Consequently, drawing a line between the things I don’t and do share is crucial for my sense of safety and well-being. This extends to my parents. When my mom called to find out if I was having sex with my girlfriend, I’m not certain sharing the truth with her would have brought us closer. If anything, it is the boundaries I have established with my parents, the details I haven’t shared with them about my life, that have maintained familial peace. My parents will live a happier life not knowing I have written a short story about humping my bed.
For many of us, sharing intimate details of our personal life with our parents can be a source of hesitation or distress, especially when doing so would disrupt their beliefs about who we are. In this essay, Vivek Shraya reflects on when we might and might not want to disclose such information to our parents. She relates her experience of coming out as gay to her mom over a decade ago and of not yet being ready to explicitly come out as trans to her parents, despite constant questioning from others about whether she has told her parents yet. What in your life helps you decide what parts of you or your experiences to share with the people you care about?