When you decide to tell people about your gender or sexual orientation, you are “coming out.” We live in a heteronormative society, which means that most people assume you identify with the sex you were assigned at birth (cisgender) and are attracted to individuals of the opposite sex (heterosexual). However, this is not always the case, and it is only one of many reasons why LGBTQ people choose to come out. Here are some ideas on how to come out to your friends, as well as some tips on how to do it.
Why Would You Come Out to Your Friends?
Coming out on your own can be difficult, whether you’re still coming to terms with your gender identity or sexual orientation or have accepted it completely. However, many LGBTQ people reach a point where they need to talk about it or seek help.
There are numerous reasons why you should come out to your friends. You could do it because:
- You don’t want people talking about you.
- Want to start dating and want your family and friends to know?
- Would you like to be welcomed for who you are?
How to Come Out to Your Friends
Coming out is a personal decision that only you can make. That implies you may experience different challenges than other people who come out. You are the only one who knows when or if you will feel at ease doing it. It isn’t a race. Understand that sexuality is not always binary and can be flexible. Recognize your feelings; they are yours to own. Despite social constraints, you have time, and it is your right to share what you want with others.
If you’re wondering how to come out to your friends:
#1. Consider your privacy.
Although most of your friends and relatives will respect your privacy and keep this new information to themselves, there is always the possibility that they will tell someone you don’t want to know. If you tell your therapist or counselor, they must keep the information confidential unless they believe you will harm yourself or others. They will then be required to report it.
#2. Ascertain that you have a support system in place.
If you are unable to discuss your gender or sexual orientation freely, speaking with a therapist or an anonymous helpline can be beneficial. These materials can help you prepare to come out or deal with unexpected reactions if you do come out.
#3. Consider all of your options.
For example, if you don’t live alone and there’s a danger you’ll be kicked out or physically attacked, it may be safer to wait.
#4. Believe in yourself.
Coming out is a personal journey, therefore don’t feel obligated to do it because of circumstances or individuals.
How to Come Out to Your Friends Over Text
Coming out to your friends via text is a significant step, and you should do it in whichever way feels right to you. Texting allows you complete control over what you say and eliminates the possibility of becoming tongue-tied or dealing with someone else’s quick in-person reply. It also gives the individual you texted time to process their emotions. You should be proud of yourself and the measures you’re taking to claim your sexual or gender identity, regardless of how you choose to come out!
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#1. Consider carefully who you want to share this information with.
You could send a group text to all of your greatest friends, or you could send individual SMS. Consider who is most important in your life and who you want to know the true you.
#2. Make a rough draft of what you want to say, before sending the text.
Spend some time crafting the perfect coming-out text. Because it’s a text, try to keep it to no more than 4-5 phrases; otherwise, some of what you’re attempting to say may be missed.
#3. Make your voice clear, positive, and understanding.
It may be difficult to express yourself, but try to compose your text with confidence. You don’t have to apologize for your sexual or gender identity, or for waiting so long to come out.
#4. Choose a suitable time to send the text.
Sending such critical communication in the middle of a school or workday may not be the greatest time. It would be better to send it in the evening or on the weekend when people have more free time, so they can read and respond to what you wrote.
#5. Allow your friends and family time to process your news.
Hopefully, they’ll answer swiftly and pleasantly, and encouragingly. Remember that their astonishment does not necessarily imply disapproval! It took you a long time to understand yourself, and it may take you some time to comprehend others.
#6. Be prepared to meet them in person for the first time following the text.
It may feel weird the first time you come out in person after sending your coming-out text. If it feels right, hug them or find another way to break the ice. You can refer to the text if you like, or you can change the subject entirely.
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How to Come Out to Your Friends as Bi
It can be difficult to come out to your friends as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. It’s pointless to pretend otherwise. However, many people have had quite great experiences with coming out and frequently regret not doing so sooner.
Top ways to tell your friends you’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual:
#1. Don’t feel rushed.
Everyone should come out to their friends when it is convenient for them. You may feel compelled to inform those close to you that you are lesbian, gay, or bisexual before you are ready. Don’t. Coming out is about you and only you. When you start thinking about pleasing others, you lose sight of what is truly important to your pleasure. Focusing on yourself and what is important to you will ultimately make those around you happier.
#2. If you don’t want to label yourself, don’t.
You may be ready to come out to your friends. Still, you may not believe you fit any particular ‘label.’ It is perfectly acceptable to use phrases like “lesbian,” “gay, and “bisexual,” but never feel compelled to identify as anything. Pay attention to your emotions and follow them! If a label helps and feels right for you, that’s fantastic. Don’t worry if it doesn’t.
#3. You are not required to choose between your faith and your sexual orientation.
Most religions have organizations for their lesbian, gay, and bisexual adherents. Look for a group near you online. Being homosexual and having faith are not mutually exclusive!
#4. Tell only one person.
