How do I come out?
My guess…this will be the largest, most important question you’ll ever have to ask yourself, then explain to others.
The good news is, it won’t be nearly as bad as you think; the bad news – there is no “right” answer.
Everyone’s situation is different and there are way too many variables to take into account. If you take the time to ask ten different people, you’ll probably get fifteen different answers. Confusing right?
I’m not a doctor, nor am I a psychologist, but I have come out before. Long story short, I think I can point you in the right direction and at the very least, provide you with some additional resources.
1. Make sure you are ready. You have to be confident about several things. First, you were born this way and the implication that being gay is a choice is absurd. Second, get “ok” with your new, soon-to-be life style. I was married at the time I came out and felt like I had nobody I could talk to. I did the easiest thing for me at the time, I found a therapist to speak to; paying someone who didn’t know me, who could listen, and help me get a “plan” together was the best thing I ever did. Once I knew what I needed to do, I put the plan in motion. Just remember, everything will be ok. The simple fact is this, the people who you’ll remain closest with are the ones who will not care. The decision to tell them seems big, but my guess, 90% of them won’t really care (as for the other 10%, in two years you won’t remember their names).
2. Pick the appropriate time to tell your family and close friends. I recommend starting with the people you are closest with and moving on from there. The support provided by these people will be helpful moving forward.
One important note, I don’t recommend the holidays as a “good time” to tell your family. Some people will need some time to get their heads around the fact you are gay, and to be honest, why ruin their holidays? You’ve been thinking about your “gayness” for quite some time I’m sure, so you have to expect that some of your family may need some time as well.
3. Give people time and be ready for questions. I don’t know of too many people who weren’t questioned. Typically, moms will ask 1). Is this my fault, and 2). will I still get grandchildren? Friends will have other sorts of questions, typically more superficial in nature.
Like I said, the people closest will still love you and generally won’t care, but people like your parents may need some time to be totally ok with it. They will be asking themselves what role they played in you being gay and it will take some time for them to realize its not their fault.
4. Move on with your life. Enjoy the enormous weight that will have hopefully been lifted off your back. Your life is about to change, and for the better.
I cannot emphasize enough how becoming secure with yourself prior to letting everyone else know can make all the difference.
Below, I’ve provided some links to additional resources.
Good luck and remember, it gets MUCH BETTER.
Please see the attached links for help and information about coming out:
Another great resource I’ve stumbled upon is an LGBT Center locator.
Click the image below to find an LGBT Center in your area.