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How To Tell Your Parents That You're Gay

How To Tell Your Parents That You're Gay

Dear Sugar
My younger brother has just come out of the closet to me. I'm shocked, but understanding about it and I am glad he feels that he can come to me with the truth.

I am very scared for him to talk to my conservative parents though and he's planning on telling them this weekend. I feel like I should help give him some sisterly advice on what to say to them. Do you have any ideas? Supportive Sis

To see DEARSUGAR's response

Dear Supportive Sis
He is very lucky to have you. You can only hope that your parents will love him unconditionally, and be calm and understanding, but in case they don't react well, at least he has you there for support.

Start by telling your brother to be prepared to talk openly about being gay. Although he is the child, he is the only one that knows what this feels like and they may come to him with questions. Make sure he explains that this isn't a choice or a phase and that your parents didn't cause this. It's still him on the inside but with a homosexual preference instead of a heterosexual one. Have him reiterate that he still loves his family just the same.

He's also going to need patience. There is no telling how your parents are going to react but usually they go through about six common and predictable stages. These stages are: shock, denial, guilt, expression of feelings, personal decision-making, true acceptance.

Ask him to go back to moments where he realized that he was gay. I am sure he felt confused and it must have taken him some time to get his feelings sorted out. Your parents may have a similar process of their own to go through. It's common for mother's to cry; both of your parents may ignore it and wish it away...or they may be afraid. People fear the unknown and it could be a big social and religious issue for them.

Once you have your talk, don't beat a dead horse. Ask them if they have any questions and then give them time alone to adjust to this new change on their own. You can offer them this resource called PFLAG; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to contact either online or they can contact their local chapter and meet a counselor or others in their position in person.

Also, here is a helpful article for your brother to read in preparation for his big talk with your parents. I hope this helps.

Join The Conversation
savebrit2277 savebrit2277 10 years
Make sure that he explains everything to them and they don't just think of the typical "gay" stereotypes. Alot of parents instantly think AIDS or sex when a child tells them they are gay. They don't relieze it can involve a relationship and love just like a heterosexual couple can. Alot of times once parents are more informed they become more aware and comfortable with it. My best friend of 6 years is gay and it was really hard at first for his parents, but now they are totally cool with it and even have met some of his boyfriends. Also there might be a chance that the parents already knew (or at least had suspcions) but that's really awesome of you to be supportive! :) That's exactly what he needs right now!
Scribe85 Scribe85 10 years
Your brother is fortunate to have a sensitive sister who supports him. I think your sensitivity will help your family cope with this situation if the need arises. You haven't provided enough detail to indicate if your parents are likely to be explosive or pensive upon hearing the news about your brother's sexuality. Maybe they have a bit of a clue already. They may need your support as well. The world would be a poorer place without the homosexuals who have graced us with their presence. Your brother is an asset, not a liability. I pray that your parents see this, and accept him with open arms.
yayita yayita 10 years
Thats HARD! My mom still hasn't forgiven my sister for coming out.. I kinda still think shes not gay.. Am I naive? tough tough
Moongal Moongal 10 years
i have 2 newphi's that are, talk about shock! they are 18 and the other is 20. As soon as one came out, the other followed. The 18 yr old lives with his lover and the other still lives at home. The parents shocked yes, at did not want to except, but as time went on, Although they dont like it, what do ya do? nothing,you can't. You just have to love them unconditional
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Good idea, sticky!!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
My brother told me before my parents because he wanted to know how to tell them. My only advice? Tell Mom first.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
I say tell them how it is, and if they don't accept it, then it's their problem. I hate people that aren't open-minded and respectful of other people's sexuality. As he gets older, he'll learn more and more that life isn't about getting acceptance all the time. None of that matters if you are happy with how you turned out. If my 3 yr. old came out one day and said he was gay, the first thing I would do is smile and give him a hug. And be totally okay with it.
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
I say just be supportive since you can't predict how your parents will react. You can't change the way they'll feel about it right off the bat, but if they don't take it well maybe seeing that you accept him no matter what will help them accept it.
Aracelly Aracelly 10 years
My son is 2. If he discovers he is gay years from now I would never feel any differently about him. I come from a devout Catholic family, but the love I have for my own flesh and blood would never deminish b/c he decides he likes di*ks over chics. Live your life for yourself, not anyone else.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
I can imagine thats a hard task. GL my Brother in law never even spoke it. I think its just a known thing.
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