How do I come out as gay to my friends and family?

By Tuva Novar

When you first find out that you’re gay, there are a lot of emotions that you get. The first one is usually relief at knowing that you’re now finally comfortable with yourself. Then, you begin to worry about how to break the news to your family, friends, and close colleagues. A lot goes into coming out, and we’re here to help you manage the process well. So the question is: how do I come out as gay to my friends and family?

The principal merit of coming out to your parents and everyone around you is that it allows you to get something off your shoulders. A lot of people understand this, and while there is no doubt to the fact that it is entirely accurate, some people also believe that it isn’t so necessary.

It really is up to you, your sexuality is your privacy

Your sexuality is an entirely private manner, and the truth is that if you’re not so overly comfortable with coming out, then you don’t have to. It really is up to you. As long as you feel comfortable and confident in yourself and you have decided that you want to go down the LGBT path, then you can come out. The implications of you coming out will be born majorly by you, and you need to ensure that you’re ready for what may happen.

Now, coming out as an LGBT member and gay can be really great.

And the experience can be overwhelmingly positive. The prospect of being real and authentic in front of your family members is something that you should take very seriously, as it will help you to relate well with them and be comfortable with living the type of life that you want to live- whether with your colleagues, your family, or your closest friends.

When you find the confidence to come out, you could also be serving as a role model for someone else who might be going through the same thing. 

The biggest worry that a lot of people have is with the reactions that they get when they come out. For instance, the primary concern here is that you might end up not being accepted for who you are, or the people who once saw you in a positive light could start to see you differently. However, you also have to think about whether you’re ready to put your relationship with this person (or these people, as the case may be) on the line to stay true to yourself. It’s a lot of pressure indeed

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Reactions will vary

How do I come out as gay to my friends and family?

Now, before you decide to come out as gay. One crucial thing that you should understand is that there are a lot of things that will determine what the reaction will be to your announcement. If you’re on the younger side, you might be concerned about whether people will accept you. And you can still function in your group of friends or peers. You could also worry about the prospect of being bullied as a gay person.

However, when you’re older, things are much more different. If you are coming out to your children, then you will have to ensure that you communicate clearly with them and make them understand that your sexual orientation change doesn’t affect the way that you feel about them. 

How do I come out as gay to my friends and family?

All of these will just go to show that you need to consider a lot of factors when you come out. However, you will also need to draw up a scale here. The people who are most important to your life are the ones you need to concern yourself with the most. Ad their reactions will most likely shape how you live going forward.

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Give space for shock

When you come out as a member of the LGBT community, you have to understand that not everyone will feel comfortable at first. There’s always the initial shock of it all, and this can be very substantial. So, make sure that you give people space and allowance to be shocked and surprised. You might be in a delicate area, but you have to be sensitive about their feelings as well.

For the best reactions, however, make sure that you pick a quiet and relaxing time when you tell them. Coming out is usually a process and not just a live event.

For the nervous feelings

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about coming out- especially if it is to your family members or the friends you hold most deal. You could write them a letter, or send a detailed text (or some form of the written message).

Then, follow them up with a visit or a call sometime later. This way, they can get over their initial feeling, and you can have a more calm, rational conversation.

Reaction uncertainty

If you feel that you can’t trust how the people you’re coming out will react to the news, then it is recommended that you give your announcement in phases. Find someone you trust and let them know, and ensure that even if they don’t approve of your change in sexual orientation, they respect you enough to not tell anyone else.

It’s all baby steps.

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If you get an adverse reaction

Negative reactions will be expected at some point, but you have to understand that in a lot of cases, this isn’t how they feel. Again, it’s just the initial shock of it all. Leave out some time for the news to marinate because a lot of the time, first reactions change.

Controlling the news

This is your life, and it is your news. You will need to do some work to ensure that it doesn’t spill over to quarters where you don’t want. You will need to put that into consideration when you choose your communication medium and who you even tell in the first place.

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