Ask the Aunties: My parents are homophobic, what should I do?

Auntie Lee and Auntie Karnage, PinkNews’ resident experts are back giving their unique insights and advice.

In this edition of Ask the Aunties, our fabulous queer agony aunts answer a dilemma from someone struggling after being forced to come out to their homophobic parents.

Coming out can be a really tough process–especially if you are forced to before you are ready, or if you have to figure out how to deal with homophobic parents.

Queer agony aunts Lee Gray and Karnage Kills give their advice on dealing with homophobic family members and looking after your mental health after telling your parents you’re LGBTQ+.

How to deal with homophobic parents

The dilemma—sent in anonymously—reads: “I’m 19 and have been figuring out that I’m bisexual or might be lesbian.

“I hadn’t told my family because I wasn’t ready to come out but my dad guessed something was up and forced me to say it.

“It’s been really difficult since and both my parents are homophobic. Any advice?”

Ask the Aunties: Their response

“I would leave and create my own life,” says Karnage.

“Get a job, rent a room somewhere, and I would probably create my own life and move away from that—you don’t need that bad energy.

“I don’t think I could stay around that negativity.”

Lee agrees: “Coming out at that age, or in your case being forced to come out, and being around a family that doesn’t accept you, is one of the most brutal things.

“You have to take yourself out of that environment. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s going to be easy—but the best thing you can do for your mental health, your physical health, is to get out of that environment.

“Also find people you can talk to—friends that you can speak to, you have people around you that accept you for who you are—because one of the worst things you can do is be going through that emotional turmoil and keeping it to yourself.”

Karnage adds: “In the beginning stages of coming out, people tend to feel alone a lot.”

“I felt like it was just me, and other gay people didn’t exist,” Karnage continues.

“As soon I turned a certain age, I started to realise that there are so many other LGBTQ people out there and I just started to feel more like myself.

Lee acknowledges that while there are many people that will accept you, there will many who don’t.

“The best thing you can do is edit those people out of your life,” Lee concludes.

“And look after yourself, put yourself first honey.”

There are also charities and helplines that may be able to help, Lee added. You can find a list of LGBT+ mental health resources here.

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