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, the following tips might be useful for you if you are considering sharing this information about yourself.
Ask yourself why you are coming out to a particular person or people
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, choose somewhere that will give you privacy with minimal risk of any interruptions. If it’s someone that you think may react favourably to what you tell them, the location is probably less important. However, if you in any way expect negativity, stick to a location where you feel safe.
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. Even if this is the case, it may still take time for the news 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 in hand is also useful. Have a look at the parents section on our site for info for parents here.
Connect With Others
Talk to other LGBTI+ 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 one of our Youth Workers.
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