Ahh coming out. Coming out is something LGBT people have to do everyday, to varying degrees of anxiety. No one ever tells you that when you are a little baby queer do they? Everytime you meet someone new you will have to come out. It’s going to happen at work, at the doctors office, in line at the grocery store. Coming out isn’t a singular act. It will be a rolling theme of your life. Eventually, you will get so used to it that you will barely notice when it’s happening anymore. The hardest people to tell are usually your own parents. It’s time to get serious over at HotFemme HeadQuarters and answer the hard questions.
Hi. (: I found your blog this week and I was really inspired. I’ve just recently accepted the fact that I am a lesbian and I wanted to ask you a question. When is the best time to come out to your parents? I live with them and they are very conservative Jewish. I just feel like they won’t accept it, or me. Maybe I’m being too dramatic?
First-Thanks and Mazel Tov on being a huge muffdiver! It’s a pretty exclusive club. I know cuz I’m a member.
Okay, now let’s get down to business. You are not being dramatic. People have a lot of highly charged feelings about LGBT people. Especially when it comes to their own children. Even people who are “Okay with Gay!” can be upset if they find out their child is gay. This goes for people
of all races and religions. Of course, it goes without saying that if you come from a conservative religious background you are more likely to face rejection from your relatives. Sad but true and there are exceptions to every rule (so no one start hating on me.) There probably isn’t a “best time” to come out to your parents. But there are sensitive, caring ways to do so.
Let me preface this by saying, if you live with your parents because they are your financial support you might want to wait until you are able to support yourself before you tell them. This way if they throw you out for being gay, you can still take care of yourself. Living an honest life is great, but being homeless=bad.
There is also a chance that your parents already have some idea that you might be a gay lady. After all, they have known you all your life.
So after a nice family dinner one night, tell your parents you want to have a serious talk with them. Sit them down and tell them that you love them and you know they love you unconditionally. (Take advantage of some of that Jewish guilt, girl.) Then say something along the lines of “I’m a lesbian (queer/gay/bi) and I hope that won’t change the way you view me or our relationship.”
Be prepared to have to answer some tough questions liiike: “Are you sure?” “How do you know?” “Have you ever been with a woman?” “How do you know you just haven’t found the right man.” Let me tell you right now that you don’t need to have the answers to these questions right now, or ever. You don’t need to explain or justify yourself to anyone. The nuances of these questions for queer women are myriad and no one knows the answers. You are who you are, you love who you love.
My recommended response? “It’s just something I know in my heart.” Because it is. Be prepared for them to be shocked or hurt or mad. There is a chance they won’t accept you at first, give them time and patience. Offer them your love and acceptance, even if they withhold theirs. Even if it seems like they will never come around to accepting you, chances are eventually they will get used to it. They will see that you are still their little girl and the same amazing woman you have always been.
Good luck, DQ. Let me know how it goes.