great advice, Dearsugar! Also, how do your parents react to your two gay friends? That should give you a small inkling on how they will react to your confession. However, you ARE their son, and regardless if you are bi-sexual or not, they will be in your life. I would definitely let them have some time after you confess, though...just to give them time to come to terms with it.
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