We asked readers and our writers for their top tips for coming out.
Everybody’s experience for coming out will be different, what works for one person might not work for someone else, but hopefully at least one of these tips will help you in the process of coming out.
1) Only come out if it is what you want to do. If you feel pressured into coming out, remember that it has to be your decision. It is a big decision to make in your life and the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with what you are doing.
2) Treat it like a bandaid and just tear it off. Quick and almost painless. Just tell them, quickly, confidently and get it over with.
3) Don’t approach the situation like you’re about to announce you’re terminally ill. Body language and the tone of your voice will play a massive role in how people react to what you’re saying.
4) Do it the way you most feel comfortable! I told my Dad by letter, but my friends mainly face to face…it just got easier the more I did it.
5) Speaking to a helpline, like Switchboard – first, if you’re not sure what to say. Talking with a counsellor or helpline can help you find the words you need to describe what you’re feeling.
6) If you’re not sure how to bring it up, casually talk about a celebrity’s recent coming out like Tamal Ray or Apple’s Tim Cook and gauge the reaction before going any further.
7) If you don’t get the reaction you expect, don’t be put off. You will get some negative reactions, but that is their problem not yours. The amount of positive reactions will far outweigh the negative ones.
8) It’s not an all or nothing deal. You don’t HAVE to tell everyone all at once. Start off with one person and let it grow organically from there.
9) Don’t apologise.
10) There is no right or wrong way to come out. It should be a tailor-made experience, as individual as you are.