Although it seems that being gay is now acceptable, this is not always the case within our own families. Our culture is now pretty much mainstream compared to even 5 – 10 years ago, when it was hard for celebrities to come out without a massive backlash.
The growth of social media has helped bring people together from all walks of life, which is obviously, a very good thing.
After all that, coming out to your parents is a different matter, and a very personal thing. Your parents maybe liberal and enlighten, but that is no guarantee that they will be happy with your news.
Perhaps one of the biggest myths that parents tell them is that you chose to be a lesbian. Quite often, our sexuality is seen as a lifestyle choice. So how do you explain to them that this is who you are, this is what you want, and you would appreciate their support?
Explain that you are still the same person, and that you love them. Let them know how important their acceptance is to you, and listen to what they have to say. It may bring up a lot of things that you, and they, find difficult to hear.
"Why can not you just be normal?" Try not to reply "What is normal?" even tempted you may feel! Answering questions with questions does not usually get anywhere. You are normal, simple as that.
Have faith in yourself, although things may seem difficult to start with, especially if your parents did not suspect. They may be shocked, upset, and even angry. The key to helping them to understand is by talking about how you feel. This is not always easy for us, especially if our relationships with our parents are already challenging. Now is the time be mature and articulate! If it helps, write down what you want to say, so that things are clear in your mind.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is make sure that you have some support, especially if you think that your parents are going to have a bad reaction to your news, which can be very upsetting. Maybe you have a friend or family member who you have assured in who could be with you. If not, then most cities have lesbian helplines, give them a ring and tell them your concerns, it is something that most of us have been through, and you should be able to get some good advice and support.
Being a lesbian is nothing to be accused of, whatever other people say. You will make your own way in life. If your parents initial reaction is very negative, give them time to get used to the fact that their daughter has just told them something that they find upsetting. All families deal with things in different ways, and it is often difficult to anticipate reactions.
Whilst some parents can be remarkably understanding, others can be hurt and rejecting. But you will know that you have done your best.
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