how, when and why to come out

coming out when you decide to tell people about your gender or sexual orientation. We live in what you might call a heteronormative society, which means people generally assume that you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth (cisgender) and are attracted to members of the opposite sex (heterosexual). But that’s not always the case, and it’s one of the many reasons LGBTQ people decide to come out.

Why come out?

Coming out can be hard to deal with on your own, whether you’re still coming to terms with your gender identity or sexual orientation or if you’ve just accepted it completely. But many LGBTQ people reach a point where they need to talk about it or find support.

There are many reasons to come out. You can do this because you:

  • don’t want people to gossip about you
  • want to start dating and want to know family members and friends
  • you want to be accepted for who you are


It can offer many benefits. This can help in boosting your self-esteem as you will be able to live your life on your own terms. it can also relax Tension When you think you are who you really are.

Daniel K., MD, a psychiatry professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Coming out is claiming to be your authentic self, says Hall-Flavin.

We often don’t think about identity and how it affects our physical and mental healthMary Weber, a clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “We need places where we can just show up and be.”

How do you know when to come out?

Coming out is a personal decision that is specific to you. This means that you may face different obstacles as compared to other people coming out. You are the only person who knows when or when you will feel ready and comfortable doing it.

“It’s not a race,” Hall-Flavin says. “Also understand that sexuality is not binary and can be fluid. Accept that the feelings you have are yours. You have the time, despite societal pressures, and it’s your right to share what you choose with others. is.”


If you are thinking of coming out:

  • Consider privacy. Although many friends and family will respect your privacy and keep this new information to themselves, there is always a risk that they may tell people you don’t want to know. If you tell your doctor or counselor, they will need to keep that information with you unless they think you could be hurting yourself or others. Then, they have to report it.
  • Make sure you have a support system. If you can’t talk freely about your gender or sexual orientation, it can be helpful to talk to a therapist or an unknown helpline. These resources can help you plan your exit or deal with any reactions you didn’t expect if you did come out.
  • Think about all the possibilities. For example, if you don’t live on your own and there’s a chance you could be kicked out of the house or physically harmed, it may be safe to wait.
  • trust yourself. Coming out is a personal process, so don’t feel like you have to because of certain situations or people.


Lauren Edland-Holling, a vlogger who creates content via the YouTube channel This Colorful World, finds it easy to come out when she’s in a relationship. She is a native of California and is now living with her wife on a farm in Smland, Sweden.

“Now that I’m married, I usually leave ‘my wife’ in the conversation within the first few minutes of meeting a new person,” she says.

it’s okay not to come out

There are also reasons why you may decide not to come out. You probably:

  • Realize that gender and sexual orientation are very personal
  • fear discrimination, Naughtyharassment, or violence
  • see no reason to discuss those topics
  • Still figuring out your gender or sexual orientation

There are consequences for coming out, Hall-Flavin says. Some may be positive; Others cannot. “This varies widely from family to family and society to society. Make a list of pros and cons based on your given circumstances.”

how do you do this?

There are so many ways you can come out. You probably:

  • tell the person on the phone
  • send an email or text
  • Tell them in person, face to face
  • write a letter

You may also want to think about what you are going to say. Ask your LGBTQ friends to share their coming-of-age stories, if they feel comfortable doing so, to give you tips on how to handle it yourself.

“One thing we encourage is to test the waters for anyone you come across,” says Janet Duke, founder and chairman of the board of Strong Family Alliance. “Talk about current events around LGBTQ, characters in movies and books, or an LGBTQ friend and see what kind of reaction you get. It can help you assess attitudes.”

Another good rule of thumb is to be positive and optimistic when you come out. This can help set the tone for the conversation. If you are angry or arguing with someone, don’t go out. This should not be retaliation.


“I usually take the approach of being strategic about conversations,” Weber says. “Because it can be very emotional, it can be very triggering and very scary if you are really worried that people are not going to confirm or support.”

Aiden Dowling, A transgender Activists, influencers, and coaches say what you say depends on who you’re approaching.

“If it’s someone who means something to me, I’m going to have an intimate conversation with them,” he says. “If it’s just someone I’m passing on the street, I’m going to say it proudly, not without stutter. … If I’m coming out to a child, I’m going to use the language that I think is going to work best with them.”

Who can you tell?

You can come in front of anyone. Most people don’t usually come out just once. You may decide to appear in front of different people, such as your family at one time and your friends and coworkers at other times.


family and friends: Many LGBTQ people decide to hang out with their friends or family. If you want to start slow, consider going to a trusted friend first. With family, try to find colleagues you can talk to. It could be a brother or cousin who gets along well with you.

fellow employee: You can also come out to work. Before doing so, check to see if your employer has a written non-discrimination policy that covers sexual orientation and gender. You can also look for LGBTQ employee resource groups at your workplace and investigate the overall environment. For example, do people make offensive jokes or comments?

Start a conversation by talking about LGBTQ-related news, TV shows, or movies. Or bring a date or partner to a company event. He might even meet you at work one day.

what to expect when you come out

The people you come across will have a variety of emotions and reactions. They may have too many questions or may not know what to say. They may be shocked, worried, or puzzled. Or maybe they already suspect it.


Dowling says the process can be nerve-wracking. “You don’t know how people will react.” Someone may be nice to your face but slowly stop talking to you. Months go by, and now you haven’t heard from them or they are avoiding you, he says.

“Sometimes, people feel like, ‘Well, if my parents don’t approve of me… if they reject me, I can’t live a healthy, happy life,'” Weber says. . “Sometimes, family and those close to us are not as good with our own families. There may be other people who would actually be more affirming, and it’s important for us to keep our mind open to those so that we don’t get lost and we don’t feel discouraged. “

Although coming out is personal and may not be the right choice for every LGBTQ person, Edland-Holling says it can affect the community around you as well.

“No doubt about it, you come out for yourself,” she says. “But many people who are homophobic or have negative stereotypes about us do so because they have very limited experience with gay people. Coming out can completely change how one views the LGBTQ community, And that’s a really powerful thing.”


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