Maybe you’ve known about your sexuality for a while now. You’ve accepted it but aren’t ready to be open about it yet. It could be that you’re afraid the people around you might have negative reactions and you may fear being attacked because of your sexuality. That’s why we’d like to share some tips for your coming out in this blog.
Often, your parents and the people closest to you already have their suspicions, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to tell them. Coming out is one of the most important and most challenging moments for many LGBTQ+ people.
Be your own brave self
Talking about your sexuality openly and honestly is not easy and requires some much-needed courage. But, pretending to be someone you’re not is a lot more difficult for you in the long run than being open about it. No matter your situation, remember you are doing this for yourself and not for the people around you.
“Remember you are doing this for yourself and not for the people around you.”
Not everyone will be prepared to let go of old and outdated prejudices. But, by clearly expressing your sexuality in various ways, you can achieve a lot in your family and social group. Although others might feel uncomfortable at first with you coming out, you will be happiest when you can be yourself. Gather all of your energy, be brave, but above all, be you.
Really, take all the time you need
It’s important that you feel comfortable during your coming out and that you are really ready for it, you are the only one who decides when this will be. Don’t be rushed into things by people who ask you questions or try to pressure you into doing it just to get it over and done with! Coming out while under pressure like that only makes the situation more complicated.
“Don’t be pressured or rushed into coming out.”
You might want to wait until you have a (steady) partner or until after the first time you’ve had sex with someone of the same gender. Or, do you think it’s best to wait until you’re living on your own? That’s all up to you! Maybe your parents have spoken out against homosexuality in the past. You want to avoid being limited in being who you really are and in the things you want to do. So, tell others about it when the time is right for you.
How do you break the news?
Take it from us, you don’t have to feel strange or weird about it at all. The more confident you are deep inside, and the less you regard it as an issue, the more relaxed people will be in responding to it. Take a deep breath to show it’s an important topic for you, and take your time talking about it. Make sure you have the undivided attention of the person you’re talking to before starting such a meaningful conversation. Pick a good, quiet moment in which the person you’re talking to can respond and maybe ask questions if they need to. The more you can say about yourself as an out-person, the better.
Also, we don’t recommend that you break the news during family events, such as weddings, dinners, or birthdays. Unless this is something you really want to do, of course, under the guise of “getting it over with”, but think about this before you do it. The best and often most acceptable time to talk about it is in a private setting with those closest to you. It’s important and intimate conversations like these that deserve respect and a calm atmosphere.
Listen well and be prepared
When coming out, you can count on being asked some questions. So, be prepared to answer the questions you might get. Your parents might be worried about how others will treat you from now on or be disappointed by the possibility of not having any grandchildren. Also, try not to get too upset about their reactions or ridicule them. Just like you want them to listen to you, it’s good to listen to others as well. Allow everyone the time to get used to the idea and answer any possible questions calmly and politely.
“You can count on being asked some questions, so be prepared!”
Don’t forget that you needed time to come to terms with your sexuality as well. Your parents or your best friend might not have even considered the possibility. That’s why you should keep in mind that it could take them a while to fully understand and feel comfortable with the idea. Your parents will have always had certain expectations of you, and it could take them a bit to adjust these. Give the person you talk to a moment, and don’t immediately judge them if their initial reaction isn’t positive. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be yourself, so don’t start apologizing if you get a negative reaction!
Talk to someone you trust
It differs from person to person how difficult they find it to tell someone. If you already know it will be hard for you to do, it might be a good idea to look for a confidant. This doesn’t have to be a professional. It could also be a friend or family member you can trust and who you know will support you.
“A confidant doesn’t have to be a professional, it can also be a friend or family member.”
Try to imagine that some friends or family members might be disappointed that you didn’t tell them sooner. In that case, let them know that you just needed time to really figure out who you are and what your sexuality is. After all, you need to know yourself first before you can share it with others! Once you have built up a support team, it becomes increasingly easier to tell others, even those who don’t see it in a positive light. Don’t get into an argument with them about things, but let them know you don’t like their reaction because it means they don’t accept you for who you are.
Would you like to talk to a professional about your sexual identity? Consult a social worker in your area or get in touch with your general practitioner.
This is where things might tend to go wrong. When coming out to someone, it’s good to clarify whether that person can tell others. There is a chance that word will get around, and people you might not want to tell could overhear it. Besides that, you’re the best person to talk and answer any questions about your sexuality. It’s more personal, and people will be quicker to understand and accept it if they hear it directly from you.
Have you recently come out? Or is your coming out still in the making? Hopefully, these tips have been of some help. Share your experience with us in a reaction below!