Coming out to your parents... on the phone: Acceptable or not?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 11:34 PM GMT
    Is it ever OK to come out to your parents on the phone?


    Consider this:

    My parents live about 6 hours away. I have always been very tight with both of them (they are still together), and we talk over the phone 3-4 times per week. I don't get the opportunity to visit them very often (once every month or two). When I do visit, it's normally for a short period of time, and for stressful holiday weekends when they are normally busy hosting all kinds of family and friends. This makes it hard to go ahead with my intention of coming out... I don't want to make a big scene, nor do I want to set us all up for an unbearably awkward dinner.

    Now, over the past few weeks, I've caught myself almost blurting it out on the phone to my mom. If I were to come out to my mother on the phone... Would it be unfair to her? Unfair to my dad, for not hearing it at the same time or directly from me? Or would it be perfectly acceptable (though perhaps not ideal)?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 11:36 PM GMT
    Seems like the most cowardly way to do it, that's for sure.

    Oh, or maybe email. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 08, 2010 11:39 PM GMT
    Pyrotech saidSeems like the most cowardly way to do it, that's for sure.

    Oh, or maybe email. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Well clearly, it wouldn't be "Mom, I'm gay. Deal with it. *click* "
    ...But I see your point.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    Yeah, I'd say go with an in-person conversation. It's not something that has to be done right off the bat, but wait until you're face-to-face. icon_wink.gif
  • hockeydude12

    Posts: 169

    Nov 08, 2010 11:53 PM GMT
    Pyrotech saidYeah, I'd say go with an in-person conversation. It's not something that has to be done right off the bat, but wait until you're face-to-face. icon_wink.gif


    Good point. But do it how you think is best. Are you trying to rush it to get it outta the way? Or some other reason?
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Nov 09, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
    try and do it in person, so then can hug u and all that good stuff. . icon_smile.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 12:37 AM GMT
    Actually, your folks will need time to process what you have told them and they need it without you there. I disagree with the above posters. I came out to my Dad and siblings with an email. Firstly, it gives you time to sit and think out what you want to say, and secondly they can read it in privacy and discuss it. It is NOT a rude or cold way, it is thoughtful.

    Then give them a day, but I'll bet they call you first. Either way, they'll have had time with it and will not think the less of you for it......Keithicon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 12:42 AM GMT
    What ever way you choose (or not) to come out to anybody is your choice.

    From my experience, from having loving parents who I have always had a close relationship with, I look back and would have regretted not telling them face-to-face.

    I look back with gratitude on the moment when I told my Mom I was gay (after she asked). There was that moment when we wonder if we will be turned away, but Mom did not turn me away. Neither did Dad. I love them both dearly. They both love me as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    I came out to my birthmom online.
    Well, sorta...she ran across my paysite, joined, and found out it was me. icon_lol.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 09, 2010 1:35 AM GMT
    "Mom, I'm gay. Deal with it. *click* "

    I LOVE that !!!! LOL!!!

    That's got to be put in a movie or something icon_cool.gif


    But in real life .......... No it doesn't work
    On the phone you can say Mom there's something I need to talk to you about
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Nov 09, 2010 1:41 AM GMT
    I think your parents deserve better. Wait until you can tell them face to face. Don't deny them the chance to hug you right away, or yourself the chance of seeing their initial reaction with your own eyes. This would be the mature thing to do.
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    Nov 09, 2010 1:52 AM GMT
    send an old fashioned letter......let them read it and process it and then call them and ask if they got your letter... And let them ask you questions....be ready for all types of questions and details and information to educate and help them understand,,,,, this can be very hard...can be lots of tears on all sides, can be yelling or silence and shock or anger, but always stay calm and resolute and comfortable with who you are.......It took time for you to understand and accept who you are, don't jump back in the closet at the first sign of bumpy waters and tears or yelling....

    OR... invite them over to see you for a weekend...private time, not on a holiday.....you can pick and choose anytime, place or situation to out yourself...it is your story and you only get to come out to them once...so make it the way you want ti to happen.....
    Good luck! icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 1:56 AM GMT
    Whatever way you want to come out to your parents is your business. I came out to my siblings via email and they told my parents. Some may call it cowardly.....I say f*ck them. That was the easiest way for ME to deal with coming out to them.
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    Nov 09, 2010 1:57 AM GMT
    id do it bro.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:00 AM GMT
    i have come out to every person, in person.I felt it was a sign of respect. I specifically asked to have a private convo with them, well, except my dad, he asked me, lol. I think that you shud do it either one on one with each of them, or both of them together, but be there to tell them in person. It is very difficult at the time, but if u think long and hard about what u want to say, u can be just as thoughtful in person as in an email, and they will thank you for telling them in person, not through a machine.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:01 AM GMT
    Here are two people who worked and sacrificed to nurture you, bring you up and educate you at vast expense, You repay them by revealing the greatest secret of your previously opaque life on the phone?

    This is a conversation you absolutely need to have in person.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:05 AM GMT
    Whatever medium you choose whether on the phone or in person, will be the right choice for you, and that is all that counts - no matter what this forum opinion is ultimately you are the one that needs to be comfortable with the venue and in control.

    I live 3,000 miles away from my parents and I am coming to the realization that I will have to do this before they move to the great beyond. Its is difficult to just by an airline ticket and fly to them and advise them of this decision, because of cost, and I just started a new job. Like you.... when we do get together for Christmas or another event.... family all over is flying in and celebrating the holidays, event, etc. I feel it inappropriate 'for me' not speaking of anybody else in this forum, to drop such announcement for such occasion.

