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?


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


  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

  3. Hi Paul,

    I feel for you. Tough ordeal to face. Remember a secrete losses its power once it’s revealed. My family and many friends no longer have contact me. I now have chosen my own family and friends that I love so much. Good luck

  4. For me, say or dont say is not important. I dont know you have your partner or not yet. But i can tell you one thing, when you got your partner, everyone thinks what about you is not important anymore. You just know the feeling of your partner then, and people think i am bad or sick or or or… i dont care. Becoz my life is mine. Everyone will not try to understand and empathy for you, becoz they are never being you… i am happy with my partner with own private place, i am the same to you before, but now i mature in thinking, i choose go to far place to live with my partner where we meet new people. I still care about my family but i dont let them know who i am. Thats all. Hope what i said can help you something. Wish you happy and forgive me i want to call you my friend.☺

  5. This article is dated in December 2016, the month I started the process of coming out. It was exciting and scary at the same time. Mine wasn’t the most well thought out coming out, but all is well for me now.

      • Hello Max I am forty eight years old I dated but only been in a gay relationships three times but no sex involved I am scared to have sex with a guy because a gay cousin of mine attempted to rape me when I was seven fortunately I escaped I found it gross to be with other women but I am attracted to guys am not out at all and did not tell my family up to this point both my parents are gone now and it’s just my siblings and me am planning to see a therapist so I can move on thinking I deserve to be happy your thoughts

  6. If you have presented yourself gay, and your married and she has figured you and the name your using differently out. Then you, she has every right to know. Especially if your secret henders her and your common childrens lives. If you have become violent to.almost killing her and violent to.your child than you must come out. Its immoral and unfair to.the other people involved. If your living a lie and its breaking someone else heart bc you continue to lie and abuse her over it, then coming out is the only option or stop using her to hide behind!! My personal ongoing experience…

  7. Dear everyone,
    Sometimes you simply have to not care about everyones opinion and just stop hurting yourself because of others and just be yourself and I know its not easy and believe me… I know. I have bipolarity syndrome and anxiety problems and I hate changes but sometimes you gotta do whats best for you and don’t think about others
    Sometimes you’ve got to be brave and just act cold when peple down care about you.