What are your parents like, and how is your relationship with them? It took me forever to work up the courage to tell my mom, even though I’m close to her and I pretty much knew she’d be accepting. It was worth it though! My dad is a totally different story. I’m still not out to him and don’t know if I ever will be. I basically get the full range of mixed messages as to how he might react and usually I lean towards not wanting to know the answer.
I don’t think I’d try a gradual approach if you are planning on telling them eventually. Seems better to let them know first and answer all their questions so they know what’s going on. But I don’t know how risky that might be for you. If you have close friends, I might tell them first to make sure you have some support in case things go badly with your parents.
Good luck Amber, whatever happens! Having someone who is accepting and you can talk to in person does make your life easier. But you probably know better than anyone else how they might react, and taking that step is up to you.