Although everyone’s journey is unique, the process of coming out usually starts when a person realizes that they are part of the LGBTQIA+. Processing this individually can take time. Once this occurs usually the next step would be talking to friends and family about it. Not only does it take courage to come out to yourself, but it takes even more courage to come out to friends and family. For some, I know, this can be a huge obstacle.
Talking about your sexuality/gender identity to your chosen family members and friends can be utterly nerve-wracking and somewhat awkward. We will never know the outcome of this (good and/or bad), so it’s best to plan while also building up your support network. You deserve to be your authentic true self.
Nothing usually goes to plan, but planning can at least help you get ideas of how to approach/overcome an obstacle. So, let’s just hypothetically say that you have complete control of how/when you want to come out to your friends and family. So, how would you plan it? Here are some questions/thoughts to keep in mind….
Environment: Are you in an overall environment/situation where it's safe for you to talk about your sexuality/gender identity with your family and friends?
To Whom: Who do you want to come out to? It does not have to be everyone. You specifically pick and choose who you want to come out to.
How: Do you want to come out to your family and friends? Do you want to write a note, send an email, a quick text, or talk to them in person, etc.? There are many ways, to choose what best works for you.
When: When do you plan on coming out? Is there a specific time you want to come out (year, season, month, time of day)?
Where: Where do you plan on coming out to your chosen family and friends? Where would be more comfortable or feel safer when coming out to an individual? Do you want to do it somewhere private like your home or somewhere more public such as a park or a restaurant? Is there a special place?
What: When you tell them, how do you expect them to react? Good? Bad? Meh? Imagine the variety of what could be said and any reaction that could occur. It best is to be prepared for all that could happen.
Build Your Support Team
Having people around you that are supportive helps immensely. Who do you trust? Who do you know that will support you no
matter what? Is it a mentor, friend, sibling, parent, etc? It doesn’t matter if it’s your blood relatives or your “found” family. If/when you have the means, work towards surrounding yourself with individuals who support and care for you, and who you feel safe to be your authentic self around. It may take time to develop, but having a support system around you can make the journey of coming out slightly easier. Professional support, such as a therapist and/or coach can also be extremely beneficial.
The Queer Life Coach specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ femme identify individuals during all facets of life, especially those who come out later in life. Coming Out can be long and daunting, but when you are able to truly embrace your authentic self, it is worth it.
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LGBTQIA+ Resources: ❤🧡💛💚💙💜
Human Rights Campaign: https://www.hrc.org/resources/coming-out
The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
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