Coming Out While a Parent

Today is National Coming Out Day, so I’m going to celebrate in true Mombian fashion and write about coming out while a parent. Parents who come out, it seems to me, fall into two broad camps. One, parents who have been out as LGBT since they became parents, but whose degree of “outness” may be impacted by having children, and two, parents who have had to come out to their children after the children thought they were straight or cis-gendered.

I fall into the former camp, and shared some of my thoughts on this last year for National Coming Out Day. Coming out is as individualized an experience as there are individuals, however, and I make no claim that my perspective is the same as anyone else’s. YMMV.

I have no direct experience of coming out to children later in life, but recommend the excellent articles on Coming Out to Your Kids and Transition Tips for Parents by the folks at COLAGE, themselves children of LGBT parents. Slightly older, but still worthwhile, are the answers given by Abigail Garner, author of Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, in the “Coming Out to Children” category of her blog. (She also handles questions from gay aunts and uncles about coming out to nephews and nieces.)

On the flip side of parents coming out, of course, are children coming out. There are too many resources on that topic to cover here—but if you read one this week, I highly recommend the recent New York Times article on the subject. The last paragraph alone is worth it.

I should also mention the great post “Don’t Ask. Tell” by Kirstin Cronn-Mills at Owldolatrous, about coming out as an LGBT ally. Gives me hope for the world into which our children will grow up.

Wherever you are in your journey of coming out, may you find a warm welcome and companionship along the way.

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