I’m an 18 year old lesbian with cerebral palsy

“I’m an 18 year old female with cerebral palsy and I’ve known from a young age that I am a lesbian. My parents are currently my full time carers, and I haven’t told them this. They are quite conservative. How shall I break it to them? I hope they can cope with having a gay and disabled daughter.”

Katie, Manchester
Andrew’s advice…
Thank you so much for writing in to me at the Love Lounge. Coming out, is stressful enough as it is, so first I would like to applaud you for taking the first steps to come into your sexuality! Congratulations.
In terms of coming out with a disability this can add even more pressure, because you feel as though you are adding to your perceived burden in their lives. I understand that completely, and when I came out that was one of my biggest fears. Because your parents are your primary care givers right now (I’ll presume that you need them for all your daily activities?), I might suggest waiting until you are in a different care situation, wherein you have the independence. I understand how you might feel like you want to be honest with them RIGHT NOW, but it is always best to come out in an environment where you feel most comfortable.
I certainly empathize with you. Two weeks before I came out, I was just about to turn 16. I had read all the literature and was absolutely petrified that I would be disowned. Finally, my mom asked me: “What’s wrong? Are you gay or something?”. When I said yes, we sat down and had a great heart to heart. So, you may feel safe enough to sit them down and tell them how you feel, rather than wait. They may even surprise you. No matter what you do, please be sure that you feel safe and secure in coming out to them. There is no right time or way to do it. Of course, remember that you being both gay and disabled is not an added burden. It is an added power you have to enlighten people and open their eyes to other possibilities and realities.

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