My name is Nate, and I just turned 18 and I am a senior in high school. Oh yeah, and I am gay. I have not told anyone but a couple close friends. I think it is time I tell my parents. About 3 years ago I met someone online and we have been talking ever since. about a week ago we started dating, he lives in another close by state. The thing is that we are going to the same college next year, and going to be roommates. I was thinking about telling my mom I am gay, by telling her I am dating him. (She already knows I am going to be roommates with him, just doesn't know he and I are dating.) I was wondering if you have any advice, suggestions, or insight, etc?
Thanks so much.
Oh yeah, so am I. Here is what I would do as far as telling your mother.
There are two separate issues here and I think it would be a mistake to lump them together. The first issue is how do I come out to my mother? and the second is do I tell her that my next year room mate is also gay?
Here is the stuff to consider when coming out to a parent. I am assuming that you have a good, loving relationship with your mother. (If not, write me back and we can come up with a different approach.) Your mother wants the best for you and will do anything to make sure that you do not get hurt. Remember that when you get her reactions and advice after you tell her.
The other thing to remember is that you have been gradually, over the years, figuring out who you are sexually attracted to. To expect that your mother will be able to feel what you are feeling two minutes after she hears the news is expecting way too much. Because she needs to know that the way you feel is the way you feel, you need to make sure that you do not do this in a wishy-washy way. If you know that you are gay, then do not try to soften the news to her by saying you THINK you are gay (unless you are still not sure).
The message she needs to hear is that you have been wrestling with these feelings over however long you have and you know, 100%, that this is you. You will say it in your own words but the message is something to the effect of, "I am gay and I love you!"
Just remember what I said earlier. Your mother just heard the news and might need a bunch of time to fully believe that what you are saying is the way it is. Whatever her first reactions are, know that they are just first reactions and if she deep down inside loves you, she will eventually come around to accepting you, as is, and supporting you.
Hopefully, you will get an immediate good reaction. Some of the immediate reactions that were reported to me by teens I have also walked thru this process have been, "It's about time you told me. I figured this out about you years ago." and "It's OK and I love you!" Whatever the reaction, know that she just needs to know that you are going to be OK, so have patience with her.
If you do get some resistance from her, do not waiver about how you feel. Any suggestions about your going to get counseling or see your religious leader need to be answered with a firm, "I know how I feel and who I am. If you need those services to better understand the news, than by all means, you go. (unless you really could use a counselor for yourself).
Hopefully, I have covered most possible outcomes. If not, message me back with more questions and I will respond.
Now let's talk about telling her about your relationship with your to-be room mate. This is a conversation that ought not happen before your mother is very comfortable with the fact that you are gay. At that point, out of concern for your safety, she will probably ask if he (the room mate) knows about your orientation. That would be the time to let her know that he more than knows.
Please make sure that you let me know how all of this turns out.
Know that I will always be here for you, if you encounter other problems and want a bit of coaching. You can read all sorts of useful stuff on the blog on my counseling website, http://MyCoachJason.com
Ways to contact me are also on that site.
I live in Hollywood where lots of folks are in the entertainment industry, so out here we do not wish people good luck, we, superstitiously, say the opposite, "Go break a leg." Soooo, go break a leg!