How to tell parents that my brother is gay

Hello everyone! I haven’t used this site since sophomore year of college but I do need some advice.

So my twin brother is gay and has been in a relationship for a little more than four years. Our older sister, and a few close relatives know he’s gay and of course he has all of our love and support. I guess I can say all of our family is baptized Catholic but the only devout and heavily practicing Catholics are our parents who go to daily mass, adoration, have crucifixes on every wall etc. due to this (and the fact that they make comments about another relative’s son being gay as if it were an awful tragedy) my brother never came out to them. My sister and I have a closer relationship with him as well as his partner. My parents just think he’s his best friend and are always lamenting that my brother hasn’t met a “nice Catholic girl” to marry.

We all live independently so we wouldn’t really have to give a hoot about our parents religious beliefs but this upcoming thanksgiving we are celebrating at my sister’s house. We are more than happy to invite my brother and his boyfriend so he can meet the rest of the family but we’re trying to figure out how to give my parents the heads up. Obviously my brother will be the one telling them and my sister and I will just be there for moral support. I looked up other threads similar to the situation but the main thing a lot of people say is to not come out to the parents at all, which, to me seems unlikely because I don’t want my mother or father to get a brain aneurism from seeing my brother and his boyfriend act like a couple for the first time at thanksgiving dinner. :shrug: I would appreciate any advice on how and when to break it to our parents in the most gentle way possible. Thank you!

It probably depends on what this means.

People invite mere roommates to Thanksgiving dinner all of the time. Your sister is hosting and how much of his private life to disclose to your parents is your brother’s business. Unless he asks for your help in some way–yours to give or not, as you decide–your job is to just mind your own business.

You might want to ask your brother if he has some preference about how he would like you to answer your parents if one or both of them asks you point-blank whether he is gay. My suggestion would be this, whether they are asking if he’s gay or if he’s thinking about going back to school or if he’s getting a cat: Why are you asking me that? When you are worried about me or have a question about me, I want you to come to me. On that account, I’m going to say what I’d want him to say in my place: Mom and Dad, you need to ask him.

um… As a Catholic I need to say, love your brother, hate the sin and do not support the sin. I honestly think it would be best if you quit encouraging your brother to practice homosexuality. NOTE: I did not say discourage him, because that makes you the gatekeeper. But I definitely said ‘quit encouraging’. See the difference?



:thumbsup: Well stated.

How to tell parents that your brother is gay: you don’t, he does. It’s his life, not yours.

And one more thing. He shouldn’t be springing this on your parents at a family gathering or on a holiday.

If your brother finds it necessary to tell his parents about him being homosexual and having a boyfriend, then let him do it. There isn’t anything for you to do. Since the parents are pious Catholics, don’t expect them to “accept” him in the way that you have in the sense of them thinking his life is not sinful and being supportive of it. They will likely disagree and your brother needs to be prepared for that. To be honest, you, as a Catholic, should not be supportive of your brother’s sinful ways either.

Ok let’s clear up a few things.

  1. YES, my brother has asked for my help. My parents scare him, he has never had a close relationship with them since he came to terms with his sexuality. We are part of his support system, he confides in us, we were the first family members he introduced his boyfriend to. Obviously if he didn’t want us involved in this we would have the common sense to let him handle it by himself. :rolleyes:

  2. My brother and his boyfriend are a couple. They do things me and my boyfriend do, such as hold hands, kiss, terms of endearment etc. Like us, they’re not going make out on the couch or the family table. Share a kiss? Most likely.

  3. We love our parents and respect their beliefs. Do we share their beliefs? Absolutely not. Are we aware that they might boycott Thanksgiving dinner, shun my brother, never want his friend over etc.? Yes, we’re hoping for the best but knowing how they are we’re not going to lose sleep if they decide to take that stance.If they decide they would rather have Thanksgiving alone than to see their son with another man then those are the consequences they’ll have to live with, same goes for us. :shrug:

  4. Of course my brother will be the one telling them. He has requested my sister and I to be there and we’re just offering moral support and advice. Any advice I receive here that I think might be helpful I will pass on to him.

So let’s see. Your brother is afraid of your Catholic parents, so you came here to get help for him from a bunch of Catholics that share your parents values. You, on the other hand support your brother to the point where you are “not going to lose any sleep” if your parents won’t come to Thanksgiving or whatever, because you don’t give a hoot about what your parents believe.

