How can I come out to my homophobic dad?

Dear Relative,

This is a powerful question. My greatest priority is your safety. You are under no obligation to disclose anything about yourself to anyone. If you are wanting to do so, though, which it sounds like you are, develop a safety plan first. Some things to consider in the safety plan might be:

  • If you want to tell him in person, is there a neutral, semi-public place where you can tell him? Also, is there someone you would like to accompany you?
  • Do you have someone to talk to before and after?
  • Are you comfortable referring him to someone else for questions that feel invasive or place a burden on you?
  • If you live with him, is there somewhere you might be able to stay if the situation becomes emotionally or physically dangerous?

It is clear to me that you love him, since you want him to know. That love has the power to shift things in the universe, but not all change happens overnight. Do not doubt yourself if it takes him time to shift to becoming more open or supportive, or if he responds poorly. You are not responsible for his response. Remember that regardless of his response, or anyone else’s, you are worthy of love, you are sacred, and you are important. Sometimes it takes time for people to process new information, or information they’ve known but have avoided. Whatever his response may be in the moment, don’t lose track of that worthiness.

If you want some resources to support you during this time, I suggest:

  • The Trevor Project Get help – The Trevor Project is a great resource to support you. TrevorChat is confidential online instant messaging with a Trevor Counselor, available 24/7. TrevorText (text START to 678-678 to text with a Trevor Counselor)
  • PFLAG – PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. This might be a great resource if your dad has further questions.

Take care,

Auntie Amanda

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