For many, talking to parents is the most difficult part of coming out.
Those who have recognised for themselves that they gay is usually confronted with a variety of feelings. The first step is often to become clear about one's own inclinations and to accept them.
Especially in the context of a parental home that was rather shaped by older, traditional moral concepts, it is quite a difficult step.
And: the actual Coming Out is even still to come. At some point, it is time to talk to parents about the fact that one's own gender may play a more important role in the future than previously assumed.
But how do conservative parents actually react to their child's coming out? And how should gays and lesbians "enlighten" their parents? One thing is certain: in many cases, mum and dad react much more relaxed than expected. With the following tips, it should also be a little easier to dare the adventure of coming out.
Tip no. 1: Allow sufficient time
Coming out to parents should never happen between door and door! "Oh, by the way! I'm gay!" between door and door is no help to anyone. Therefore, sufficient time should be planned for the conversation.
This gives the parents - who may be a little surprised - the chance to ask questions if they wish and to get to know the new situation in a pleasant way.
Tip no. 2: Talk in private or under six eyes
Parents should not feel "overrun" by their children's coming out. Therefore, it usually makes sense to talk to them alone - even if there is already a partner. This gives you the opportunity to speak out without feeling pressured by others.
Worries and fears are then usually expressed more spontaneously and misunderstandings can often be prevented.
Tip No. 3: Accept other opinions
Mum and dad may react a little upset to the new situation at first. However, this does not mean that they would no longer love their son!
However, those who had not the slightest idea that their offspring could possibly be gay are sometimes overcome by their surprise and express doubts. By no means should a discussion arise here! If the conversation turns into a heated argument over time, it makes sense to meet again a few days later. Perhaps by then the dust will have settled.
Tip no. 4: Give time
Tip no. 4 is closely related to tip no. 3: If you come out to your parents, give them time and don't expect a "I'm gay!" to be followed by a "Great! Where's your boyfriend?". It is absolutely human to have to come to terms with the new situation over a period of several hours, days or even weeks, in order to then - ideally - be able to enjoy the happiness of the offspring.
Tip no. 5: Don't get confused!
Gays who have decided to take the important step of talking to their parents have usually thought about it for a long time beforehand.
Maybe mum and dad still don't want to admit their son's inclinations and talk down his preference for the same sex? In this case, it is important not to be confused and to stand by one's feelings during this already challenging time. This is a wonderful opportunity to show parents that this is not a "flash in the pan" but a turning point in life from which everyone can ultimately benefit.
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