If asked, how do I tell my partner and/or other family members?
Understandably, some young people might be very wary of coming out. They might tell only one parent, and ask or expect that parent to tell the other parent, or others in the family. This is often because they are fearful about possible negative reactions.
It’s understandable that this might cause anxiety or concern for you. Make sure that you have support, someone to talk to or seek advice from and some strategies in place if your partner or family members have a negative reaction. Sometimes, a young person might need to stay with a friend or other family member for a few days if they feel unsafe or unwelcome at home.
Explain to your partner and other family members how important a positive, supportive response is for your child or loved one’s wellbeing.
Some LGBTI people will leave it to their parents to tell extended family members because parents are more likely to have a better understanding of the potential reactions of their own parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles.
It’s important to remember that how you react and inform others will influence how they form their own opinions and react to the news that your child or loved one is LGBTI. Positive responses from you will demonstrate to others that you support your child or loved one, even if you are still struggling with the news yourself. Advocating for your child or loved one in this way demonstrates that you are on their side and want the best for them.
At the time of coming out or soon after, take some time to talk and ‘negotiate’ the next steps with your child or loved one – develop a plan and assess the risks of adverse reactions from others.