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5 Tips for Coming Out to Family During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time for gratitude and connection. Still, for those contemplating coming out as an LGBTQIA+ person to their family, it can be a mix of excitement, terror, and dread. In this blog post, we'll explore five helpful tips to help you in this scary but rewarding process. I seriously wish I had the internet when I came out because, boy, did I do it so wrong! But guess what- I still don't regret ripping off the Band-Aid and stepping into my true, authentic self as a bisexual person. 

1. Gratitude and Honesty: 

Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude, so why not take a moment to share your appreciation of your family's support. Start by appreciating how each person has shown their love and support to you throughout your life. After, it's time for the big share- your color on the LGBTQ+ rainbow. Remember, honesty is the key to genuine connections. 

2. Timing: 

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to heart-to-hearts. Choose a quiet moment after the feast when everyone is relaxed, and the vibes are good. Setting the stage for a conversation filled with understanding and love can make all the difference. Trying to share this at the beginning of the night while the energy is up and people have low blood sugar won't be the best idea. 

Also, if you share towards the end of the night, you can leave more easily if things don't go well. Remember, people tend to react initially based on what they have been taught. You can leave if you want to leave before they initially process this information.

3. Letter Writing

Sometimes, putting feelings into words can be tricky at the moment. Consider writing a heartfelt letter to your family members. Share your feelings, talk about what you hope to receive from them, and how they can show support after reading your letter. A letter can be a great way to share your LGBTQ+ identity if you don't feel safe around all the family members. You can write each person a letter and ask them to open it when they get home. Coming out as queer is scary, and we have to be aware of any safety concerns that may arise within our families. 

4. Allies at the Table: 

Allies make the journey so much sweeter! If you have supportive family members or friends at the gathering, consider asking for their help. Most people come out to certain family members before others- I came out to my brothers first, then my mom second. You can talk with them about your plan to come out to the rest of the family. Asking them to back you up and what they can say beforehand can make the journey of coming out to the rest of the family a lot less intimidating. 

5. Be Patient, Celebrate Growth: 

Coming out is a process, not a one-time event. Give your family the gift of time to process and understand. Patience is your ally in this journey, and growth is a two-way street. They have known you as one person your entire life until this moment. They had ideas and dreams for you before you were even born. They may have been brought up to misunderstand the LGBTQ community. How they react initially doesn't mean this is how they will always respond and feel. 

It may take days for some to gain more understanding and support towards you- for others, it may take years. My own mom took over a decade to finally support me. Remember, no matter what your family says- you will always have a family within your LGBTQ+ community!

Thanksgiving is a great reminder to focus on gratitude and make the time to spend time with the ones you love. Suppose you're considering coming out to your family as an LGBTQIA+ person during this time. In that case, this how-to guide offers some easy tips to make the process a little less scary, allowing you to embrace your authentic self during the holiday season. If you need more support during you coming out journey you can always speak to a Therapist in California by clicking this link to schedule.