Coming Out (Teens and Adults)

Memoirs and Anthologies
Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences:  When a parent or friend hears for the first time that someone they love is gay, the feelings can range from bewilderment and confusion to fear and anger. Based upon discussions and interviews with parents of gays and lesbians, “Beyond Acceptance” provides knowledge and information that will help parents come to understand their children and build stronger relationships with them.

The Family of Heart: A Memoir When Our Son Came Out:  Most books about parents dealing with their child’s announcement of his or her homosexuality are cast as “self-help” or educational. In the absence of informed, nonjudgmental material, these books are important, but more personal stories are also important. In Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out, novelist Robb Forman Dew tells the story of what happen to her–and her family–after her son Stephen came out.

A Journey to Moriah:  When her gay, teen-age son was outed in their community by the pastor of her church, Rhea Murray believed life was about to cave in on her. Instead, the event turned out to be the harbinger of a brave new beginning.

Support and Experience
Coming Out as Parents: You and Your Homosexual Child:  This book helps parents of homosexuals understand their feeling and reactions to that knowledge and clarifies what it means to be homosexual.

Coming Out to Parents: A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents:  Listed by American Bookseller as “among the most important gay and lesbian books that should be represented in any general bookstore,” Borhek’s original edition of this book (1983) has also been praised as “sound, sympathetic, and helpful” (St. Luke’s Journal of Theology). In this thorough revision, Borhek brings an additional decade of personal knowledge and experience to bear on the subject of coming out.

Family Outing:  A smart, sensible, and supportive guide for parents who learn that their child is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, based on letters written by British parents of gay, lesbian, and bisexual children. Distributed in the US by Dufour.

The Final Closet: The Gay Parents’ Guide for Coming Out to Their Children

Mom, Dad, I’m Gay: How Families Negotiate Coming Out

My Child is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News:  My Child is Gay is fift parents sharing how they coped and in some cases did not cope with news that their son or daughter is gay. Parents discuss how they felt when they first found out, what they found helpful, who they could talk to, and how they feel today.

Now That I’m Out What Do I Do?:  Writing with the “newly elect” in mind, Brian McNaught advises his readers on how to forge connections within the sometimes thorny gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities while still maintaining ties with family and old friends. Along the way, he discusses sexual ethics, same-sex marriage, work, spirituality, and political action.

Outing Yourself: How to Come Out As Lesbian or Gay to Your Family, Friends, and Coworkers:  No matter how much you prepare, coming out as gay or lesbian is a difficult, emotional process — a process that will continue long after the words are spoken and the secret is out.

Straight Parents, Gay Children: Inspiring Families to Live Honestly and With Greater Understanding:  Bernstein, father of a lesbian daughter, writes of parents’ pain and confusion when they learn their children are gay. He realistically describes the initial feelings of grief and disgust almost universal among such parents, who, after all, have always considered homosexuality to be wrong and alien. In specific chapters, he also addresses the experiences of growing up gay in a straight world, the movement toward gay rights, the fight by accepting parents for tolerance for their children, celebrities with gay children, and myths about homosexuality, and he offers a survival guide for parents who have just learned they have a gay child.

There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You:  How do people come out of the closet to their families and their own children? These true stories of lesbian and gay parents opening up with their children are both heartbreaking and heartwarming, but above all, they are honest. The stories explore such questions as How does one begin? Why do some children react well while others never accept the truth? Why do these parents feel they must risk changing their child’s world by telling them? For anyone sensitive to the dilemma of explaining a socially difficult subject to a child, this is an excellent book.