Coming Out to others
Deciding to come out is a very personal choice, the best time is whenever feels best to you.
Although ‘coming out’ can occur in a variety of ways and settings, even when you least expect it, we have compiled the following tips which might be useful for you if you are considering taking the plunge!
* Ask yourself why you are coming out to a particular person or persons.
When you begin to come out to people, or when you have made some gay/bi/trans friends, you may experience excitement and elation – the ‘scream it from the roof tops’ feeling. Cherish this – you have everything to be proud of, but maybe not everyone needs to know your sexuality. Think about who you are planning or want to come out to. Is it a family member, a friend or an acquaintance? Do you need to come out to that person at this moment?
Although for many people there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time to come out, planning exactly when you are going to tell someone is well worth thinking about. Are you going to have adequate time afterwards to discuss it further or to answer any questions the person may have? Will you have the full attention of the person or are they pre-occupied with something else?
* Where to tell?
Location can be important too. To allow for conversation afterwards pick somewhere that will give you privacy with minimal risk of any interruptions. If it’s someone that you think may react favourably to your disclosure the location is probably less important. However, if you in any way expect negativity you are probably best sticking to a location where you feel safest.
* Time To Digest
Remember that you have had time to think about what you want to say. The person you are telling has not. Depending on your relationship with them they may have suspected already, but even if this is the case it may still take time for it to sink in with them. Don’t automatically expect an extreme reaction either, the person you are telling may be slow to react. This could be because they fear offending or embarrassing you as much as anything else.
Having resources to hand them is also useful. Have a look at the parents section on our site here for info for parents here. Also please contact us and we can send you more booklets.
* Talk to others
Talk to other LGBT young people about the fears, expectations and reactions they experienced when coming out. Come along to one of our youth groups or call to talk to a youth worker. You can also use the forums on this site to get in touch!