Should I come out to Mom?

She knows I’m bisexual, but not that I’m non-binary. Set aside some time and share your truth with her, says our elder. It’s at the core of who you are.


Dear EWC

I’m non-binary and bisexual. My mom knows I’m bisexual but not non-binary so I wanted to come out to her but I’m nervous that she’ll yell at me or kick me out. I’m also dating my best friend ‘E’. I want to tell my mom but I don’t know if I should.


Kenti replies

You have shared with your parents that you are bisexual, and they have not yelled at you nor kicked you out, ‘A’. I expect you have a sense about whether or not they have truly accepted that. You now want to talk with your mother about being non-binary. She may not know what that means, so it’s important that you’re prepared to thoughtfully discuss what it means to be non-binary. I suggest you ask your mother to set aside some time for your talk. Begin by letting her know you want to be open and honest with her and that you do not want her to be surprised by hearing remarks from someone outside the family. Talk about what non-binary means and how you’ve come to realize that’s your truth.

On the website a teen wrote, “There are not only two genders, but many, and non-binary is one. There have been countless cases of people kicked from their homes after coming out, cases of identities being denied, and attempts to “change” people. I was afraid this would happen to me… Thankfully, my parents have been nothing but supportive”.

After the initial conversation with your mom, it will be important to talk about how you would like to be addressed. A non-binary individual would most likely use they/them pronouns instead of he/him or she/her. Many trans and non-binary people choose a name that conforms to the gender they identify with and drop their old name because it has a feminine or masculine sound. It’s likely you have not made a decision about a name change, but it’s something that may become important.

Now you are understandably interested in dating. You have a relationship with ‘E’. While you want to tell your mom, I hope you will assess how she might feel about that. I don’t think it’s healthy to keep secrets, but this is something to handle tactfully. I’m sure you don’t want to hurt your mother, so go slowly.

One’s sexual identity is at the core of who they, she, or he are. You have a right and a responsibility to yourself to be clear. There are many books on that explore gender identity. I expect your library also has books on the topic that are appropriate for all ages. Hopefully, just knowing that that there are authors writing about gender may help you feel affirmed, ‘A’.

I wish you well as you move forward in sharing with your parents and others.



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