How to Tell Your Mom You Are Gay

So you want to tell your mom that you're gay and try not to get her upset. It's best you understand right from the beginning that try as you might, you may not be able to avoid some upset. Stay calm and follow these steps.


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    Make sure your mom is not already dealing with some other stressful situation. You're going to tell her something pretty significant, and it's best if you don't drop it on her while she's already got her hands full with your dad crashing the car, your brother needing 10 teeth pulled, your sister getting a tattoo and the IRS breathing down her neck. Also try to be aware of the fact that your mom probably doesn't have the first clue about what it means to be gay, so be prepared to spend some time with her.
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    Sit down and try to talk in private away from strangers. Going to a restaurant is nice, but for something this important it's better to do it alone.
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    Start up the conversation. It can be hard just getting started. Try to gradually lean towards the subject.
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    Try not to inject drama. Tell your mom that you love her. Tell her that you care about and respect her as your mother and that what you're about to say is very important.
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    Tell her that you're gay. Be calm and resist the temptation to intone the news in a bleak, depressed manner. Don't assume she's going to freak out. Tell her quickly, calmly, and in a matter-of-fact way that shows her that you're fine with it, and want her to be, too.
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    Give her a moment. Allow her to let it sink in for a minute or two. Remember that this is probably going to be a big deal to her.
    • Prepare for a wide range of emotional responses, everything from rage to disbelief, or grief to fear.
    • Deal with her questions immediately.
    • Common questions from Moms include: Is it my fault? What happened to you to make you this way? Is this because you were raped? Many times when faced with the news that a child is gay, a parent will search for a reason. Avoid allowing her to attach "blame" to anyone or any incident. For example, "No, Mom, it's not anybody's fault. It's just who I am, the same as being right handed or having green eyes." or "If I'm gay because I was molested, why are so many others who were molested not gay? Being molested doesn't determine sexual orientation, though it really can mess you up. I'm gay because I'm gay. Not because someone touched me when I was a kid."
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    Discuss it with her openly now that she knows. Explain to her when you realized it, how you have been struggling to accept it yourself and then tell her, and if there's someone special, without revealing a lot of details at this point, simply let her know you have been seeing someone. This is important so she can understand you and your feelings better.
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    Allow her to express her feelings. Let her talk and listen to what she has to say. Try to understand her feelings as a mother. She had certain plans for your life, which she may have just harbored in her heart, but part of the plan was very probably to be at your wedding, and seeing your children born. Those things may still happen, but in a way very different from what she pictured, and she may grieve for what she perceives right now as the "loss" of those dreams. Be as compassionate as you can in expressing that you understand some of her feelings, but be firm and let her know those were her dreams - not yours. Encourage her that it's now time to dream a new dream.


  • Remember that there is nothing wrong with being gay, the only thing that's wrong is how people react.
  • Just as a heterosexual child discusses their relationships with their mothers, do so with your mother. It helps build a bond with her on something she might not understand very much.
  • Give your mom time to come to terms with your news, letting very little change. In other words, don't start instantly strutting around in skin tight tiny-t's and flaming around with a lot of gay slang. It's going to be important for your mom to see that you're not a different person from the one she has always known - that's hard to sell if you suddenly begin wearing mascara and women's dresses when you never did before.
  • Share only what your mom is comfortable handling, especially at first. Don't expect that she'll want to hear all the sordid details of your frolics at the dance clubs or whatever. Keep the details of your life private unless you were accustomed to sharing on this level previously. Let mom guide you as to how much she is ready to hear.
  • Write it in an e-mail or on wordpad! Write up an introduction and it will be easier because she will be reading it for herself. It really works! And it takes the stress out of coming out.
  • A good way to start the talk is to start a debate with your mother on gay rights. That leads you to the subject, and there are many things you can do with that.
    • You can see how strong her feelings are against Gay rights; therefore letting you see how gently you need to push the subject, or whether you should at all at that moment or try to get her to see the other way.
    • Add a "hypothetical" situation ("O.K., suppose I (or perhaps a sibling) told you I/he/she was gay. What would you do?") Then judge her response so you can judge how to come on her.
    • If she reacts harshly to the gay rights topic, you might be better off not telling her at that moment, perhaps dropping subtle hints, or maybe not even telling her until you are no longer within her legal control.
  • You know you're not the person they want you to be, but you do know that your the person who's happy with themselves. After all, there's no "them" in "you".


  • Sometimes, but not always, fathers are not as understanding about this as mothers. Try to get a sense of where your father stands on homosexuality before you tell him.

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Categories: Coming Out as LGBT