"My parents want me to stay in the closet till I’m eighteen. That’s three years. Should I tell them how I really feel and risk ruining everything with them or do what they want? They think I’m not ready for the real world but I know what it’s like. How can I get them to realise I’m not some stupid teenager rushing into this without thinking?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think you should absolutely tell them how you feel. There isn’t really anyway for them to KNOW what your process is or what you’re going through or what you’re feeling if you don’t tell them.
Chances are they’ll still be worried for you, I mean, isn’t that what our parents do best? Worry?
If I were you (keep in mind I’m terrible at conversating, so maybe you don’t need to do this) I would make a list of the reasons you want to come out now. You can just make it in your head, but prepare yourself for the questions they’ll have and answer them in your head (or on paper) ahead of time. If they’re concerned that you “aren’t thinking” and you have answers READY TO GO, it’ll just help them to realize you totally are thinking. You know what I mean?
Parents baby us for our entire lives. They don’t MEAN to, but like, we are their kids. Sometimes they need a slight reminder that we are also grown-ass-humans. Now is a good time to remind them. You know what you want to do and this is your life and you have to do what’s best for you, let them know your decision. I SUPPORT YOU.
I agree one million thousand percent. You should speak with your parents and, like Dannielle said, you should prepare yourself as best as you can for that conversation.
It is very hard for parents to transition from a place where they have to tell us not to put our hands on the stove, not to eat only twizzlers for breakfast, and not to color a mural on their living room wall, to a place where they understand us as people capable of making informed decisions. Try to look at this conversation as the first step toward a place where they will begin to understand you as a smart, capable person. They aren’t quite there yet, but that is okay. They will get there.
My personal opinion is that this is your life and your identity, and ultimately your choice. However, that doesn’t mean that I think you should just walk in and say, “Parents, this is my life so I am doing what I want.” I think you should give them the chance to be a part of this process, and I think that you should listen to their concerns honestly and openly.
Sit them down and tell them that you love them. Tell them that you know they are worried for a lot of reasons, and that you’d like to talk about those things more—but that you are living this experience and very much feel that you need to be able to come out on some level to feel like a complete person. Tell them that you would love to have their support in any way they can give it, and that if they would like to help you figure out the path forward, that would be incredibly helpful.
Hear their concerns, explain your position, listen, and make informed decisions based on that entire experience. Be respectful of them at every turn, be patient, be open, be firm. Don’t rush into anything. Express yourself clearly. If the conversation needs space, return to it in a week or so when things have calmed down. It isn’t going to be easy, and it might even be unpleasant, but it is hard to help our parents to a place where they let us grow up… and this is your first step.