I’m Scared of Telling Them I’m Gay

When is the right time to come out and tell your friends and family that you’re gay?

Dear Max,
I am a 25 man and hope that you can help me. I am scared of telling my parents and friends I’m gay.

I have known that I was gay since I was 16 years old. I feel if I tell them, they will not want to know me anymore and i am afraid that if I tell my friends they will go telling everyone else.

I do really want to be honest to them and let them know who I am but I don’t know if I am ready.

What should I do?

–Paul

Related: 7 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Gay Pride

Dear Paul,
Sounds to me you are really not ready to tell them yet. Mainly, because when people are ready to come out, they usually are not so worried about what people are going to say. They are more concerned about letting people know who they really are.

Coming out is a deeply personal experience for every gay person. Only you can decide when you are ready, and comfortable enough in your own skin, to come out. And, of course, some people never come out. It doesn’t mean that you cannot live a good life anyway.

For most people, the right decision is to come out eventually, and people very rarely regret it. It gives you the opportunity to live your life your way without having to worry about hiding your true self.

I'm Gay - Neil Patrick Harris

But it has to be on your terms. You should not let anybody force you to come out when you don’t feel ready. It’s also a good idea to do a little planning ahead of coming out and consider the possible consequences if your friends and family do not take it that well. What do you do if that happens? You probably have more options than you think.

Be patient. When you are ready to come out, you will know. And remember, for most people, it’s a really liberating feeling when they finally find the curage to say “I’m gay” to the ones they care about.

Here is a great resource with lots of coming out stories and information about coming out: http://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/coming-out

4 COMMENTS

  1. Paul, just do it. Unless you are in physical danger, or dependent upon your parents for financial support, there is no real reason not to. You’re 25 years old, no longer a boy. Don’t you think it is time to start acting like a grown man? Are you going to lie to your parents when you are 30 or 40? When does it stop?

    They might not accept it. You always take that chance. I told my parents 46 years ago. I thought they would accept it, but they didn’t. Eventually, I began to understand that the problem was not my being gay, the problem was our whole relationship. Pretending it was about being gay just made it easier for them.

    Only you know them well enough to know that.

  2. yes let them know when your ready and no you are not lying if you don’t its up to you that is your personal thing and yes your friends and family may know or think they know and leave it up to them to ask and then say yes you are gay you may be surprised that they are understanding but no if your not ready to say your gay why do you have to tell them that is your personal thing

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