Breaking the News to Mom & Dad

Coming out to my parents falls near the top of my list of most courageous moments.

Home is 2 hours away, and it worked out nicely that I would be making a trip home for a Thursday overnight (summer Friday = no work).

Not sure if I was 100% ready to tell them I was gay, but I didn’t know when the next opportunity would arise to tell them in person. Once I started this ball rolling, there was no stopping. Every person I told was another weight lifted off my back.

I was out with a friend at a bar the weekend prior and was dying to tell one of my best friends (only the second person to know). Her boyfriend went to the restrooms, and I pulled her aside. I just blurted it out. He came back a minute later, and we never got to fully discuss it that night. Probably not the most ideal situation, but it was like a band aid. I needed to rip that sucker off!

After work, I hurried home and packed up a small overnight bag. At this point, I knew Broadway for only 2 short weeks. I texted him asking for words of encouragement just before walking out the door. I figured when I pulled into my driveway, I could look at my phone and read a small pep talk that would help me summon the courage to tell them. My plan backfired. He responded immediately. I read the text just before pulling out that read, “Just be yourself.”

Granted, this was great advice, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Maybe an “it will be alright.” All I know is that when you’re on a motorcycle for 2 hours with no radio or person to talk to, you crawl up into your head and drive yourself NUTS!

Once home, my parents were in the middle of making dinner. I settled in, and we sat down to eat (at the dinner table, but in front of the TV nonetheless). In most families, the dinner table might have been a good opportunity to break news of this measure. But the TV rules in my house, so it would have to wait.

Following dinner, I sat down on the couch sore from the ride home. My mother sat in a chair watching TV while my father cleaned up some dishes. At the moment when he came back into the room, she decided to leave the room. I remember thinking in my head, “Would you two sit down so I can get this over with!”

My heart was in my throat. Every commercial break my heart started beating out of my chest. An hour and a half passed. I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out. Finally I mustered the courage to speak. I casually turned to them and said, “So I’m finally dating someone….”

They both just stared at me. Neither said a word. Probably only 1 or 2 seconds passed, but it felt like 30. And I topped it off with, “And his name is Brian.”

They both just sat there staring at me. Neither saying a word. Then, after what felt like 2 minutes of silence, they said something. They asked how I met him. In as little detail as possible, I explained the fundamentals of manroulette. I told them a little about him. Then my mother said, “But I thought you always said you wanted kids?” I explained there is no reason why I can’t still have them. “You both watch Modern Family. You know a lot’s possible these days.”

My mother asked me if that’s why I cam home. “While convenient timing, it was not the main purpose for the trip,” I responded.

Then came all the questions about women. Am I still interested in them? Is this a phase? etc. I told them this was all new to me, and I had no answers. “I see no reason not to pursue this. It feels right.”

In the end, they were very accepting of the news. I was a little disappointed they weren’t more supportive. I figured they already had a strong idea I was gay, but maybe I was giving them more credit. In my own selfishness, I wanted them to embrace it immediately, but that was not the case. As time passes, they will be comfortable with it. We will be able to talk openly about it, and they will bring it up without me initiating that portion of the conversation. Until then, I will just be patient…

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  1. #1 by TJ on April 27, 2011 - 11:41 PM

    Hey, I understand the scary task of coming out to Mom and Dad. For me, it was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life. Kudos to you. I was also hoping for a bit more support but my parents definitely had no idea. Anyway, I enjoyed reading through your blog as well.

  2. #3 by Becca on April 28, 2011 - 10:50 AM

    I have worked with a few gay students who have come out to their parents. Most of the time I hear the parents reacted like yours. I think it takes them time to let go of the future they had in their head for you and rewrite the script a little. After that is done, most people have told me that their parents are a lot more supportive.

    I enjoy your blog and hope to learn more from reading blogs like yours and talking to the gay students I meet with so I can add things on my blog for those going through the same things. I’m not gay so I’ve been hesitant to write about the experiences of gay relationships because I feel like I have to learn more before I can give any insights to others. However, I think it would be a valuable part of my blog when I do start adding those insights in. Thanks for sharing!

    • #4 by One Gay at a Time on April 29, 2011 - 12:44 PM

      Good point on rewriting the future they planned out in their head. Good way to think about it.

      What happened is what I expected to happen… I was just hoping it would go even better. Over time it’s getting easier, and you’ll hear more about in my posts…

      Thanks for the kind words and the subscription!

  3. #5 by Alicia on April 28, 2011 - 4:53 PM

    So happy for you!!! You should be very proud of yourself!!!

  4. #7 by Andinho. on September 7, 2011 - 6:50 PM

    Wow! I’m your new follower however, I know how it was so hard to come out to our parents, first our hearts beat as fast as it does, second we must face up everything and we wait our parents saying, “Dear son, bring your boyfriend here and let’s make a dinner together like a true family.” We wait for welcome, but we are the ones who must give support to our parents, because it takes a long time for their understanding that they’ve got a gay son. I tried to show to my parents everything that I could, but they don’t talk about my gay life, they pretend that I’m straight, but that’s life and it goes on.

  5. #8 by Anonymous on April 8, 2012 - 7:29 PM

    I wanted to reread this because I’m telling my parents tomorrow. I promised myself I would do so before my 26th birthday and I’m making it happen. Thanks again for sharing your stories.

    • #9 by One Gay at a Time on April 8, 2012 - 10:37 PM

      I’m really touched I could help you out like that. I know how nerve wracking that situation can be. I would LOVE to hear how it went if you feel comfortable sharing. Feel free to shoot me an email!!

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