How to Tell Your Family That You are Gay

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July 17, 2014 10:58 AM EST

Recently, a number of celebrities and star athletes revealed that they are gay. Many of them initially thought that they would have trouble having their family and friends accept the secret they have been holding for years. However, majority actually got more support after opening up about their sexuality.

REUTERS
A reveler has the word "Gay" painted on the stomach during the" WorldPride" gay pride Parade in Toronto, June 29, 2014.

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe came out saying, "I'm comfortable saying I'm a gay man. And I don't want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay."

Here are some tips for when you are ready to come out to your loved ones. 

1. Prepare what you have to say

Spend some time practicing your lines. Stand in front of a mirror then look at yourself straight in the eye before you speak. Set the mood and talk in a controlled and calm manner so as not to surprise or shock your parents too much. It would be good to have some facts to back up your revelation. According to a study conducted in Northwestern University, 40 per cent of gay men actually became such genetically. Majority, however, are triggered by environmental and social factors. Share to your family your personal journey toward self discovery. 

2. Expect their reactions

There are parents who will generally show the general responses like shock, denial, guilt or anger. It is normal for some parents to get frustrated about the whole issue and deny the fact. Some families will need time to get over the issue. Some parents may actually be more supportive and accept immediately, especially if they have noticed your behavior for years.

3. Share your reasons

Let your family know why you wish to share and reveal your sexuality to them. Tell them how you feel and that it would be helpful for you if they also learn to accept the circumstances. Most parents will feel loss and may separate themselves from you for a few days. Siblings are actually more supportive. According to a psychological study conducted at the University of California, some families will go through the grieving period of denial until they finally understand the facts and accept you for who you are. 

Thanks to growing social and media support for the LGBT community, many individuals are now more confident about letting their sexuality out -- although there still are countries and cultures that deny this. The good news is that this segment of society is evolving for the better. By accepting yourself and the changes within you, you will be better able to radiate positivity to others and, eventually, share the message of love to the rest of the world. 

(Photo: REUTERS / Mark Blinch)
A reveler has the word "Gay" painted on the stomach during the" WorldPride" gay pride Parade in Toronto, June 29, 2014.
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