Coming out is such an odd term for a difficult thing that many LGBTQ people go through. There is often alot of pressure to 'come out' to identify as 'something' and this can be unfair specifically for people who would feel negatively impacted by telling others about being LGBTQ. There are alot of examples of people coming out and this being a positive experience however there are still horrible feelings and reactions that LGBTQ people face if they do decide to tell others about their gender or sexuality. This is particularly the case for people who are in a religious or conservative family who have little or no experience of LGBTQ and so fear takes over any reaction towards the person coming out. At Safe Place Therapy
we refrain from ever telling people to come out as this is a personal choice and we should encourage something that may be negatively recieved.
On top of the person's fear of coming out as gay or coming out as LGBTQ is also the idea of feeling ready within themselves to name their sexuality. For some people they may have had sexual experiences with the opposite sex and same sex people but this may confuse them, creating difficulty understanding whether they are gay, bisexual or even queer in their sexuality. There is no need to rush into a 'label' or forced into naming what you will be forever.
Here are some tips on coming out when you feel ready to
Don't come out based on feeling pressure from others.
Find your allies. It is best to find a friend or loved one you feel comfortable with telling first. This person can be your go to person when you start to tell others and they can be someone in your corner right from the start.
Its ok what your attracted to rather than label it. As its ok to say ' i think i might like guys' or 'i think i might like both genders' This again is not about feeling confined or forced to choose a label for yourself at the time.
Sometimes people need time to process it. This is ok and it is mot probably the person's issues that they need to think through and not about you.
If there is a bad reaction you can direct the person to organisations like PFLAG or Qlife to talk i through seperate to you.
You arrnt alone in this. There are plenty of positive and negative coming out stories. Take the time to listen to these and understand how others have dealt with it. Knowledge is power and its better to feel like others understand your experience.
Get some professional help if you believe that coming out is a complete 'no go' This isnt about moving you more to coming out its actually mmore about supporting you with this difficult stressor.
Here are the three stages of sexual orientation identity formation
Stage 1 Discovery – this is where you start to question if you might be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender because of feelings you’re having.
Stage 2 Acceptance – this is when you start to accept that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Telling the first person is a sign of acceptance.
Stage 3 Integration – this is when you begin to get comfortable expressing your lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity and living your life accordingly. Getting into a same-sex relationship
is a sign of integration.
there is plenty of support out there for you to access. If coming out is an issue for you and you would like to reach out and talk this through call or make time today.