I think I’m bisexual. How can I tell my parents?

Some parents are eager and happy to talk with their kids about these issues. Some are not surprised and are welcoming when their children come out to them. Some are definitely not. That’s why coming out to parents can be intimidating and scary for so many people — no matter how old they are. Know that every family is different, and there’s probably no sure way of knowing how your parents will react, even if they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual themselves.

The best way to decide whether to talk with your parents is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you sure about your sexual orientation?
  • Do you really want to declare it at this point in your life?
  • Are you comfortable with your sexuality?
  • Do you have the support of friends and other family members?
  • Are you knowledgeable about the challenges that are faced by people who belong to sexual minorities?
  • What’s the emotional climate at home?
  • What is your general relationship with your parents?
  • What are their views about sexual orientation?
  • What’s your motive for coming out now?
  • Are you financially dependent on your parents?
  • Do you have available resources to care for yourself if your parents decide not to because of your sexual identity?
  • Is coming out your own decision?
  • Exploring these questions will help you be clear about your sexuality in your own mind before coming out to your parents.

    Before coming out to your parents, it’s very important that you’re sure they will be understanding, if not supportive of your sexuality. If there’s a possibility that you may be told to leave home or something equally drastic, it is definitely better to wait until you are in a better place to take care of yourself.

    Generally, most parents who have a hard time when a child comes out to them go through several emotional stages. They can include shock, denial, guilt, expression of feelings, personal decision-making, and true acceptance. This process, however, can take years, and not all parents will ever be accepting.