Coming Out means sharing your sexual orientation and/or your gender identity with people in your life, for example, your family and friends. For some young people coming out can be confusing at first, and a scary time. For others, you can be sure of your own feelings, but nervous about being different.
Any LGBTI+ person will tell you that coming out is not a once-off event. Many LGBTI+ people find themselves coming out in different ways throughout their lives. This is because people tend to presume you are straight (heterosexual) unless told otherwise.
Having said that, coming out for the first time – telling yourself, and then telling the first person that you are LGBTI+, is what we most often think about when we think of coming out.
Accepting this about yourself and telling others can make people feel really anxious, no matter what age they are. What will people think? Will I have to change completely? Will my friends and family reject me?
Don’t worry – for most people coming out is a positive experience. In fact many LGBTI+ people look back at their coming out and say it is the best thing they ever did.
If you are thinking of telling people that you are LGBTI+ and you feel worried, scared, anxious, or just want to chat about it, please call or email us: 01 670 6223, firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer safe, non-judgemental support. You can trust us not to share any information about your sexuality or gender identity with anyone until you are ready.