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Mom and daughter
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

The top five places in NYC to come out to your mom

Mom’s visiting and you haven’t come out yet. Find the right spot in the city to tell her. (Spoiler: She already knows!)

By Claudia Cogan
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Twinks, U-Haul lesbians, gym queens, circuit boys, granola dykes: You left your hometown behind to become your own shade of the rainbow in the Big Apple. Now—Gasp!—Mom is coming to visit. Or maybe dear Mother lives in New York too, and really wants to know why you never seem to meet anybody nice. So instead of taking down the Nick Jonas posters and rescheduling your Real Housewives viewing party or worse, keeping up the charade that your “roommate” sleeps in your bed with you only to save cash, come out to her—right here in NYC! Put some thought into what you're going to say, but don't neglect to plan where you'll say it. If you let your coming-out location do some talking for you, that's less talking you'll have to do. From the High Line to one of the best spas in NYC, find the outdated, mildly offensive stereotype below that you most identify with and make a date with Mom and destiny.

Places to come out to your mom

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Stephen Aviano

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Morningside Heights
Good for: The Drama Queen

This young man takes a break from watching YouTube videos of Lady Gaga only to watch her in American Horror Story: Hotel. With a job in retail that is doing little to chip away the drama-school student loan, he remains on top of his game by auditioning by day and debating the catalog of Stephen Sondheim by happy hour. At the end of the day, it is somehow all worth the agony of living in Hell’s Kitchen with 10 roommates. When mom comes to visit, take her uptown to witness the Gothic grandeur of St. John the Divine. Moms love that stuff! And while you’re there, announce to her that the only power higher than Madonna had other plans for you.

Snow leopard
Julie Larsen Maher

Central Park Zoo

Attractions Zoo and aquariums Central Park
Good for: The Bear

Grrr! There's more to being a bear than growing a beard and having a soft, round belly. Who are we kidding? That is about all there is and we know it. To help Mom understand the vast swath of the animal kingdom gay men use to classify each other, it might be a nice time to visit the grizzly bears at the Central Park Zoo. Help enlighten her as to why her son looks like a lumberjack but owns an espresso maker.

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Extra Butter
Photograph: Alvina Lai

Extra Butter

Shopping Shoes Lower East Side
Good for: The Celesbian

One of the last remaining members of society to suffer no stigma for wearing a fedora, the New York celesbian always holds a few titles at once—model/DJ/chef—but, curiously, never seems to go to a job. Instead, she is apt to hit up epic girl parties all over Gotham wearing a suit and sneakers, an equally flashy companion at her side. In fact, her life kinda resembles a vodka ad. And it doesn’t hurt that everyone mistakes her for Justin Bieber. When Mom comes to check on her, set up a time to meet at Extra Butter and she can help her daughter select the perfect new pair of Nike Air Force 1's.

The High Line
Photograph: Shutterstock

The High Line

Attractions Parks and gardens Chelsea
Good for: The Nonbinary Gender-Studies Major

They are here, they are most definitely queer and they remind us that everything society teaches us is garbage. Our young gender nonconformist is Pat Robertson’s worst nightmare: a crusader in the advancement of consent culture, intersectional feminism and the hard truth that the term “man bun” is sexist. Their mother has probably been thinking of them as a lesbian since they started wearing suspenders at age 11. When the time comes to explain to Mom that the story is a little more complicated—and address why they state their pronouns along with their name—a great place to bring a nonbinary identity to light would be the High Line park, a place that once bore its own heavy-duty binary (train tracks) and eventually transformed into the thoughtful park we love even more.

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The Waldorf-Astoria Guerlain Spa

Health and beauty Spas Midtown East
Good for: The Femme Lesbian

Though this glamourpuss may not fit the narrow concept of what a gay lady looks like, she is gaining visibility. You may have seen the on-trend lesbian alongside her straight sisters on Tinder—literally right alongside them, in multiple group photos, poured into a strapless cocktail dress and enjoying a martini. A loyal pal, she goes to all her hetero college friends’ weddings and knows in her heart that her own Mrs. Forever is out there somewhere. When femme lesbian’s mom comes to town, it would be wise to prepare her for the idea of a daughter-in-law and take her to Guerlain Spa for the day.

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