Around 9 million adult Americans identify as LGBTQ; this amounts to just under 3% of the country’s total population. Considering how many aren’t ready to come out, or are in dangerous situations where it’s best not to, this number may be even higher.
Perhaps you’ve been having an internal struggle about your sexual identity, but are now confident. Maybe it’s finally time to come out to your friends and family.
If you’re wondering how to come out as LGBTQ as an adult, then keep reading. We’ll give you some helpful tips on how to do this difficult yet brave thing.
Tell Your Best Friend First
Before you come out to everyone else you love, you should first tell your best friend. This can be anyone from a childhood friend to your sibling; anyone who you completely trust and can be your support system.
Together, you can discuss key topics like your sexual orientation and gender spectrum. Once they have a good idea of where you’re coming from, they can help you come out to others and explain things you may have a difficult time with.
Give Them Time
Even if your loved ones already suspected you were LGBTQ, it can still come as a shock to them when you confirm it. It’s a natural reaction, so don’t take personal offense to it.
Just like how they need to be accepting and patient with you, you need to do the same for them. Give your loved ones some time to process and then regroup.
If they’ve reacted negatively, keep in mind that this may be a result of shock. It may not necessarily be a permanent reaction, so again, give them some time and space to process. Try not to take it too personally.
You Don’t Have to Come out at Work
It’s true that it can feel much better if you can truly be yourself with everyone in your life, including your coworkers. But sometimes, it can be detrimental to come out at work.
For example, if you’ve noticed a very conservative and close-minded environment at work, then it may be best to avoid coming out. It may result in a harsh backlash, and may even put you in danger if certain colleagues are homophobic.
But of course, if you feel like you can trust your coworkers and would like to come out to them, you can follow a similar approach as with your loved ones. Pick a colleague you’re close with to come out to first, then come out to the others at your own pace, with your friend as a support system.
Know How to Come out to Your Loved Ones for a More Positive Experience
Coming out can be a daunting task, but once you do, it can feel extremely liberating. But do know that it may be quite a shock to some of your loved ones, so knowing how to come out to them is key.
Remember that you shouldn’t feel obligated to come out to everyone, and if you don’t feel 100% comfortable with it, you can always wait. This is your life story, and you should always have control over your narrative.
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