For my first article on this website, I would like to share some things concerning LGBT+ matters. Any hate or negative behavior will not be tolerated. We were born to love, not hate.
The article contains LGBT+ related terms.

[Originally posted on my own blog.]

As you probably don't know, I belong to the LGBT+ community, and I identify as bisexual; even though I don’t like labeling others or myself, I feel like a term to explain what I feel is needed.

So over time I’ve thought of coming out many times. I’ve already come out to a few people, some friends, e-friends and cousins, but not some others like my immediate family. The reason, I’ll explain below.

First, in order to prevent mistakes and wrong choices by anyone belonging to the LGBT+ community (or even allies and friends of queer people), here is my advice on deciding whether you should come out:

  1. Understand that you do not have to come out. Many people seem to forget this because they see everyone else coming out to their loved ones, and they feel like that’s what is supposed to be done. That’s wrong. Coming out is completely up to you, it’s a personal thing you can choose to do or not to do. You aren’t obliged to tell anyone your personal feelings.
  2. Make sure it won’t put you in danger. If the person you’re planning to come out to may harm you in any way (deprive you of money & accommodation, physically assault you, out you to people you don’t want to come out to), don’t do it. Please, think of this very seriously. Make sure they support or at least accept the LGBT+ community, be as positive as possible that there won’t be a negative reaction. Then, you can come out. [I, for instance, am not planning to come out to my parents for the next years. I am fully aware they’re homophobic and against LGBT+, while also I’m still dependent on them in terms of money and accommodation. Once I’m on the safe side, I may come out to them -if they don’t realize until then and if nobody outs me].
  3. Make backup plans. Even if you’re sure that the reaction you’ll receive will be positive, always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong (better safe than sorry, as the saying goes). If, for example, you’re coming out to your parents and you’re worried they may kick you out, ask a friend or family member if you can stay there for a while in case of emergency, until things settle down.
  4. Be prepared. The person (or people) you’ll come out to will, most likely, have questions and want to know more about what you just said, in order for them to understand you. Make sure you have answers for every possible questions, be in the mood to educate and not enforce, and never raise your voice -you’ve lost the argument.

Now that you’re sure you’ll come out to someone and have prepared everything, here’s the question: how do you come out? There are many ways you can do it, I will list a few below along with tips for each:

  • Get the person to a quiet place where you’ll be alone. Make sure they’re not in a bad mood and they’re willing to listen and pay attention. Explain the basic things and keep your speech on medium-short length. Talking for too long will most likely bore them.
  • If you’re too scared to talk to them face to face, write a letter or send an email to them. Mention the reason you’re writing instead of saying it face to face, cover everything you need to cover and include the type of behavior you’d like from them (eg. “I’d really appreciate it if, next time you talk to me, you don’t bring this up” or “talk to me about this once you read the letrer/email”) and anything else you want to say (eg. “I just wanted you to know, you don’t need to help me”, “it would help so much if you could nicely tell dad as well”). If it’s in digital form -say, an email- you can add links directing to info about LGBT+ matters.
  • Ask a friend to be there with you -if you choose to say it face to face. It may be a personal moment, but some people find it easier when they have a loved one close, encouraging them.

There are definitely so many more ways to come out, you can find them with a simple Google search, but I believe the best ways to come out are those that are personalized, because they will see you put effort into it and you’re serious. 

Make that person feel okay while you talk about it -both sides feel strange! Be friendly, speak at a nice tone, explain everything you need to.

Remember, safety first. If you see that it doesn’t turn out like you expected, don’t make things worse: remove yourself safely from the situation and follow your backup plans.

If you’re an ally or someone you know has come out to you: 

  • Don’t out people. They’ll do it themselves when they feel it’s right and safe. You can put them in serious danger.
  • Be accepting. Even if you don’t support it, show some respect for them. Don’t try to change them or bring them down, and don’t change your behavior towards them. They’re the same; they just told you one part of them you didn’t know.
  • Don’t go around spreading rumors or humiliating them. It has happened to me, and I can’t possibly describe how terrible it felt. You may be the reason someone takes their life.

If you have any questions or need any advice, let me know and I’ll reply as soon as possible.

Note: there's nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, you are not a sinner, you are not an attention seeker. You are a wonderful, special individual. You deserve the world.

Stay safe.

Published by Kyrania Layen