How Do I Come Out To My Religious Parents?

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June 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

To come out to your religious parents, be honest and direct with your feelings and thoughts. It is important to approach the situation with respect and understanding, while also setting boundaries for yourself.

Coming out to religious parents can be a difficult and emotional process. Depending on your parents’ beliefs and values, they may not accept or understand your sexuality or gender identity. However, it is important to prioritize your own mental and emotional health by being honest with yourself and your loved ones.

It may take time for your parents to come to terms with your identity, but by being open and clear about your feelings, you may be able to start a dialogue and find common ground. Remember to take care of yourself throughout this process and seek support from friends, family, or professionals if needed.

How Do I Come Out To My Religious Parents?


Understanding The Impact Of Your Religious Background On Coming Out

Being a member of the lgbtq+ community and coming out to religious parents can be an incredibly daunting experience. Depending on the religion and beliefs of your parents, their reaction could be positive or negative. In this section, we’ll explore the cultural significance of religion in coming out, the challenges faced by lgbtq+ individuals coming from religious backgrounds, and the impact of religious beliefs on parents’ reactions.

The Cultural Significance Of Religion In Coming Out

Religion plays a vital role in shaping our beliefs, values, and worldviews. For many individuals, religion is a grounding force that influences their decisions, including their views on sexuality and gender identity. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Religion can be a source of comfort, especially during difficult times. However, it can also be a source of conflict, particularly when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender identity.
  • Some religions are more accepting of the lgbtq+ community than others. For example, in recent years, many christian denominations have become more accepting of same-sex relationships and gender identity.
  • Your individual interpretation of religious texts and doctrines may differ from others in your faith. That’s okay, and it’s something you’ll need to come to terms with before discussing your sexuality with your parents.

The Challenges Faced By Lgbtq+ Individuals Coming From Religious Backgrounds

Coming out to religious parents is never easy, and it can be especially challenging for lgbtq+ individuals coming from religious backgrounds. Here are some challenges that you might face:

  • The fear of rejection and abandonment: Coming out can be a deeply personal and emotional process, and the fear of losing the support of your family can be overwhelming.
  • Guilt and shame: You may feel guilty for disappointing your parents or for engaging in “sinful” behavior, according to religious teachings.
  • The pressure to conform: Religious communities are often tight-knit, and being lgbtq+ might make you feel like an outsider or like you don’t belong.
  • Internalized homophobia: Growing up in a religious community that disapproves of same-sex relationships can lead to internalized homophobia and shame.

The Impact Of Religious Beliefs On Parents’ Reactions

Your parents’ reaction to your coming out may be influenced by a range of factors, including their religious beliefs and cultural background. Here are some things to consider:

  • Some religions explicitly condemn same-sex relationships and gender identity. Your parents’ religious beliefs might make them less accepting of your sexuality or gender identity.
  • Your parents’ cultural background may also impact their reaction. For example, some cultures place a high value on maintaining family honor and may perceive an lgbtq+ child as bringing shame to the family.
  • It’s important to remember that your parents may need time to process and understand your sexuality or gender identity. Try to be patient and offer them resources that might help them understand you better.

Coming out as lgbtq+ to religious parents can be incredibly challenging. It’s important to approach this process with empathy and understanding, while also being true to yourself and your own needs. Remember that there are resources available to you, including support groups, helplines, and counseling services.

Above all, know that you’re not alone, and there are people who love and support you just as you are.

Preparing For The Conversation With Your Parents

Evaluating Your Safety Before Coming Out

Before coming out to your religious parents, it is crucial to evaluate your safety. Remember that your safety and well-being come first. Here are some essential points to consider before starting this conversation with your parents:

  • Consider whether your parents’ religious beliefs or their community’s views might put you in danger or cause any harm.
  • Reflect on how emotionally and financially independent you are from your parents. It would help if you had a plan in case the coming out conversation goes wrong.
  • Find support from trusted friends, family members, or a professional counselor who can assist you if things get tough.

