Dear Riley: Coming Out

Dear+Riley%3A+Coming+Out

Disclaimer: The advice offered is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. This advice is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.
If you are a student at Glasgow Middle School, please contact your counselor for any serious issues or challenges: GMS Student Services Website.
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February 21, 2021

Dear Riley,

How should I come out to my parents? I have been waiting for the right time to tell them but I never seem to get it out because I’m worried they won’t be nice about it. It is a bit obvious so maybe they know, my mom tends to sometimes point out things related to the LGBTQ+ community, but they are only related in a very slight way. Do you think she might be hinting that she knows?

From,

Gay Closet

 

Dear Gay Closet,

You are so brave to want to do this! I am also part of the LGBTQ+ community, and coming out to myself was very difficult to do, so great job, you’re halfway there! Just a quick warning, I’m NO professional. I can give you advice, but at the end of the day, I’m just a creative teenager. 

Now, to answer your question as well as I can, there really is no right time to come out, it’s different for everyone. You just need to do it when you feel comfortable and completely safe. If you’re worried your parents might not understand it, think about how they treat other serious matters regarding you.  Do they accept them or disregard them? Do you feel like they understand you in general?  If you aren’t comfortable coming out to your parents and think they might not be accepting, wait until you do (time is money as they say). You don’t want to come out unless you feel completely safe. If you really want to tell them now, you may, nothing’s holding you back. First, though, I highly recommend talking to a friend, teacher, counselor, or another adult.  They have a lot of insight on the matter.  You could also check out the GSA club that meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school.  There is NO pressure to talk, and it is a mix of the LGBTQ+ community and straight supporters.

I suspect that your mom doesn’t know COMPLETELY what is going on in your head.  She could wonder or have suspicions, depending on your relationship with her.  Some parents actually already know.  Others may have a hunch but ignore it.  You could test the waters by dropping small hints.  You could talk about a ‘faux friend” that came out to his or her mom or something you saw on TV.  This could be a test run for when you actually are ready. She may or may not confront you on it, sometimes parents do, and other times they let you tell them.

All in all, I think you should just go with your heart, coming out is a hard process and you are already doing so well! Make sure to keep your safety and mental health in your top priority and listen to your instincts. Please, remember, I am a teenager like you. I don’t know your specific situation and suggest speaking to a counselor or friend.

With love,

Riley