Whether you’re a girl or a guy, homosexuality can be a controversial topic, and “coming out” can range from being easy to difficult. Some parents are accepting and others, not so much. Either way, your sexuality is a very intimate issue, so, who, when, and how you share that information, is completely up to you. Being homosexual is just as normal as being heterosexual. The only difference is your choice in partners. Most people have different experiences in coming out. I was curious about how teens handle coming out so I decided to interview some people I know. The first person I talked to was *David (name changed); here’s what he had to say.
Erica: Did you come out to your parents? Why or Why not?
David: No. When I was in high school I went through a period of time when I was feeling very anxious. I wanted to “come out” to my family but I didn’t know how they would respond. One of my teachers suggested that I talk to the school counselor, who recommended that I wait to tell my parents until I am financially independent. I honestly didn’t feel that I had to “come out” because I act the same way with everyone. Besides, I had a feeling that they already knew. My plan is to wait until I’m no longer dependent on them for help with college.
Erica: Do you think that your parents will be supportive when you decide to tell them?
David: I’m not sure. I know they are kind of traditional. I have heard them talk about gay marriage and it wasn’t in the best way.
Erica: If you had never talked to the school counselor, do you think that you would‘ve told your parents when you were still in high school?
David: I think I would have tried to tell them, but I am thankful for the counselor’s advice. He helped me see the possible consequences.
Erica: Was it easy to come out to your friends? Did they support you?
David: In high school, the one person I told said that although she liked me as a person, her family beliefs did not allow her to accept my lifestyle. At the summer program that I attended, my experience was different. I felt people there were more open–minded. Even though it took me a little while to tell my friends, they were fine with it.
For David, seeing a school counselor to help with the anxiety he was feeling and to talk about coming out was helpful. If you feel like you can’t handle telling your parents and you need someone to talk to, make an appointment with your primary care provider and/or a counselor. All visits are confidential, meaning that your counselor cannot share anything you tell him/her (outside of your medical team) unless you are trying to hurt yourself or others. Talking to a counselor often helps, especially if you want to come out to your parents and don’t know how.
Stay tuned for more interviews from the “I’m Gay” series.