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How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Sooo, I am bi sexual and I'm fine with it, like really I don't care. I have three bi friends, one gay and one lesbian friend and I have felt fine about telling them (and even my straight friends) that I'm bi. But oh. my. god. telling family is a whole other thing. My parents are 50 and 65 years old (so they're like proper old) and my mum has already made it clear that she would be "dissapointed" if I was lesbian. but I've met someone, well I've known them for a while and she likes me and I like her, so now I think I gotta start working on this.


So for ideas, for preparation, for help for me and anyone else in this sort of situation, can y'all share some stories: how/why did you tell your family or friends and how did they react? and did you regret it afterwards?

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

I think I'm bi too and I shudder at the thought of ever telling my parents.. Smiley Sad @That_Beef96

Luckily I'm forever alone and don't have to think about that right now hehe Smiley Tongue

Um I think the most important thing with telling people is knowing that it would be safe to. I was fine telling my friend but yeah. Do you have a sense of how your parents would react given what they've told you?

If anyone has an answer to this question I'd like to know too! Smiley Tongue

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Hi @That_Beef96 @Lost_Space_Explorer5  I wanted to chip in because I'm a biromantic asexual. I'm in a straight-passing relationship (which has its frustrations in its own way but that's not the topic here) but I have a friend who recently came out as gay to his very Christian parents. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive but in his case he was able to manage it by giving his parents control over the news. Like he gave them their own time to think about it and respected their decision to keep the news in their immediate family until they had processed it themselves. But he also reiterated that it wasn't something that was going to change. Honestly this was awful reality but he did prepare himself for the worst (saving money etc.) although that never occurred. 


I also have another friend who broached her biromantic asexuality to her mum in a less formal way, more in a "mum I have a crush on a girl" way Smiley Tongue I think for her mum it was less of a surprise because of her personality, weirdly enough? But her then-gf's family was more conservative and they made the decision not to tell her family because she lived at home and didn't have the means to move out. Is there any way you can gauge how your parents would react based on attitudes they've shown previously towards non-straight people?


I ended up telling my dad and my bro. I didn't see a point in telling my mum. My brother did NOT get it Smiley LOL he was like how do you know? And I was like lmao well and gave a dumb analogy about how sexuality works... 

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Hi @That_Beef96! Welcome to the forums! Smiley Happy
I'm sorry that your made made that comment towards you, but on the other hand, I'm really glad that you've found someone that you've been able to connect with and are comfortable with your sexuality! Smiley Happy
I don't think there is necessarily a right or wrong way about how to go about telling your family, as long as it's on your terms and you feel ready and safe to do so.  It could help to think about how they have reacted to things that you've told them before, and what forms of communication are effective when you've confided in them in the past.
One of my family members is bisexual, but unfortunately they were outed to other family members by their so-called 'therapists'. We were worried about how the other family members would react as some of them are pretty homophobic, but even they ended up recognising that it was wrong of the therapists to out them. They've not mentioned much about it since then. Overall, it was a negative experience because my family member would have preferred to come out on their own terms but we were glad that the reactions weren't worse.
We had an Ask a Pro: Live about Bi-Visibility here. Feel free to check it out. Smiley Happy

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

@WheresMySquishy  @StormySeas17  @Lost_Space_Explorer5 

Thank you guys for responding!


in answering the popular question, I have been thinking lately (probably way too much) about how my family would react based on their past comments about sexuality. I know that my mum knows what 'gay' and 'lesbian' means but past that I don't think she knows/understands much about sexuality.


I know she doesn't believe that there are anywhere near as many genders as there actually is and these are conversations i have most often tried to avoid in the past because it ends in argument about whats real and whats not. I have tried to explain to her that my view is, if you feel you fit a certain gender/sexuality you should have the freedom to identify as it openly.


as for my dad, I have no clue, I know he doesn't like my lesbian cousin but I think that's just coincidental seeing as she's also a very odd person in general (I know that's mean, sorry). My dad doesn't really talk about deeper things very often  and I feel like his side of things could go one of two ways: 1. He says nothing and quietly accepts it or 2. He gets angry and actually reacts worse than I'm preparing for my mum to react.


It's very uplifting to hear other people's stories, even when it was an overall negative experience it's nice to know that the situation can heal, that there's hope for the future and that people's families can at the very least just not bring it up. People don't have to be happy about it in my opinion, they just gotta accept that that is what this person wants, that that is a part of them that can not and will not be changed for anybody. 

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Hey @That_Beef96 


That sounds like a pretty hard situation to try and deal with. It's great that you have found it helpful to hear other peoples stories and how they've dealt with it. We have a section on sexuality here which includes some more stories about sexuality generally and also some pretty cool stories from other people. I don't know that I could sum them all up in a sentence but if you haven't already I reckon it would be worth checking some of them out. 

It sounds like you have already spoken a bit with your parents about gender and sexuality. This is from our parents section of RO. If you're struggling to talk through things with them maybe it might be helpful to share this with them?  

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Hi friend

I don't have too much advice for you other than be yourself and focus on building you before you open to people and make sure you are comfortable in your own skin.
I hope things are going well for you and that life is working out. I hope your family and friends took things well if you have told them.

Stay strong friend.

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

hey @Anzelmo 

Thank you so much for your really nice reply


I haven't told my parents yet, but the kind thoughts and ideas from the people on this sight have helped me to realise that I don't have to, there's no pressure.


It can, at times, make it difficult because I moved back in with my parents last year, meaning that they can easily work out who im spending my time with, but I think for now they can spend a bit of time in the dark with this topic.


I am really enjoying my time with my girlfriend and I'm not going to let people's opinions and superstitions get in the way of that.


so thank you 

Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Hey @That_Beef96 , it's so good to hear that you've found the support from people on the forum here useful Heart It's wonderful that you're enjoying spending your time with your girlfriend and not letting other people's biases get in the way of you living your life in the way that makes you happy!


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Re: How did you tell your family/friends you're 'not straight'?

Thank you! <3