Understanding Different Methods Of Coming Out

Coming out to religious parents can be a tough and emotional experience. It is important to know that you have different methods to come out, and you choose what works best for you. Here are some of the ways you can come out to your parents:

  • Direct approach: This method involves talking to your parents in person and sharing the news about your sexual orientation or gender identity directly.
  • Letter or email: If you find it too challenging to communicate in person, consider writing a letter or email to your parents expressing your thoughts and feelings. This method can give you the time to gather your thoughts and organize your ideas in writing.
  • Trusted person: If you are uncomfortable sharing the news with your parents directly, consider coming out to a trusted family member or friend that can help you with the conversation.

Preparing Yourself Emotionally For The Conversation

Coming out to your parents can be an overwhelming and emotional process. It is essential to take the time to prepare yourself emotionally before going for the conversation. Here are some things to consider:

  • Accept your identity: Before coming out, it is essential to accept your sexual orientation or gender identity. Acceptance is an essential step in feeling confident and comfortable in the conversation.
  • Practice: Consider practicing what you want to say before the actual conversation takes place. Practicing the conversation in front of the mirror or with a friend can boost your confidence.
  • Take breaks: It can be emotionally draining to have such conversations, so take breaks whenever you need them. Take the time to recharge and reflect on your feelings.

Remember that coming out can be a challenging experience, and it is crucial to prioritize your emotional and physical safety. Take your time to prepare and reach out for support whenever you need it.

Having The Conversation With Your Parents

Choosing The Right Time And Place For Your Coming Out Conversation

  • Find a time when both you and your parents are calm and relaxed
  • Choose a private place that is free from distractions or interruptions
  • Avoid times when your parents are busy or stressed, such as before work or during dinner

Understanding Your Parents’ Perspectives And Concerns

  • Keep in mind that your parents’ religion may play a significant role in their values and beliefs
  • Be prepared to listen to their concerns and respect their feelings
  • Consider seeking guidance from a neutral third party, such as a therapist or counselor, to help bridge the gap in your understanding

Responding To Potential Negative Reactions From Your Parents

  • Be prepared for possible rejection, disappointment, or anger from your parents
  • Stay calm during the conversation and avoid responding with anger or defensiveness
  • Remember that your parents may need time to process and come to terms with the news

Providing Your Parents With Resources To Help Them Understand And Accept You

  • Share educational resources, such as articles and books, that provide insight into the lgbtq+ community
  • Connect your parents with support groups, such as pflag, that offer peer support and guidance
  • Be patient with your parents as they learn and navigate a potentially unfamiliar and challenging situation

Remember, coming out is a deeply personal experience, and there is no “right” way to do it. While having the conversation with your parents may be difficult, remember to prioritize your well-being and safety above all else. Above all, remember to be true to yourself and know that you are loved and valued for who you are.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How Do I Come Out To My Religious Parents?

Can I Be Both Religious And Lgbtq+?

Yes, it’s possible. Your faith and sexuality aren’t mutually exclusive identities. Seek support within the religious community.

How Do I Know If It’S The Right Time To Come Out To My Parents?

Choose a time when you feel safe, comfortable, and ready. Prepare what you want to say and be calm.

What If My Parents React Negatively To My Coming Out?

Their initial reaction may be negative, but give them time to process. Try to educate them or seek support from others.

Should I Come Out To My Parents Face-To-Face Or Over The Phone?

Face-to-face is ideal, but if it’s not safe, choose a method that works for you. You could try writing a letter or email.

How Do I Deal With Not Being Accepted By My Religious Community?

It can be tough, but remember it’s important to prioritize your own wellbeing. Seek support from others, find welcoming spiritual communities, and focus on personal growth.


Coming out to religious parents can be very challenging, but it doesn’t always have to end badly. Remember, you are still the same person they love and cherish, regardless of your sexuality or gender identity. It is essential to approach the topic with patience, empathy, and understanding, realizing that your parents may need time to come to terms with the new information.

Try to provide them with supportive resources, and give them space if they need it. As difficult as it may be, staying true to yourself is the most important thing. You deserve the freedom to express who you are without fear of judgment or rejection.

Remember, you are not alone, and many people have gone through the same thing. Believe in yourself, have confidence, and communicate your feelings with love and respect. Eventually, with time and effort, your parents may come to accept and support you for who you are.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …