Updated: Dec 25, 2022
Coming out is often regarded as one of the most anticipated parts of any queer person’s journey - to escape the metaphorical closet, to finally be open with who you truly, really are, to be free to love as your most authentic self, to not hide one of the most important parts of your identity. Coming out, most often, isn’t just something that’s one and done - most queer people have to keep coming out throughout their lives to the same or different people. To come out is a prolonged, continuous, recurring process. It is also a choice. There is no strict rule that anyone who has figured out their sexuality has to come out, or even let anyone know - an individual’s orientation is their own. However, if you would like to come out to someone, here are some handy tips and tricks that might ease you into the process and help you feel more comfortable.
Practice: You might find yourself getting stuck up on the right words, uncertain of what exactly to say. In that case, practice the words; rehearse them over and over again till you have them ready. Talk to yourself in front of a mirror, or record a video if it brings you confidence. You can even write it down on a piece of paper or as a letter if you would find it to be a more coherent form of expressing yourself. It is all about what suits you, what fits you best. Coming out involves some complicated feelings and thoughts, so if you feel unsure, take your time on how to express said emotions. Remember, there is no rush to come out - do it on your terms and in your own time.
Safety: Your safety always, always comes first. There will never be any necessity to come out if your surroundings are not safe. Judge your surroundings, and who you feel comfortable around. Do you trust this person wholeheartedly? Will they accept you for who you are? Will they keep your coming out private if you so wish them to? Will coming out to this person cause a violent reaction? These are all questions that may be unpleasant to think about, and harder to answer, but they are all important for your health and safety, which should remain your number one priority, always. The same goes for coming out to family members. Will doing so cause you harm? Sometimes, even though it may be stifling to stay quiet about a part of yourself, a safe and healthy life will have to come first. Ultimately, it comes down to each and every individual’s preference. Weigh the pros and cons, and figure out if you can come out safely. If so, then, by all means, go for it!
Community: Finding a community is important to help you feel like you are not alone in your coming out story. First Contact provides this community. Through First Contact’s events, held in an online, metaverse space, where you can be anonymous, connect and interact with fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community safely, share coming out stories, be inspired by others, and share your inclinations towards, and hopes for coming out. Through their encouragement, you may find it easier to take that first step.