Dear Questioning Lover

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

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Dear Poppy, I need help with my parents. I want to tell them I am bi, but they’re homophobic. I also don’t know how to tell my friends and family. Please help?

—  Questioning Lover

 

Dear Questioning Lover,

 

First off, I’d like to congratulate you on learning more about yourself! I have personal experience with the struggle that coming to terms with your sexuality is, and I know how hard it is to get to the point where you have a label. That’s great! You’re wonderful and valid, and your sexuality is just as amazing and beautiful as any other.  

 

As for your family’s homophobia, that isn’t as wonderful, which I assume you have already perceived. Ask casual questions – subtly – to see if they just need to be warmed up to the idea of LGBTQ+ people, or if it is extreme and it would be dangerous to expose yourself. If you already know that they’re not going to come around if you tell them, then I’m going to issue you some uncomfortable advice: don’t. Your safety comes first before all, and if you feel that you would be in a dangerous position if they find out, then don’t tell them. You’ve made it all the way to high school, which means you have a maximum of four years before you’re an adult, so wait until you’re in a stable and safe place to bring it up. 

 

As for being closeted, it is emotionally draining to stay closeted for a long time without talking to people. Find a friend that you trust and are close to, and come out to them first. They can support you, help you with coming out to your family, or just provide reassurance. A lot of time we LGBTQ+ people end up in little friendship groups, so see if you can come out to another queer friend first, as they’ll likely be very excited for you! 

 

There’s a couple of ways you can come out when you’re ready. You can be subtle about it – I know a lot of people want it introduced as something normal because heterosexual people don’t have to announce it – and just bring it up in a conversation. If someone asks about your future, you can use a gender-neutral term like “partner,” or you could work it into a conversation about crushes. It could even be a simple conversation, where you take your friend aside and just tell them: “Hey, I’m bi, and I wanted you to know.” Or you could make it a big deal: there’s a whole bunch of cool coming out ideas that range from balloons to cake – after all, it is something to be celebrated! 

 

When it comes down to it, coming out is an experience that is personal and specific to each person. You may enjoy attention, and want to throw a party, or you may just want to share your secret. I’m also going to encourage you to join Kempsville’s GSA, if just for the comfortability of being around people like you (and maybe they could share their experiences and give you some tips on other cool ways to come out!). I wish you the best of luck and all the happiness in coming out; if anything changes, feel free to message us on Instagram and keep us updated!

 

Sincerely,

      Poppy <3