Being Understood By Your Parents When You Come Out Starts With You Also Being Understanding
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Being Understood By Your Parents When You Come Out Starts With You Also Being Understanding

The process of coming out can be hard for both the person coming out, and their family

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Being Understood By Your Parents When You Come Out Starts With You Also Being Understanding

When I came out as bisexual, it didn't go very well. It was my junior year of high school, national coming out day rolled around, and I did it very impulsively. I texted my parents in a group chat, and they didn't take it well. The way that I chose to come out wasn't super conventional. Though it was my deal, and I should get to choose the route I am most comfortable with, I know that I didn't really set my parents up for success. It was impersonal, and it didn't go well with them, and I've learned to take some of the blame for that over time. It's not a fun memory for myself or my parents, and I think that if I had given them a chance and hadn't been so scared, the memory might have been a happier one.

Everyone's living situation is different; some people may not have a safe enough environment to be themselves in at any point in time. Maybe your identity is something you will keep safe and close to your heart, and that is okay. If you're like me, you want to put it out there and make sure that you're accepted and that everything is okay. I needed that acceptance from my parents and I really wasn't mature or ready enough to tell them, but the anxiety of not knowing how they would take it was overwhelming. I jumped the gun and I blamed them for the way they reacted to it for a long time.

It is important to understand your child and it is important to love them unconditionally. The sexual orientation of your child should not determine whether or not you love and respect them. The gender identity of your child should not determine whether or not you love and respect them. On the other hand, it is important to understand that for the parents that have grown up in a more sheltered universe, they might not handle it as well as you picture it. Every coming out story isn't gonna look exactly like "Love, Simon."

It's scary for a parent to hear that their child is a minority. It's scary to hear horror stories like Orlando and to imagine your child in that nightclub. They might not be able to understand why you can't just be like everyone else at first. I know that navigating my identity around my parents had been hard in the past. I tried not to talk about it for a long time, then I talked about it way too much, but now it's just a part of me and it doesn't really need to be talked about.

Last Christmas I came home from college and I expected a very normal winter break. I spent time with family and friends, and when it came time to open presents I didn't really expect a ton. Money had been tight, and there wasn't a huge budget for Christmas, but I wasn't terribly upset by it. The last gift that I opened was small but heavy. I took the lid off of the box, and I was surprised to see a mug with the words "Love is Love" written on it. My parents never knew that after I got that mug I went into my room and cried. I cried a lot. I felt the weight of a thousand bricks off of my shoulders, and I got the acceptance that 16-year-old Paige was aching for.

Sometimes you have to give your parents time to understand. You have to help them learn. Respect and patience on both sides of things is imperative, and you have to give things time to settle. In my case, it took 3 years to really feel settled in my own identity and with my parents. These things aren't easy at times, but you can't give up on the people you love.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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