Even though it’s 2018, “coming out” can still be terrifying.
According to a recent survey, nearly half (49%) of people aged 18-24 identify as something other than heterosexual. Still, however, “coming out” can be one of the biggest challenges in someone’s life. When asked why it was so difficult, a 19-year-old bisexual from the UK revealed:
“I just had hate coming at me from all sides.”
When someone comes out, it’s never just a one-time thing. Whenever they meet someone new, they will wonder if it’s the right time to tell the person— and whether the news will make them different in the eyes of their new friend. For most people, coming out to their parents is the most difficult challenge of all.
Parents are the people who raised you, so the thought of disappointing them can be a big pressure. The last thing you want to hear them say is: “This is not who I raised you to be” — and although society is becoming more accepting, the risk of someone rejecting you is always there.
Earlier this year, ‘Seriously Out Now’ wrote an anonymous letter to Dan Savage on TheStranger.com. In it, he expresses many of the common fears exhibited by those in the LGBTQ community:
“I’m terrified of how my father will react.”
“I’m afraid that they will disown me if I insist on a homosexual lifestyle.”
“I’m scared of seeing my father’s reaction.”
Despite the possible reactions— in the end, most parents love their child regardless of who they decide to date. John Paul Brammer recalled coming out to his aunt:
“I called my aunt and said, ‘I think I’m gay’ and she said ‘OK call me back when you know’ and started cackling.”
In this heartwarming letter, one father expresses his support in the most amazing way.
The letter was shared to Reddit, with the title: “Every parent should be so cool; the world would be a better place.” And really, doesn’t that just say it all?
The letter reads:
I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.
I’ve known you were gay since you were six. I’ve loved you since you were born.
P.S. Your mom and I think that you and Mike make a cute couple.”
As you can imagine, people are enamored with the way Nate’s dad supported him through the “coming out” process.
Another parent commented on the post, sharing their own story: “I still remember our son coming out to us. We had a similar reaction. We totally knew. It was cool.”
“Kids, most parents aren’t TV assholes. We love you and just want you to be happy. Being gay won’t stop us from loving you.”
If you’re in a situation where you need to “come out”, try not to be afraid. Research shows being open about sexual orientation and gender identity affects peoples lives for the better— improving self-esteem and self-confidence, enabling better relationships, and increasing well-being and psychological health.
If you’re looking for tips on how to come out to your friends and family, Ditch The Label has compiled a helpful tips:
- Don’t feel pressured
- Don’t label yourself if you don’t want to
- Read other “coming out” stories
- Start by telling one person
- Think about the positives
For more information, the complete list can be accessed here.
Please SHARE this heartwarming note with your friends and family.