If you don’t care about the LGBT community, you might not know what it means to “come out.” Did you ever wonder what this word meant? What does “come out” mean in LGBT, in the end? Go with Teeanime for all your doubts!
There isn’t a single pattern that applies to everyone. Also, not everyone comes out to everyone in their lives at the same time or even to everyone in their lives at the same time. There is not a single path that should be followed.
What does it mean to “come out”?
Coming out refers to the process by which LGBTQ people work to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity and communicate that identify publicly with others.
Coming out is a very brave thing to do, and it is incredibly personal and unique to each individual. When you come out, your emotions may range from afraid and worried to delighted and relieved.
There is no one correct way to exit. It may feel easier to be upfront and honest about your sexual orientation rather than conceal it, but there are other aspects to consider before coming out.
- Coming out is a process. First, tell yourself. This happens when you accept your sexuality. Next, you may tell family, friends, and community members – sometimes immediately, sometimes later. You may be open with some people but not others.
- Coming out isn’t just something you do once. People often think that everyone they meet is straight, so coming out is a process that never ends. Every time a person who identifies as LGBTQ meets someone new (friends, coworkers, nurses, doctors, etc.), they have to decide if, when, and how to come out.
- Whether or not to come out depends on what’s going on. Coming out can make you feel free and bring you closer to the people you care about. But it can also be hard or even dangerous or risky. In some situations, you might feel safer if you don’t come out. You don’t always have to be out and about. You can decide for yourself what is best.
- There are both pros and cons to coming out. If you’re not sure whether or not to come out, there are many things to think about. If you come out, do you risk losing your family’s emotional or financial support? Could you be in danger if you came out? Will your family try to make you change who you really are? If you said yes to any of these questions, you might want to wait until your situation changes or you have more help.
You are the only one who can decide how your coming out goes. How, where, when, and with whom you talk about your sexual orientation is up to you (and gender identity). It might feel safer to start by being honest with other LGBTQ people. This could happen online, in community centers, at an LGBTQ club or group, or with a few close friends.
How do I come out to my parents and friends?
There’s no single, correct way to come out to your family and friends. You’re the expert in what feels right to you, and who it feels safest to tell.
Here are some suggestions that might make the conversation easier:
- Give yourself some time to practice how you’ll do it and what you’ll say when you decide you’re ready to come out.
- Find the person or people in your life who you think will be the most accepting and tell them first. You can usually tell if someone is friendly to LGBTQ people by how they act when the subject comes up.
- Do some research so you can help your loved one if they have questions or don’t know the facts about being LGBTQ.
- You may be more comfortable coming out by writing a letter or e-mail rather than telling someone in person. That’s totally fine.
- After you decide who you’ll tell, what you’ll say, and how you’ll say it, you’ll have to wait for them to process and accept the news. Let them take as long as they need.
- Don’t assume that everyone will react with bias; go in with an open mind. Some people may surprise you with how open and accepting they are, and a lot of people already know LGBTQ people.
Where can I find support if I’m coming out?
You can find support from many sources, including:
- Other LGBTQ people who may have been through the same thing when they came out
- Q Chat Space is a place where LGBTQ+ people can have live-chat-led online discussion groups.
- LGBT adults you already know and trust, like family members or teachers, are a good place to start.
- Straight people who are allies to LGBTQ people
- Your school has a Gay/Straight Alliance
- LGBTQ groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), The Trevor Project, and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) work to improve rights for LGBTQ people (PFLAG)
- A local LGBTQ community center
Not everyone lives in a community has a Gay/Straight Alliance or an LGBTQ community center. The Internet is really helpful in locating communities and support for coming out.
Thanks for reading!