Subscribe to Queeries, our free weekly newsletter!

All About Coming Out

At what point is it appropriate to let close family tell extended family about my sexual orientation?

I'm a man in his mid-20's who has been coming out for what feels like years. At what point is it appropriate to let close family tell extended family about my sexual orientation? It can be exhausting to come out individually to every aunt, cousin, etc.

Thanks for this question. Isn't it amazing how long you can keep coming out? And believe me, it doesn't end when you turn 30. Every time you move or start a new job, it's something to be considered.

Anyway, in your case it sounds like it's time. I'd let your close family know that's how you feel and when the topic comes up they can reply in context (rather than sending a high-priority email alert: "Son is gay"). Say a relative asks your mom if you have a girlfriend. She can say, "Actually, I've been meaning to tell you he's gay ...." or "He's got a boyfriend."

Or you might play around with your Facebook profile and indicate that you're "a man interested in men." That should get around the family pretty quickly.

Originally published in The Washington Post

AddThis Social Bookmark Button