When you’re ready to come out (you’ll know when the moment is perfect), don’t feel obligated to tell everyone right away-this isn’t a race! Choose one person in whom you have the most faith—a friend, sibling, parent, guardian, or teacher.
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#5. Some folks have had bad experiences.
It’s pointless to refute it. That’s why, if you decide it’s time to come out to your friends, make sure you have a backup plan in case things don’t go as planned. If you are feeling lost or alone, there is help available.
#6. Give folks time.
You may have spent years getting to the point where you feel comfortable being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. But keep in mind that the folks you’ll be telling will only have a split second to react. Allow them time to process the information. It may come as a complete surprise. Surprise and shock do not imply rejection on their part.
How to Come Out to Your Friends as Pansexual
Coming out to your friends might be frightening, but it is also a remarkable period in your life. Disclosing your sexual orientation or gender identity allows you to live the life you desire, but it’s natural to be concerned about how others will react. To make it simpler to come out to your friends, first select who you are comfortable telling. Then, think about what you want to say ahead of time. Once you’ve decided what you want to say, reveal your sexuality or gender identity in a way that seems natural to you. Also, be prepared to deal with a variety of reactions.
#1. Wait until you are completely ready to come out.
There’s no rush to come out to your friends, and you don’t have to explain your sexuality or gender identity to anyone. Allow yourself as much time as you need to become acquainted with yourself before revealing yourself to your friends. You should come out on your terms.
#2. Ask about LGBTQ+ problems with your friends to determine whether they are accepting.
It’s natural to be concerned about how your friends may react. Fortunately, you can put their reactions to the test by watching how they react to LGBTQ+ themes. Bring up an LGBTQ+ figure, news article, or topic, and then ask your friends their thoughts on it.
#3. Determine those friends you believe will be supportive.
Consider your friends’ attitudes toward same-sex couples, transgender people, and nonbinary people. Choose the folks you believe will be most supportive to inform first. Your supportive friends can be there for you as you come out to others as you tell more people.
#4. Delay telling those you believe will judge or reject you.
While it is unjust to you, some individuals may have difficulty recognizing your identity. This can be excruciatingly unpleasant, but keep in mind that it has nothing to do with you. If you fear someone will respond poorly, wait until you’re ready to cope with their reaction before telling them.
#5. If you don’t have any support, make new friends in the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s normal to be worried about making new friends. Don’t be concerned about making friends immediately away. Just concentrate on meeting people at social gatherings or online. Get to know them and try to connect with them. You’ll soon make new friends who accept you for who you are.
How to Come Out to Your Friends as Transgender
There is no one method to come out to your family and friends. You are the expert on what seems appropriate to you and who you should tell.
Here are some general recommendations for coming out:
- When you’ve decided to come out, allow yourself plenty of time to plan how you’ll do it and what you’ll say.
- Determine who you believe will be the most supportive in your life and reach out to them first. You can frequently tell how welcoming someone is to transgender persons by how they behave when the subject comes up in conversation.
- Do some research so you have information about being trans in case they have questions or don’t know all the facts.
- Some people prefer to communicate by letter or e-mail rather than in person.
- Prepare to wait as they digest and accept the new knowledge after you’ve decided who you’ll come out to, what you’ll say to them, and how you’ll say it. Allow them the time they need to reflect on and try to comprehend what you’re going through.
- It may take some time for people to adjust to your new pronouns or name, and they may make mistakes while referring to you even if they don’t mean to.
- Don’t assume that everyone will have a negative reaction. Some people’s openness and acceptance may astound you.
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The Transgender Visibility Guide from the Human Rights Campaign is a fantastic step-by-step resource for helping you come out as trans, as well as information to help the people in your life accept your identity.
Coming out to your friends can be a frightening and perplexing experience. If you still have questions about your identity, confiding in the individuals you want to come out to might be much more challenging. Before coming out to new people, make sure you are comfortable with your identity and confident in who you are. Coming out might help you feel more confident in your complete identity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I say coming out?
For example, “I’d appreciate it if you could tell me you still love/support/accept me,” or “If you’re unsure what to say, that’s fine — but I’d like you to say you understand and accept me.”
What to say when a friend comes out to you?
Here are some ideas you might want to consider.
- Thank your friend for being brave enough to tell you.
- Don’t pass judgment on your pal.
- Maintain your friend’s privacy.
- Tell your friend that you still care about them despite everything.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
How do I come out as a teenager?
What to do and what not to do when your child comes out to you
- Do show your love and support for your child’s sentiments or decision.
- Do not be afraid to demand respect within the family.
- Keep the conversation open and honest with your teen.
- Don’t belittle or degrade them by refusing to accept them as they are.
How can I help my LGBT friend?
Here are some ideas for how to be an ally.
- Learn about the various sexualities represented on the LGBT spectrum.
- Make a few modest gestures.
- Use the proper pronouns.
- It is not your place to share someone’s story if they come out to you.
- Raise your voice against discrimination.
- Don’t make Pride in yourself.