Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, Psychotherapist
|Posted on 20 March, 2015 at 11:10|
Coming Out to Family & Friends
Wow! Congratulations on making this decision! But isn’t it terrifying too?! Every experience of deciding to tell your social circle you are gay, lesbian or bisexual is different. It is also unpredictable. You may assume it will be Ok because you have an open-minded parent, BUT there is a difference between being open to anyone else being LGBT and your own child. This can be a challenge for any parent. I do not say this to scare you, but to prepare you. You will need to have either a trusted person in your life to talk to during this process or a professional to support you. Especially if you come from a faith community or culture in which being LGBT is simply not accepted. It is important to keep in mind that this time is not just about you. Please recognize that you may be changing the perceptions and worldview of the people in your life. This will take time. Please be compassionate but ALWAYS expect and insist on being treated with personal respect. If you have a family that is willing to work it through with you, you will need to create a safe place for the people in your life to say and ask what they need to in order to take this new information into their spirit.
Your mother may wonder what she did wrong.
Your sibling may feel there is an important part of you they have never known and need to grieve this.
Your grandmother may worry about you and you being judged by others.
Yes, there are some stereotypes inherent here and it will be easy for you get angry. But these are also real feelings and concerns for your friends and family members. If a safe place is created to explore this together, this can be a time to strengthen yourself and your family. But if the reality of your family is that it is not accepted, please remember that you deserve love and respect. There is support out there. I wish you love and light!