5 Tips on How to Come Out to Your Friends and Family
For those in the gay community, often the most terrifying experience of their lives is “coming out” to their family and friends. It’s seldom an easy task, especially for those from conservative or traditional backgrounds. But for those who’ve decided they don’t want to hide anymore, it’s a necessary journey—a doorway into pride and self-acceptance. The following tips can help make it easier for all involved:
1. Pick Your Moment
When choosing a time to come out, avoid holidays or big family occasions that may be distracted and/or stressful. Pick a day and arrange for those you wish to tell to attend. You can tell them you have something important you wish to discuss, so that they’re not caught completely off-guard. Also, though you may wish to have your partner there for support, it’s advisable to go at it alone, as your family will need time to absorb the basics, before being introduced to new people.
2. Handle With Care
Be aware that by coming out you’re bringing your loved ones fully into your world. You should therefore use the same tone and attitude as you would when introducing someone to anything new and unfamiliar. Anger, regret, or defensiveness have no place here. Be confident, calm, and be ready to guide and educate them. You are in charge, and how you carry yourself will play a big part in how they react. Never use personal revelations as weapons in a heated moment, as this leaves no room for anything but hurt.
3. Don’t Back Down
If you’ve come this far, there’s no going back. You may experience angry or tearful responses from some, but usually this comes from a misguided, misinformed, but well-meaning concern for your future and happiness. Let your family know that this is who you are, that there was no choice involved, that you’re happy, and that nothing has changed except their perceptions. It will likely take time for them to accept this new information, so don’t expect total resolution the same day. “Focus on the lightheartedness and awe of what you are achieving,” advises Psychic Anya Dawn ext. 9179.
4. Know Your Facts
Occasionally, family members may try to convince you that being gay is just a phase you’re going through, or that there are therapies or other ways to reverse being gay. While it’s certainly frustrating, it’s best just to be able to offer educational resources that will help dispel these myths. Check online for your local LGBT resource centers, and either print off, or stop by for some educational reading materials for them, as well as friendly advice from those who’ve been through the process themselves.
5. Hold Your Head High
No matter what, remember that this journey is for you. The road to equality and acceptance is a long one, fraught with challenges and hardships, so much so that many never muster up the courage to make the journey. By coming out, you’ve stepped through into the sunlight—free to be yourself, openly, proudly, and unafraid. Need help coming out? Psychic Jesse ext. 9027 knows how to guide you through!