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I'm Gay. I don't want to tell my parents. What Should I do?

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Iím gay. I donít want to tell my parents, because they might kick me out of the house, disown me, or hit me. What should I do?óAnonymous


Shayna Answers:

Dear Anonymous, Often the best way to introduce a shocking subject to your parents is to start by telling them your feelings about it. Even if you think youíve been gay your entire life, broach the subject by starting with how you are feeling now. For example: ďMom and Dad, I want to talk to you about some thoughts/urges/desires that Iíve been having . . .Ē If you introduce the subject this way, it lets your parents know that youíre serious, and that you need their attention. After all, we donít usually start casual conversations by asking to talk about our feelings. It also gives your parents an opportunity to draw their own conclusions about your sexuality without the pressure of a heavy ďIím gay!Ē revelation. And, it will give you a glimpse of how severe their reaction will be. A preliminary heads-up will also let your parents acclimate to the reality of the situation so that they can better help you. Usu-ally rash decisions like beating, disowning, or kicking a child out of the house are driven by emotionsóand later regretted. The key to maintaining the calm in the situation is to constantly de-escalate. If your parents get angry and start screaming, donít go there with them. Stay calm and rational. Let your parents get their initial reaction out of the way, so they can process what you tell them. Itís also important to remember that if you believe youíve been gay your entire life, itís likely that your parents already have some knowledge of it. Your parents know you better than anyone, and whether or not youíve been trying to conceal your feelings, your behaviors have probably been giving them clues for years. Regardless, I know that it can be difficult for parents to hear that one of their children is dealing with someting that they have no way to remedy. Unfortunately, though, our natural reaction to things that scare us is to push them away. Educating your parents about your sexual identity or asking them for support wonít be easy. If your parents are Christians, they may suggest that you read Scripture with them or go to counseling. Meet them halfway. This is their way of trying to help you, and it really may help you. Starting in Genesis 2, the only kind of sex God condones throughout the Bible is between a married man and his wife. As with any temptation in our lives, God desires to help us not to act on it (James 1:12-15). God wants to help us overcome all temptation and sin. Romans 6:12, 13 says: ďDo not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.. . . rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life.Ē Ask God to help you live up to this promise, and He will.

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