Living with homophobic parents can be difficult. Whether you are gay yourself, have a close loved one or friend who is, or just support the LGBT movement in general, dealing with intolerance is tough. If your parents have said or done homophobic things in the past, you might try to gain an understanding of their viewpoints and work to change them.
- Decide whether coming out is a good idea. If you are a minor, coming out to homophobic parents might cause a lot of unintended consequences. Your parents might restrict your activities, say hurtful things, or try to force you to become straight. Be sure you’re prepared to deal with the potential fallout before you talk to them. Consider waiting until you’ve moved out on your own to tell your parents about your sexual orientation.
- Hear them out. The only way to convince another person to change their views is by first getting a good understanding of what their views are. You may have heard your parents make homophobic comments before, but maybe you don’t really understand why they feel the way they do.
- Ask questions. Try to gain a better understanding by digging for what’s beneath the surface. Your parents may try to shrug it off when you ask “Why are you against gay people?” by responding “Because it’s just wrong!” Press them for more information by asking clarifying questions.
- Respect your parents’ religious views. If your parents are homophobic because of their religion, understand that you may not sway them or gain their approval if you are gay. They believe they are acting in your best interest by taking a stand against this sexual orientation. Don’t attack their faith or try to change their minds
- Give your parents time. Sometimes it takes a while for people to adjust to a new reality. Don’t expect things to be perfect the next time you see your parents – your relationship may remain awkward or strained for some time.
Let them digest the news, and don’t bring the topic up again until they seem ready.