“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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"I came out of the closet via social media and everyone thought it was a joke. Now what?!"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
First, if people think it’s a joke and you don’t feel like explaining every thing to every person THAT IS OKAY. It’s like, half of our facebook friends are people we barely talk to, anyway, so like… why worry??
Second, your close friends and fam might think it’s a joke because they assume if it was real you would have told them to their faces with your mouth. Which, I think, is pretty understandable.
Those folks, I think, deserve a second nudge. If they’re important to you and you’re okay talking about it just tell them what’s up. It can be super casual (no one wants it to be heavy and dramatic)—just shoot them a text or bring it up over a boiling hot container of EasyMac “Hey, btw that facebook thing wasn’t a joke JUST FYI LOL”
If my friend did that to me I’d be like, “thanks for the EasyMac you owe me three starburst for telling Facebook before you told me”
First of all, if you want to, you could do a pretty funny re-post of your initial coming out with some reinforcement. If I had posted something on Tumblr or Facebook or whathaveyou that was like, “I’d like to tell you all that I’m gay so I don’t have to tell you one at a time,” and people were like HAHAHA GOOD ONE KRISTIN, I would likely REBLOG or REPOST my original post with something like this:
Attention: My gay post was not a joke. This repost is to let you know I am serious. And gay. I am gay and serious. But also I still like to have fun. You know? I am a fun gay serious person.
I’d probably also add a gif of a kitten or Beyonce.
Second of all, I agree with Dannielle’s point about close friends and family. Coming out via social media is a great tool when you just don’t feel like having a conversation one hundred million times with one hundred million people—but it is also good to let those closest to you know that you are there if they have any questions or just want to talk. While the kid who sits three chairs away from you in Calculus might not require further discussion, your mom might just want to know she can check in and that she can ask questions if she has them.
PS: Here’s a gif for your repost, should you so choose:
“Is coming out to friends and family via the internet a good idea? Like if I just posted a status on every social networking site I’m on (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr) saying ‘I’m gay.’ Could that potentially lead to more good than bad?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Listen, I told one person in my family and everyone knew within 14 seconds, which is essentially the same thing as posting it on facebook… So, like, you’ll probably be fine.
I think if I were you, I’d talk to the people I’m closest to first (via message or text or phone or whatever makes you most comfortable) and be like “i just wanted to tell you bc I’m gonna post it on facebook and I didn’t want you to either flip out or think I was joking.” THAT WAY, they won’t feel like you didn’t want to tell them. That would be my main concern, that if I didn’t tell them personally, they would think it was because I didn’t love them or something.. you know?
Either way, you’re going to have to talk to them, you can’t just come out and expect everyone to pretend it didn’t happen, so be respectful about it. Put yourself in their shoes. If your bff told facebook they were gay before telling you, how would you feel? It doesn’t have to be a big deal, you don’t have to have a long conversation, but If I were your mom, I’d feel soooo sad that you didn’t feel like you wanted to tell me first. IF I WERE YOUR MOM.
I think it’s totally fine.
Coming out is more than meets the eye anyway, because it is a process that evolves over time. You “coming out” via Facebook is really just step one in a larger dialogue that will develop between you, your family and your friends.
HERE IS THE THING THOUGH. If I were going to just put it out there for the world to ingest on the internet, I would say a few more words then just, “I’m gay.” That tiny little outburst may leave the rest of the world thinking things like, “Is this a joke or for real?” or “How do I respond / Do they want me to respond?” or “I’m so glad that TONYA #yourname is happy!!” (that would be your grandma’s response). Perhaps post a few extra words on Facebook or Tumblr (and then linked to Twitter or whatever) – just saying,
“Hey, so… I’m gay. Instead of sitting all of you down one by one, this seemed like the easiest way to communicate. I’m totally comfortable talking to any or all of you more, so I will be holding office hours from 10-3 every Tuesday. JUST KIDDING, but seriously, thanks for listening and don’t be afraid to ask me if I now only wear rainbow suspenders.”
If you want to sit anyone down beforehand, go for it – but I don’t think you should feel pressured to do so. If it makes your mom sad, you can talk to her about that in person after the fact.
GOOD LUCK AND STUFF.