    For me, I agree, that if I can get one parent or both to sit down and discuss would be the better approach. I am sure they will have a lot of questions, emotions, etc. that I want to tackle right then and then.

    Again, whatever decision you choose is the right decision for you - and in the end that is all that matters.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
    Pyrotech saidSeems like the most cowardly way to do it, that's for sure.

    Oh, or maybe email. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Stupid response. There is nothing cowardly about coming out, no matter the method.

    Tell your parents whatever way works for you . Don't feel that you "HAVE" to do it face to face, especially since you mentioned that you don't see them often, and there's the chance of it hurting a holiday. If you think there's any chance of them reacting badly, over the phone might be ordeal--it would be horrible to have them act badly in person and make your time there awkward or painful.

    They'll need time to process it--and don't think it's 100% them processing "I have a gay son," but about 50% that and the 50% is about them realizing that it was a secret you held from them. It makes them wonder what else you haven't told them, and (in my case), it'll make them wonder why you didn't feel you could tell them before. Just roll with it, help them through it, and they'll get past it. Good luck!
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:15 AM GMT
    If you tell your parents via email, they will find you in a bar and harass you, along with Margaret Cho.

  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 09, 2010 2:23 AM GMT
    Depends on relationship and how specific people feel about phone conversations.
    BUT, in your case I'd guess it would be fine. In general I'd go with what feels natural, if you want to tell her/them when you're talking to them I'd just let them know then.

    If you're tight and talking to your parents on the phone anyway then I don't think there's anything impersonal or inappropriate about it.
  • Karnage

    Posts: 704

    Nov 09, 2010 2:23 AM GMT
    I don't get the opportunity to visit them very often (once every month or two). When I do visit, it's normally for a short period of time, and for stressful holiday weekends when they are normally busy hosting all kinds of family and friends. This makes it hard to go ahead with my intention of coming out... I don't want to make a big scene, nor do I want to set us all up for an unbearably awkward dinner.[/quote]

    I definitely think in person is the way to go. It's worth the couple month wait to have the added benefit of nonverbal communication. If you're worried about ruining a busy weekend, I say make a special trip out of it. Just tell your parents you feel like coming home to visit for the weekend, or make up some other excuse if you want (friend's birthday?). It might even tip them off to the fact that you have your own reasons for visiting, get them prepped for some sort of major conversation. Best of luck!
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:28 AM GMT
    OmniaVincit said

    Well clearly, it wouldn't be "Mom, I'm gay. Deal with it. *click* "
    ...But I see your point.


    I still do this to my mom... She just doesn't get it.
    No matter how many times I tell her Im not going to marry her bff daughter.
  • Twenty_Someth...

    Posts: 1388

    Nov 09, 2010 2:29 AM GMT
    Skype is a tad better than the phone!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:36 AM GMT
    Well, I have a few questions and my own idea:

    1. Do you think they have any idea, or is this going to be a big shock? A lot of parents are more in tune to who we are than we give them credit for.
    2. What is their support system if they are upset by it? Siblings? Good friends? Clergy? Each other?
    3. What is their attitude on gay issues in general? Do they talk about political issue, gay characters on TV, etc., in a positive or negative way?
    4. Is there anybody (sibling, aunt, family friend etc.) who knows about you already, or who could keep it to themselves until you tell your parents? Any chance you could talk to them to test the waters and find out a.) what your parents already know or suspect, and b.) what their reaction might be
    5. If you do this and they say, "Come home, now we want to discuss this," is that financially a possibility?


    My point is if you think this is going to be traumatic for them, that should weigh into how you deliver the news. It may be that they are waiting for you to feel comfortable talking about it, especially since you said you are pretty tight.

    Obviously it would be ideal if you could tell them in person. I agree with the person who said these are the people who gave you life, and this may be the most important conversation you ever have with them. Maybe you could go home a day early or (better yet) stay a day AFTER a big holiday after others have left and tell your parents you want to plan some time with just the three of you (maybe make a meal for them or some other thing to set a nice mood). I understand it's not always practical to have such a Hallmark moment. In my case, I had never said anything and was dreading the conversation and my sister just informed me that they all already knew.

    But I was thinking, if you can't tell them in person, what about a letter? Not an email but an actual handwritten letter? That way at least a.) you could get your thoughts organized (maybe writing it on the computer first so you could edit) and b.) it would not have the impersonal feeling of an email. I honestly don't know if that's better or worse than the phone. You could always ask your mom to tell your dad to pick up another phone or put you on speaker (so long as there's nobody else there you don't feel like telling).

    In any case good luck and please let us know what you decide and how it works out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:53 AM GMT
    I never told my parents. My mom died when I was 12, so that was a non-issue. My stepmother told my dad when I was 16. I never had a good relationship with him and didn't care if he knew or not. He never mentioned it to me, but simply pretended it didn't exist, although there were specific signs throughout my upbringing that indicated he knew.

    Use good judgment and look at it from their point of view. If there is mutual love and respect between you and your parents, the decision should come naturally.

    However, if that doesn't do it, you might use the concept of the golden rule and come out to them in the way that you would want your son to come out to you, if the situation were reversed.

    Then, its up to them to react and up to you to deal with their reaction in the best way possible, no matter what it is. If you honestly don't know how they will react, be prepared for anything.

    If they reject you, their love is not unconditional and you should make your next decisions based on that.