Tips on How to Come Out
By: Hayley Bay (@Creative_Rebel9)
There may be many people, any age, any sexuality, any gender, any race, etc., who are scared to come out. Sometimes, a sixteen-year-old just tells their family that they are asexual, and the family is completely understanding and caring. Or, a thirteen-year-old could tell their family they want to start cutting their hair and wearing a binder. The family doesn't know what to say at first but still, excepts them. But, things don't always go so smoothly. Some people may come out, as gay, lesbian, transgender, asexual, etc., and could be sent away to make them straight or even kicked out.
People, like me, have heard many different coming out stories. If you're trying to come out but don't know when or how to start, hopefully this article can help you, at least a little.
First, research. If you are questioning, and don't think you're one thing, but not the other, go online. There are way more sexualities and genders than you might think. If you are neither gay nor bisexual, maybe you are pansexual. Not cisgender or transgender? Possibly bigender. There are many different circumstances.
Second, think of who you want to tell. You ought to tell your friends first, or your family. It's different for everyone. If you can't decide, maybe lean towards telling trusted friends. That way, if your family is homophobic or transphobic in any way, you have someone to help you. But, again, people have many different opinions.
One thing to note is that everyone is different. People have different resolutions to various problems. Also, people might discover different things at different ages. You could be 11; you could be 20. There is no "right" age to decide who you are and who you like.
Next, come out! I know it may seem scary, but once you start saying it, the weight on your chest gets lighter every time you say it. One crucial thing to remember is that if someone doesn't seem to respect you or treat you nicely after you come out, try talking to them first. Ask why they are acting out. If they say something like they aren't comfortable with you being that particular sexuality, there might be a possibility you don't need that person in your life. Especially if they act homophobic or transphobic right after you come out.
But, what if they're your family? If they are a cousin, or uncle, or aunt, etc., talk to your parents. Tell them that that relative seems, or is depending on your own experience with that person, homophobic or transphobic. If your parents were supportive when you came out, they should still support you. If they are closer relatives, like a sibling, still talk to your parents. If they do morning, try to educate your sibling. Maybe tell them different facts about the sexuality you are, like what it means, or maybe talk about different tragic events that happened because of homophobic or transphobic people. Don't forget; you can always try texting them if you aren't comfortable talking in person.
If the homophobic or transphobic person is one or both of your parents or guardians, this is a little trickier. You can maybe consult a sibling or relative that is supportive. If they send you to a camp to "help" you, this is when you want to start talking to a trusted friend. Their parents may possibly help. But again, there are many different scenarios and possibilities.
If coming out doesn't go very well and your family kicks you out of the house, then you need a trusted friend. Go to their house and if they are a good friend, they will most likely let you stay for at least a few days. Use that time to message various relatives and tell them about your situation. Also, talk to your friend and their family. They should help you.
If the worst happens, try to look up homeless shelters. You can try searching for LGBT+ homeless shelters in your city, town, or state. There might not be any, but if you need to, go to the local police station. They should help you, but there are many different resolutions to various problems.
I hope this helped you with your situation. If you still have questions, you can always look online or ask people for some help. Also, if you need support with coming to terms with who you are or who you like, there are different hotlines you could call, like Crisis Text Line. Their website is http://www.crisistextline.org. Just text 741-741 'Start' to begin talking with someone. You can sign up for a buddy on Buddy Project, by going to http://www.buddy-project.org/signup. (Crisis Text Line and Buddy Project are not alternatives for professional help. If you believe you need to see a mental health professional, please do so.)
Just remember; be who you are, no matter what everyone else says.