A HELPFUL GUIDE TO COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET
Coming out is a personal experience and process that evolves over a period of time. Coming out to your friends, family, and community is best when done on your own terms. But you can only be responsible for your part of the story. How others respond isn’t always predictable. So it’s important that you be prepared as you take this important step forward.
Even if someone is supportive, coming out can take time for them to fully comprehend. Even though feeling nervous is quite normal, try to be as relaxed as possible. Above all, know that being true to who you really are will help guide you through life’s journey.
SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER BEFORE REACHING OUT TO OTHERS
Make sure you’re comfortable with who you are. Have you fully come to terms with your sexual preference and gender identity?
Come out to others only when you’re ready. Don’t let anyone pressure you into it. Coming out to yourself can be hard enough. So before telling family and friends, make sure you’re prepared
Don’t let someone else label you. Adopt the identity you’re comfortable with. If others try to tell you otherwise, nicely remind them that it’s your place not theirs to do so
Before you tell a loved one, feel them out first. Remember how they responded to other friends who came out. Or bring up an issue then gauge their response. Start with a friend or family member that most likely will be accepting
Share your news with people who will respect your privacy. Confide in loved ones who will keep your confidence about this very important step
For some, writing a “coming out” letter is easier. It’s one way to give your loved one the opportunity to reflect on your coming out before responding. It’s also a less awkward way of passing along information about yourself
Whether you’re coming out to a close friend, coworkers or parents, view this helpful guide designed with images to walk you through the entire process.