Coming out is simply a term used to describe the process of expressing your sexuality or identity. Many of us struggle to come out, as it’s a very emotional time to finally show the world who we are. When the time comes to come out to our parents, we are so scared, nervous and clueless on what to do and how to even approach the topic.
Well, today we are here to give you some key tips and advice on how to come out to your parents and friends. These tips may help you understand if you’re ready to come out and whether it’s time. So, here are our 10 tips on how to come out to you parents and friends.
1. Be Patient
Coming out is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight. Right now, you may not understand what you’re feeling and to share that with the world would be detrimental to your own mental health. For many lgbt+ people, it takes years for us to finally come out as we simply can’t explain our emotions. Or, we may know exactly how we identify and we’re just not ready to share it with the world yet.
This is where you have to be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to learn and grow, it’s completely normal to be scared of what you’re feeling. Don’t pressure yourself to be a certain way, or come out because you feel like you should. When the time is right, you will know it’s time to come out and share your true emotions with the world. Be patient and understanding with yourself and when the time comes you will know.
2. Read Coming Out Stories
Understanding what it means to come out is important. To come out, you’re sharing how you identify with the world. Once you’ve come out, everyone will know how you identify. I know, it still scares me to this day to think I had to go through the same & declare to the world how I identify.
But what I found helped me understand my own sexuality and prepare myself for coming out, was to read other coming out stories. By reading coming out stories, you will expose yourself to problems that you may face but, you will learn how to overcome them. Luckily for you, we have a whole section of coming out stories.
3. Labels Aren’t For Everyone
The term label in the LGBT+ community is used to describe an identity. So for example; if you’re a male attracted to males, normally the label attached would be gay. Nearly every identity has a label and can describe your emotions and identity. However, for some of us, we don’t fit into these labels and we feel like an outcast.
So, if you’re coming out and you can’t find a label to attach to, you may question your whole existence. But, labels aren’t for everyone and you don’t have to fit within a certain label. Don’t pressure yourself to be something you’re not, love who you want and be who you are.
4. Do Your Own Research
The internet is full of information around coming out, sexuality and gender. So, use it! By educating yourself of the many sexualities and genders there are out there, you may get a clearer understanding of what you’re experiencing right now. Do your research into what you’re feeling. By watching videos of others who identify the same way, reading articles on how people came out, you will feel more comfortable with your own identity.
However, do not get worried if the people who you are watching identify in a different manner to you. Everyone is different and no two people identify the same way. So, take your research and use it to develop a better understanding, not to base how you should act.
5. Talk to Other LGBT+ People
The world is full of LGBT+ individuals who have all experienced coming out in different ways, so talk to them! We aren’t scary and we have all been through the coming out process. So talk so to us, ask questions and hear our stories. It will not only help you gain a further understanding of coming out, but you may make some friends along the way. The LGBT+ community is here to love, support and help others. So, don’t be frightened to reach out.
6. Expect The Worst
Sometimes, we can’t help the views of others. We have to accept that there will be people out there that will judge and discriminate against us, just because of our sexuality. Whether this be your parents or friends, it’s not our fault they feel such strong hate towards the lgbt+ community.
When you come out, there will be individuals that can take it badly. You may get bullied, people will talk and things will get said to you. But, don’t let this change who you are. In life, people will always talk and judge you so why not let them talk about you whilst you’re happy being your true self.
When I accept that I could never control others views, I let go and started living my life for me. We only get one shot, there isn’t enough time to worry about the ifs and buts. You have to do things for yourself & if you upset and lose people on the way, then that’s their problem, not yours.
7. Confide in a Close Friend
Now, with this one you need to make sure that whoever you confide in will not tell anyone. You need to be able to trust this person with your life & they need to be able to keep this secret until you’re ready. But, talking about your feelings out loud sometimes makes sense of what’s going on in your head.
Getting it all out into the world, even if it’s just to one person sometimes can change your whole attitude towards coming out. But if you don’t have anyone to confide in then don’t worry because we are here. If you ever need to talk about how you are feeling, we are active 24/7 and will always help and try give the best advice we can. So, just get in touch & we will get back to you asap.
8. Forget All You Know About LGBT+ People
This one kind of links in with research, but you need to forget all of what you think you know about lgbt+ individuals. The media for so long has painted us in a certain light that stereotypes and myths plague the community. As ever, they aren’t anything but fabricated lies and are complete bullsh**.
Not all gay people act the same way, not all lesbians hate men & you know what, bisexual’s aren’t greedy! So, start afresh and do you. You don’t have to be a certain way to identify within the LGBT+ community, you just need to be you.
9. You Don’t Need to Come Out
The concept that when you’ve figured it all out & then you must come out, is so wrong because the reality is, you don’t have to come out. We never see straight people go;
“Oh hey, by the way, I’m straight. I thought I should just let you know”
It’s not a thing, so why should it be a thing for us? You don’t have to ever come out if you don’t want to, as coming out shouldn’t really have to be a thing. But hey, that’s for another post! All you need to do is be happy within yourself, if you’re happy and content with who you are. Then you don’t need to justify that to anyone, let alone the world.
10. Make Sure You’re Happy
My final tip for coming out is… make sure at the end of all this that you’re happy. Sometimes, we need to be selfish and think about our own happiness. If coming out will make you a 100x happier, then do it for you. God yeah, there may be hurdles along the way. But in the end, you finally get to live your life how you intended.
This is your life, don’t let others determine how you live. Be you, do you and be happy.
Coming out for everyone is a complex & long process. For me, I was lucky enough to be in a situation where my family was fully accepting & I didn’t have to worry about what they would think. Sadly, yes I did meet some idiots along the way who have said slurs and comments, but it only makes you stronger as a person.
It’s a personal and emotional time for all lgbt+ members, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and one day you will get there. Just have patience with yourself and others. It will all work out in the end.