“Would it be bad to come out to my mom via email? Is it unfair not to do it face to face?”
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Nope. Not at all.
I think it’s a great idea because it gives both of you the space you need to process things. If you’re mostly concerned about her feeling like it didn’t mean as much, include that in your email!
I get it. As a parent, you want your kid to be able to talk to you about everything and you want the satisfaction of looking them in the eye and feeling in that moment together. BUT LIKE as the human coming out to their parent, it’s fucking hard. It’s hard to say what you feel and how you feel it and why you want them to know what you feel and how you feel it. And what if you forget to say something, or you say something wrong. Or what if they respond poorly and then you don’t feel comfortable talking about it at all??
I think letters are always a good idea. If you want, you can send the email and say “Please let me know when you’re going to read this, I want to be there, but I’m not as good with words when I’m saying them out loud.” OR you can say, “I really wanted to tell you face-to-face, but I was afraid I’d chicken out, so I wrote it here, I want to talk to you as soon as you’re done reading.”
There are endless options when it comes to clarification in letter form. You can clear up how much you love your mom. You can clear up how much you value her support. You can clear up why it’s taken you a minute to say something. You have a great amount of opportunity.
I vote do it.
Absolutely, 100% do it. If you are worried that your mom might want to have face-to-face time, know that she will get that time and tell her that she will get that time in your email.
I will give you a sample start:
I love you and I want you to know that I am only writing you this email because I want to make sure I say things the way I need to, and because talking about important parts of ourselves can be difficult at times. I want you to know that this email is just the very first step for you and I, and that I would love to talk to you more and answer any questions you have, and also totally hug you and things like that after we get past this first step? Cool? Cool.
[YOUR COMING OUT LETTER]
I love you, Mom.
You know?! Just lay it all out there. That is the beauty of an email or letter. It gives you time to say what you need, it gives your mom time to process (you can put that in there, too!), and it isn’t a final, one-time experience.
Coming out is a journey that only begins with that first statement of identity to another person. Conversations happen, moments are shared, and experiences and dialogue build over time to shape your coming out process.
Remember this is only step one.
Send that email.
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