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This guide is designed to help you through an important part of your journey into a healthy life as an anti-masker: revealing who you are to your parents. While the idea can initially sound daunting, and it may feel impossible to picture your parents accepting you as an anti-masker (especially if they get their information from sources other than Twitter accounts whose names reference Ayn Rand), employing the strategies listed below can help you deliver the news.

1. Consider Their Orientation

If you think your parents might suspect your anti-mask orientation and will be supportive, move forward with a plan. If you think this will come as a complete shock, take inventory of how they might react: Do they place stock in the scientific method and fear their own mortality? If so, reconsider; your reveal might not be well-received.

2. Identify Allies

Gather the support you’ll need by building a network of people who share your beliefs. You can do this by typing the words “what they don’t want you to know about…” into YouTube, and reaching out to anyone who left a positive comment on any of the resulting videos. You should also ask the parents of fellow anti-maskers to talk to your parents after you come out, though this may be difficult, as many of these individuals have recently died.

3. Leave A Trace

Drop hints about your anti-mask proclivities. For example, if your parents dismissively mention someone dying in an automobile accident because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, add “Yes, but at least they died free.”

4. Create A “Safe Space” for Your Announcement

Choose an appropriate time and place to come out to your parents, preferably where you will be surrounded by fellow travelers of your bare-faced path. Ideal locations include gun expos, county fairs, crowded boardwalks, biker rallies, and Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts.

5. Remind Them This Is Who You Are

Tell them that you were born this way, and have always been this way. Remind of incidents of behavior from your past that make sense in light of your anti-mask bent, such as that time in high school you refused to let them pull your impacted wisdom teeth and instead gargled with essential oils for a year.

6. Comfort Them

If they ask why you felt the need to keep your anti-masking a secret for so long, tell them that it’s not their fault, as society has only recently become so accepting of total selfishness. Also, remind them that, even if they are supportive, there are still many people out there that believe in heeding CDC guidelines, as well as following the example of pretty much every nation other than Brazil.

7. Ask for What You Need

Share with your parents what they can do to support you. Inform them how helpful it would be if they familiarize themselves with the drive to the nearest hospital. Not that you believe COVID could make you ill, but you did recently start sleeping with a nurse who works there, and your license is still suspended after that second DUI.

8. Clarify Your ‘Live Free Or Die’ Stance

Let your parents know that you are prepared to die for your beliefs. Well, not so much die for them as talk about dying for them until the moment you actually get sick, at which point you’ll gladly take accept any and all medical intervention and, while waiting for a bed in the ICU, write a tearful, “guys, this virus is no joke” posts on Facebook.

9. Have Perspective

If you do manage to infect your parents with this more-than-likely overhyped disease through your refusal to enslave your face and mind with liberal lies, take solace in the fact you’ll no longer have to deal with this potentially awkward conversation because, hey, they’ll probably be dead soon. Which means you’ll finally have a place to host that nurse!

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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