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Coming Out as LGBTQ+ to Your Loved Ones

Do not be scared of coming out as LGBTQ+ because that is who you really are. It may not be easy, but, after coming out and revealing your sexuality, you will be more at ease introducing yourself as part of the LGBTQ community.

Coming Out as LGBTQ+ to Your Loved Ones

Like many LGBTQ+ members, you may be anxious about coming out to your loved ones. Although your keens may have an inkling about your sexuality, it’s still a challenge to hear it from you.

Do not be scared of coming out as LGBTQ+ because that is who you really are. It may not be easy, but, after coming out and revealing your sexuality, you will be more at ease.

Your loved ones may not take it easy, but one step at a time. Sooner or later, they will come into terms with reality and you may be lucky to be among the LGBTQ+ members who get support and love from friends and family.

Tips on Coming Out To Your Loved Ones

By following the below tips, your coming out may not be as hard as you think and you might wonder why you did not do it sooner.


Don’t Pressure Yourself About Coming Out

Everyone has the right time of coming out, and you should do so when you feel it’s the right time. Do not feel under pressure to inform everyone about your sexuality. Coming out as LGBTQ+ is about you, not anyone else.

If you only focus on making your loved ones happy, you will end up being unhappy. Focus on what’s important for yourself and be happy.


Choose the Right Time and Place

Do not have a multi-tasking conversation when coming out as LGBTQ+. You need undivided attention before breaking the big news. Neither you nor your loved one should be doing other activities such as browsing, watching a movie, driving, among others, when you decide to come out.

It’s advisable not to break the news on any other occasion such as a sibling wedding or birthday party. The conversation at hand requires undivided attention and quiet. Your loved ones may not internalize what you are telling them if they are busy with other things.


You Do Not Need to Label Yourself if You Don’t Feel Like

Although you are ready to come out, you may not be sure of the particular label you want to use. It’s okay to use labels like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer, but it’s not a must if you don’t feel like using the terms.

What’s important are your feelings, if any label makes you feel right, go ahead. If you don’t want to use a label, you are good to go too.


Nervous about Saying it, Write it

If you are nervous about coming out to your loved ones by words, why not write them a letter. Follow-up with a phone call or a one-on-one visit. It will allow the recipient to internalize the news while you still are in control of the situation.


Give Them Some Time to Digest the News

You had your whole life to accept your sexuality, but your loved ones may not have thought of it intensely. They might have expectations that are different from your reality. Therefore, they need some time to accept what they really are.

How would you feel when you hear about something you never knew concerning your close friend? Normally, you will need time to come to terms with the news. The same case applies everywhere.

It does not necessarily mean that your loved ones should be okay with any news you give. So be patient with them and know that coming out is a process, not an event.

Tell Your Loved Ones Before Telling the World about Coming Out

Do not make the mistake of opening up to the world before coming out to your loved ones. In some cases. Families know about their loved one’s sexuality through social media.

You being LGBTQ+ might already be hard for the family, do not make them feel as if they don’t matter by telling the world about you before them.

Remember that your family and close friends will be more supportive when the news comes from you than from another source.


Allow People to be Shocked

Coming out as LGBTQ+ will be shocking to some of your family and friends. Don’t be offended, but rather give them some time to get off the shock. Some will react negatively but can change their perception over time. Let them get used to the news and remember, first reactions aren’t lasting reactions.


Build a Support Network

If you are not sure of the reactions from your family, it’s best if you build a support network. This means coming out to someone who will not judge you and can support you. Have that person accompany you when you break the news to others.


Be Positive

Regardless of the fear and anxiety, be positive about your sexuality. All of us are different in our own ways, and being LGBTQ+ does not mean you are a lesser person.

Coming out is a bold and great move. So hold your head high as you open up about the real you. The only difference you have from others is only about sexuality.


Ensure Your Safety First

If you think after coming out your family will not react well, or maybe they will throw you out of the house, it is recommended you wait until you are independent, especially if you are in a physically or verbally abusive family.

Your safety and well-being should come first. You can start a discussion about LGBTQ+ to gauge how your family feels about them before coming out as one.

Sexuality should not be a gauge of the intensity of love and support among family and friends. Everyone has their desires and dreams.


Tips on Coming Out to Your Loved Ones- Final Thoughts

We should be open about people’s sexuality and understand that you cannot dictate when it comes to matters of the heart. If you think or suspect your loved one might be LGBTQ+, do not pressure them to come out. Be supportive and create a friendly environment, build trust until they feel safe to come out.

As LGBTQ+, you also have rights just like any other person, you do not have to be in a place that you feel is not conducive for yourself. You do not need to be threatened and you are entitled to an environment that is right for your mental health. Remember you are a normal person.

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Agata Slezak – M&H English speaking Clinical Psychologist – Therapist – Sexologist
Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA
Building You Counselling, Virtual Counselling & Therapeutic Services

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