Should I tell my family that I love someone of the same sex?
It’s great that you’re giving yourself space to think about whether to reveal your love for someone of the same gender. Studies indicate that family members can respond in a range of different ways depending on their background, their beliefs, as well as what the family relationship has been like. Here are a few points from relationship science to consider on whether to disclose your relationship to your family:
- How long have you been aware of your same-sex attraction and love, and how do you feel about it? Have you had an opportunity to explore these feelings and do you feel positive about them, or are they new or a source of discomfort for you? People who’ve had more time to reflect on their attraction and who feel good about it are more inclined to be open with family.
- How would you describe your relationships with your family members so far? Have they been caring and supportive, or more aloof or difficult? Individuals with closer family relationships are more likely to share their same-sex attraction.
- How do you think your family members feel about same-sex relationships?
- How do you think your family members will respond if you’re open about your relationship and are you willing to face this?
Regardless of what you decide, remind yourself that there’s no right or wrong answer. The most important thing to consider is what’s best for you and your partner based on your own situation. Hopefully there will come a time when same-sex couples will be greeted in all families and communities with the acceptance and validation they deserve, and the question of whether to be open about love with family members won’t even be an issue to think about.
In fact, thinking about the above can help you be more mentally prepared to face and respond to your family members’ attitudes and reactions. Lastly, you might want to start by finding support amongst siblings or close friends first to help you build the confidence and courage you need before sharing about your relationship with your parents.
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