So why are you here? Why would you even care what we think you should do if you don’t even show any respect toward your own parents?

Your brother needs to grow up. And if what you say is true, you all need to learn how to respect your parents. You want your parents to accept your brother and his friend, but you are disrespectful of your own parents beliefs and faith.

Well I know I didn’t come for this type of lecture… We respect our parents. No we honestly don’t “give a hoot” about Catholicism. We left that part of our lives when we left home. We would LOVE to have our parents with us at Thanksgiving but if they choose not to come because they don’t want to see my brothers relationship, that’s their consequence. We’re not going to kick two people out to make two more feel comfortable. Why would we stop our lives for their beliefs? But we’re here (bro’s receiving all these funny comments as we speak) because we love our parents and want to make this as gentle to them as possible.

Unfortunately none of us are going to have a great answer for you. It sounds like your parents won’t accept his lifestyle due to their religious beliefs. I would just recommend that you all brace for the fact that they will believe (as most people do on this site) that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. You and your siblings are allowed to disagree with their beliefs, but I would encourage all parties involved to be respectful.

If you don’t give a hoot about Catholicism then you are probably not on the best forum for advice. Also, a statement like that comes off as rude to people who do give a hoot about Catholicism.


In your post, I hear a lot about how you “love and support” your brother but not much about loving and respecting your parents. This has the potential to be a heartbreaking moment for your parents. It is a tragedy, as you say. As a son, your concern should be for them first.

As a general rule, big family gatherings are not the best situations in which to break emotional news. If your brother wants to tell them, he should talk to them privately as far in advance of Thanksgiving as possible. Ideally, it should be just he and your parents lest they feel ganged up upon. To have you and your sister there for your brothers “moral support” but have no one there for your parents is just plain mean-spirited.

And you need to give them an “out” regarding Thanksgiving, or rather your sister should. It might be too soon for them to expect them to have processed this news (if they haven’t figured it out already). This shouldn’t be seen as a “boycott”. They don’t owe your brother acceptance of his choices. If they decide they cannot attend, it would behove you or your sister to spend Thanksgiving with them and let your brother and his “partner” spend time with the rest of the family. Your parents don’t deserve to be alone for the holiday just because one of their children wants to draw a line in the sand and try to force their acceptance. They are not the ones who have done anything wrong.

Thank you! And we’re perfectly fine with them disagreeing! We’ll still love them and continue to be a part of their lives if they’ll let us. We’re just looking for advice on when and how to tell them. Do we take them out to dinner, after they come back from church? If you were them, would you like all your kids their or would that make you feel like we’re ganging up on you? Or just not tell them at all and they can get the message when they’re holding hands? In the end we know it’ll be hard for them and we want to mitigate that as much as possible.

I think you should show more respect and love for your parents. Those two people are the people that gave birth to you and raised you, you should show more concern over the fact that you may not see them at Thanksgiving. We have a homosexual in my family but, out of respect for our beliefs, he doesn’t demand that we support his homosexual lifestyle and he doesn’t bring his boyfriends over to parties. Your brother should do the same.

I will say this again. Your brother needs to man up and tell them himself. It is not fair to all gang up on your parents and try the right by might method of persuasion. You can support your brother all you want when you are at his house, or yours, or not with your parents, but this isn’t your battle to fight. It your brothers responsibility to break the news without his backup crew, and not by ambushing your parents during a holiday.

Thank you for your advice! As a side note, I’m a girl, we’re fraternal twins. We do think that he should tell them in advance so they can have time to “grieve” if needed. They have all our support, but what else can we do? We will understand if they decide not to go, that absolutely have that right and we won’t be upset but I’m sorry, we will not go sit with them alone at their house when it’s their choice to isolate themselves from a family event because my brother will have his partner there. My sister is ok with it as well, we might even go the day after to spend time with them. Also, I don’t see how anyone is drawing a line…my brother got a boyfriend. We’re open to them and if they choose not to go then…:shrug:

Last time I checked, no one was ambushing them with rainbow flags or purposefully kissing right in front of them to put on a show. Goodness lol :thumbsup:

I second that.

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