What Can I Do About Homophobic Parents?

Street art against homophobia.
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Unfortunately a lot of teens have homophobic parents. And having a parent who is anti-gay can be really tough. It can also be depressing and isolating. But just because you have parents who discriminate doesn't mean you will feel isolated forever!

Teens' Experiences

This is an issue that has come up regularly on GLBT community forums. One teen writes about how he felt after his dad's latest homophobic rant:

Last night at dinner i felt like a got hit by a truck... my mom knows im gay but my dad doesnt and now im never telling him. we already had a bad relationship and now its like i never want to talk to him again...i really wanted to deck this person who im supposed to love and be accepted by. but this one took the cake i didnt know what to say without coming out so i said nothing. i just walked out of the room and went in my room then took a shower while crying cause i was so angry and sad and hurt. then i went to bed. i really cant wait to leave my house like as soon as im done school im out.

Another teen writes about comments he hears from his family:

every time that a gay person like shows up on TV or something my parents will be like what f*gs and they will got to hell and really homophobic crap like that.

What to Do in This Situation

The first thing you need to do it to keep in mind is that no matter how much you are hurting, your safety comes first.

Sometimes it can be tempting to come out in the middle of a parent's rant. But if you think that could be dangerous you might want to hold off.

Sometimes talking to a friend, getting online and posting like these teens did, or contacting an organization that supports GLBT teens is a good option.

Should I Come Out?

Though coming out can be an amazing experience, it is important to think about your reasons for coming out before taking the plunge.

Coming out at any age can be challenging, but because teens tend to live with their families, there are a few unique issues young people need to think about. Ask yourself:

  • Will coming out jeopardize my situation at home?
  • Is it safe, physically and emotionally, for me to come out to my parents?
  • Do I have resources available (both emotional and financial) if coming out changes my situation at home?

Schooling Your Folks

When a parent makes homophobic remarks it can feel like a knife through your heart. But while many parents are bigoted, a lot simply aren't educated about what it really means to be gay. Sometimes even if a parent makes a nasty remark, he or she would be open to learning more about being GLBT.

An organization like the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays is a great place to send family members with questions and concerns. They have a lot of experience dealing with these types of issues.

Finding Outside Support

Being GLBT can present challenges at any age. But being a teen and living with homophobic parents is just about one of the most challenging things around.

Having a homophobic parent can make you feel really alone. So if you are in that situation, please try to find a supportive adult who you can talk to!