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I'm Bisexual and I don't know if I should tell my family

Dear Sam,
I am 15 years old and my name is S*
I have known that I am Bisexual for quite a while and I have just started telling my close friends, with no trouble, but I am very scared about telling my family.
My mum and dad were very strictly risen as Christians but decided not to get baptized, my 4 grandparents are all strict Christians, and my 13 year old brother is not exactly the nicest person in the world.
I am thinking of coming out to my mum and dad on National Coming Out Day this year. I have been dropping hints to them but all that they said was 'I don't know what I'd do if you or your brother came out to us' and that is not very helpful to be honest. Do you think that I should come out to them or is it a bit early for that?
Thanks,
S*
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there S*,

It can be really scary coming out and telling those that you love about your sexuality. It sounds like you’ve had positive experiences with telling friends so far, which is great. However you are certainly not on your own with feeling scared about telling your family. 

Deciding to come out can feel scary because unfortunately you can’t control how other people will react. It’s a good idea to think about how you‘re going to look after yourself if people don’t react in the way you hoped.   

Firstly it’s important to know that although you may be sure of your sexuality, you do not have to tell anyone until you feel completely ready to do so.  Although it is important that you feel able to be yourself, you do not need to feel rushed or pressured into telling people. You can take things as slowly as you need to and tell people when you're comfortable and ready.         

If you feel that now is the right time to tell your parents, dropping hints and finding out their opinions (like you already have done) is a really good place to start.

However, I can hear that your parents haven’t picked up your hints in the way you hoped. They also mentioned they wouldn’t know how to react if you or your brother came out. With this in mind, it may be helpful to be prepared for your parent’s initial reactions. When people are shocked they sometimes react in ways that are unexpected and hurtful, and what they say or do may change when they’ve had time to think about things. It may be a good idea to think about what support you might need afterwards if they did react badly. For example, go to a supportive friend’s house or contact a ChildLine counsellor to talk things through.

Another idea might be to come out to your parents through a letter instead of telling them face to face. This way they can have time to read all of what you want to say to them and they will have time to think about how they’re going to react. 

You might also find our information about coming out useful to read through. But if you are still unsure about what you want to do, or you just want to talk things through some more, a ChildLine counsellor can always help you to do this.     

Take care.

Sam

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