Coming out as LGBTQ to close friends and family can be extremely tough. It’s a scary time as those who you are telling, you don’t know how they will respond. If you are one of those people who have been trusted with this information, never in a million years is it then ok to use this as gossip.

The term ‘outing’ means you have shared someone’s coming out story before that individual is ready for the world to know who they are. Not only is this a betrayal of trust, it can affect the individual dramatically.

It forces someone to have to face the world and show them who they are before they are actually ready & this is the most scariest thing that someone coming out can face.

So what can you do to help someone come out & not out them?

1. ‘Please don’t tell anyone’

If they someone says to you ‘Please don’t tell anyone’ DO NOT TELL ANYONE. It’s as simple as that, if they have trusted you with this information then to betray them like that shows how much of a disrespectful person you are.

2. Reassurance

Assure them it’s going to be ok. This may be the scariest thing this individual faces & although it may not be a big deal to you or others, don’t make them feel stupid for being nervous about showing the world their true colours.

3. Respect their decision

If they don’t want to come out to everyone, that’s their decision & it’s their life. Don’t think you’re doing them a favor by telling everyone because you’re doing the opposite and you may even lose a good friend.

4. Don’t use it as gossip

Coming out isn’t gossip & it never should be. If you have nothing else to say but drag this individual, keep it to yourself & respect them. If you can’t do this, maybe evaluate yourself.

The act of outing someone is detrimental & is a violation of their privacy. Often people who are outed feel blindsided and forced to reveal a deeply personal part of their identity without their consent and under someone else’s terms.

Coming out is a process and can be a difficult time for someone because of discrimination & homophobia, it can cause tension within families and friends. People must choose for themselves how and when to come out.

If you feel forced or pressured to show the world who you are, then remove these negative people from your life. It’s important to remember that this is your life, don’t let others determine how you live it.