Coming Out (Do’s And Don’t’s And Other Advice)

Sofia Clement-Potegal, Student Writer

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Coming out is hard for anyone. In this day and age, when you have to reveal to your family that you are not straight or cisgender, it can be nerve wracking, especially if you don’t know how your family feels or if they don’t like the queer community. If someone comes out to you, here are some ways to help them:

  • Don’t judge them; they trust you enough to come out to you, don’t betray that trust.
  • Don’t say “I know”; it can cause lots of anxiety for the person coming out. It’s also not funny.
  • Don’t be an over ally; the parent that is the ally version of the overachiever is not good. Please don’t.
  • Do ask how you can support them; a lot of people have a hard time coming out, and so they will probably want support.
  • Do believe them right away; it really isn’t a phase, and saying it is breaks their trust.
  • Do let them talk; they need a chance to explain themselves. If they don’t, they could get overstressed.

 

For those who are about to come out, I know how scary it can be. There are somethings that you can do to reduce stress:

    • Don’t come out to your parents if you know that you are in danger; if you know that they would hurt you, don’t come out. Also, get yourself somewhere safe.
    • Don’t use an alternate form of coming out (i.e. letter, text, etc.); you will be able to gauge reactions if you tell them in person.
    • Don’t come out assuming you will have a bad reaction; if you come out that way, you will psych yourself out.
    • Do first talk to a trusted adult who you know will be on your side; they might help you with a plan to come out, and it will let you know that you have at least one person on your side.
    • Do have a place to stay if you think you might be kicked out; if you think you might be kicked out, talk to a friend or someone who you know you could stay with.
    • Do make sure that you are comfortable with yourself before you come out; if you are not comfortable with yourself and your sexuality/gender, coming out will be so much harder.

 

 

Find a community that you feel comfortable in, and look for guidance as you navigate this hard path. Remember, there is always someone on your side.

 

If you have questions or need to talk to someone, contact me at [email protected]

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Coming Out (Do’s And Don’t’s And Other Advice)