How to come out

So, you feel ready to come out? That’s great! Coming out is considered one of the most significant events in an LGBT+ identifying person’s life. But, don’t be too scared by this and hide in the closet forever. My coming out story was significant, but not significantly bad, significant in that it shaped me into the individual I am today. It helped me grow, made me stronger, it allowed me to show people my true authentic self, to be the happiest version of myself.

It’s a good idea to start with your best friend, somebody who’s always had your back. Somebody who you trust, and can help you during this process. So, how do you do this? Through song and dance? Through sending them a rainbow decorated cake? Or why not send them this…

Hey, my name’s Naomi, I’m an LGBT+ blogger and have something important to share with you! The person who sent you this wanted me to inform you that they’re gay, or bisexual, or maybe just questioning their sexuality. They want to confide in you and have an honest conversation with you, but this is terrifying for them. Please, don’t freak out! Text them, or call them right now. Or, if they’re sitting next to you, put your arm around them and say,

‘let’s talk.’

Here are some guidelines:

  1. You’re allowed to ask questions, they’ll feel grateful that you’re interested and want to talk about this. But, be considerate in what you ask. This is a lot more confusing for them than it is for you, trust me!
  2. Do some research; find some LGBT+ bloggers, vloggers, or even watch a film (I recommend ‘Blue is the warmest colour’!). You may find the answers to questions too sensitive to ask them, and they’ll appreciate that you took the time and effort to understand this.
  3. Don’t tell anybody! They trusted you with sharing this part of themselves, they felt ready to come out to you. But they may not be ready to come out to anybody else yet, it can be much more difficult than it seems.
  4. Don’t make this about you. This may be difficult, you may be apprehensive, but this isn’t about you. If you’re a friend of the same sex, this does not necessarily mean that they look at you sexually, or that they’ve got a secret crush on you. And if they are confused about their feelings for you, be considerate and honest with them, but reassure them that you’ll still always be there for them.
  5. Lastly, the number one rule is, don’t let this change anything! They’ve been this way the whole time. Your perception may have changed about them, but they’re still the same person. They will still be at your door with Ben and Jerry’s when they hear you’re sad. They will still break out in dance with you when they hear your favourite song. They’re still the same person who values your friendship more than anything. Don’t change that.

There is no manual to coming out, everyone’s experience is different. Do it when you’re ready and make sure you’re in a safe environment. Each time gets easier. Do it with your head held high, and be proud of who you are.

Links:

Alternatively, you could send them, COMING OUT – THE OFFICIAL SONG.

This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life may be useful for those whose parents are finding it difficult to understand or accept your sexual identification.

For further LGBT+ support, there are online and over the phone support networks, such as Switchboard LGBT+ helpline.

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