“Coming out” is a term used to refer to the process of development of positive and self-acceptance of the LGBTQ+. It is not an easy task to embark on since the individual faces many challenges in the process of coming out, such as homophobic attitudes and discrimination.
Before coming out to family and friends, one should first self-love and challenge their homophobic issues, such as pity and hatred towards yourself, to feeling whole and admirable. But, remember it can take years of painful tears to develop a high-esteem.
After successfully developing a positive attitude towards your sexuality and gender issue, it’s time to figure out to who you want to disclose the information to first. Many of these individuals are afraid to come out to their loved ones for different reasons, including fear of discrimination.
Coming Out – Are LGBTQ+ Accepted in the Society?
Although times are changing and people are acknowledging the presence of gays, lesbians, trans, and so on in the community, it’s still unfortunate that many people assume that every person is heterosexual.
It’s due to this that LGBTQ+ members should choose carefully to whom they disclose their sexuality and gender to avoid disappointments.
Why Do LGBTQ+ Choose to Come Out?
Different people have different reasons for coming out, and they all come out differently. Common reasons why many LGBTQ+ decide to come out include:
- A feeling that they are not complete and are living a lie
- Need to be accepted for who they truly are
- They don’t want people assuming their sexual orientations
- Many LGBTQ+ want to date the right person for them
- Need to live their sexual life to the fullest
Although many LGBTQ+ members want to come out badly and end the misery, they are faced with a fair share of setbacks, including social phobia, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
Social phobia – This is a type of anxiety that causes extreme fear in social gatherings. Someone experiencing social phobia has challenges talking or meeting new people or being in social settings.
Biphobia – This is the attitude of hatred, mistrust, and discomfort towards bisexual people.
Transphobia – It is fear, discomfort, or mistrust towards transgender, genderqueer, or people who do not follow the traditions of gender.
Most LGBTQ+ Members Experience Social Phobia When Coming Out
Although LGBTQ+ members face a lot of phobias, social phobia is the major phobia that they experience. When someone has social phobia, they experience extreme shyness and self-consciousness that result in fear. This makes it difficult for them to be in any kind of social gathering.
A person with social phobia can be active and interact easily with family and close friends but it gets difficult when they are around new people due to shyness.
Ideally, social phobia interferes with a person’s way of living. Instead of enjoying social activities, extreme shyness and self-consciousness prevent LGBT people from enjoying the moment due to fear of embarrassing themselves.
What Causes Social Phobia?
Just like other types of phobias, social phobia is fear of something that is not dangerous although the mind interprets it as such. It is a feeling of fear that can cause physical reactions like breathing heavily and heartbeat.
Social phobia is caused by adrenaline and other chemicals that put the body in a state of fight-flight response.
So, Why are Some People Afraid of Coming Out?
As earlier said, different people have different reasons and ways of coming out. The same case applies when it comes to being afraid of coming out. The following are reasons why people are afraid of coming out:
Fear of Putting Their Families in a Tough Spot
It’s one thing for the family to support LGBTQ+ people and a completely different thing when they have one of their own as a member.
Some individuals are afraid to break the news because they see it as letting the family down and putting them in a tough spot. Every parent has expectations from their kids and being LGBTQ+ may not be one of them.
Some are Scared
Coming out can be scary, especially since you are confessing who you really are. It’s telling people to view you differently from how they used to. Coming out makes your sexual orientations known, which is a huge and scary experience.
Some People Are Afraid of Coming Out Due to Fear of Rejection
No human wants to be rejected. Some LGBTQ+ members are afraid of coming out since some family members and friends can never come to terms that one of their own is an LGBTQ+ member.
At this point of coming out someone needs as much love and acceptance as possible. That being the case, a mere thought of rejection can make someone be scared to come out.
They are Surrounded by Homophobic People
Being surrounded by homophobic people can make it difficult for some LGBTQ+ members to come out. Everyone is homophobic, how am I going to tell them I’m gay, lesbian, or trans?
How are they going to take the news? Will they support me? Will they change how they see me? These are the questions that cloud the minds of some people, making it difficult to come out.
Fear of Being Judged
No one wants to be judged regardless of gender or anything else for that matter. A thought of negative things people will say about yourself is enough to prevent you from coming out. You don’t need people to think of you as immoral, it’s only sexual orientations that differ.
Since you know that some things are not easily accepted in society, you are bound to experience internal fear even though your family is open-minded. The internalized fear can overcloud your judgment and make you feel uncomfortable about revealing your truth.
Fear of Coming Out – Final Thoughts
If you are lucky to have developed self-love for your sexuality, it’s time for you to come out. By doing so, you will be free to love, be in a relationship, and live as you should. Also, you start building long-term relationships since people will now know you for who you are.