thinking of coming out?
The process of coming out can be very different for everyone and it can take some time to get to a point where you feel comfortable and confident enough to have those conversations with people.
We have put together a little question and answers of those most commons questions associated with coming out to friends, family and the work place.
When should I come out?
Whenever you feel comfortable enough to do so, it can be a scary thought but it is okay but take your time. Don’t let anyone pressure you to come out before you’re ready, because they may not understand that there might be worse consequences for others than for themselves.
However, the longer you wait, the greater the chances are that your family will find out on their own, which takes away your chance to control the setting and can leave you vulnerable to accusations of dishonesty. Most families suspect ahead of time so this may not be news to them.
Who do you tell?
It’s worth considering that once you tell one person, other people in your life could find out, even if you don’t want them to. Remember, their first reaction isn’t necessarily how they’ll feel forever, they might just need a bit of time to process what you’ve told them. When is the right time to say something? It’s worth acknowledging that coming out could be a bit of a surprise to some people in your life.
Think about who you want to tell first; ideally this should be someone who you think will be supportive, such as a friend, family member or maybe a trusted youth worker or teacher.
How do you say it?
Some people may choose to send an email, text or letter (remember them?) as this will give the person time to process what you’re telling them before they respond. You’ve probably had a long time to get used to it but the person or people you’re telling will be hearing it for the first time. For instance, coming out to a friend on your way in to an exam probably isn’t the best time! Broaching the subject on the phone to a parent or guardian when you’ve only got 2% battery also isn’t ideal.
Although you can’t predict what people will say or do, when you tell a close friend that you trust, the chances are they’ll be pleased you’ve shared something so personal with them. Some people tell their family face to face while others prefer to write a letter or send an email. Who do you want to tell? It’s unlikely that you will be able to gather everyone you know in one room and come out to them all at once, and this is probably something you’d find pretty daunting anyway! Therefore you’ll probably need to do it in stages.
Will my relationships suffer?
If a friend reacts badly, remember they might just need some time to absorb what you’ve told them. Support with coming out as lesbian, gay or bi Some people come out with no problems at all but for others there may be obstacles and setbacks. They will then be able to support you when you tell other people.
Who can I turn to for help?
It can be difficult if the people you care about have a hard time accepting who you are. Some employers have LGBT staff networks which you can join for support and to meet other people. The benefits of coming out this way are that you’ll be able to answer any questions they may have and also get some comfort or reassurance if you need it.
Although this method of coming out means you’ll probably only need to do it once, it also takes away the opportunity to have those personal conversations with those who are close to you.
You may also want to take a look out some of our members coming out stories.