Thanks so much to Kate Kelly for sharing her own personal experience of coming out with us.
Yay! You’re Gay! What’s next?
You may have felt isolated up until now, and even though coming out can be a daunting experience, it is an opportunity to reveal your true self. Coming out to your friends and family is a big deal, but it’s also a way to be unapologetically you.
The Coming Out experience is different for everybody, that’s an important thing to note. Below are some tips that you might find helpful in your Coming Out Journey.
Tips For Coming Out To Your Family & Friends:
Come Out To Yourself First
It’s important that you are 100% accepting of your sexuality before coming out to other people. Some people may pass “oh, it’s just a phase” comments when you decide to come out to them. This could knock your confidence, so ensure you’re accepting of, and comfortable in, yourself and your sexuality before coming out to your family and friends.Horizontal
Do It On Your Own Terms
It’s not up to other people to decide when you come out. If you decide to tell a handful of people, don’t feel the need to tell everyone if you’re not ready, regardless of others’ opinions. On the other hand, if you feel like being more vocal, certain people might try and encourage you to keep quiet in order to “protect” certain family members. Example: ”don’t tell your granny, her generation don’t understand” again, that’s not up to another person to decide. Who you tell, and when you tell them, is completely up to you.
You Don’t Owe Anyone
People in your life might get offended if they don’t hear your coming out directly from you. You do not owe every individual in your life a coming out story. Explain this to them if they take offence.
Do It When You Feel Ready
There’s no specific timeline for coming out. Do it when you feel comfortable in who you are.
This Is Old News To You, But New To The People You Tell
You’ve known this important thing about yourself for quite some time so you have had the time to process it fully. However, to the person you are telling this is brand new information. If they look shocked or surprised don’t automatically catastrophise the situation as they are still processing this new info. This initial reaction is not a reaction to you or your sexuality, but an impulsive response to the news.
There’s More Than One Way To Come Out
Coming out face-to-face can be very daunting. A good alternative to this is writing down your feelings in a letter. This can allow you to vocalise your inner most thoughts without the pressure of sitting in front of someone.
Don’t Overthink The Reaction You’ll Get
You could spend a lot of time worrying over the reaction people will give to your coming out. The truth of the matter is, you’ll never be able to predict how people will react until you actually tell them. Try not to overthink their response too much, as it could put you off telling them.
Not Everyone Will React The Same
Be prepared for a mixed bag of reactions. If someone reacts negatively, it doesn’t mean that everyone you tell will react the same way. It can be tough, but try not to let a negative reaction made you doubt yourself or set you back.
Know That There’s Help Available
If you are struggling to come to terms with your sexuality or your Coming Out didn’t get the reaction you thought it would, don’t panic. There are a lot of helplines and resources available to Irish teens who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Some of these include:
Belong To: “Supporting Lgbti+ Young People To Stay Alive And To Thrive. Working To Help & Support Lgbti+ Youth, Parents And Professionals.”
Outhouse: “Our mission is to provide a safe space which facilitates & encourages the growth of services & supports to the LGBT communities.”
Just Like Us: “is a LGBT charity fighting discrimination & empowering young people.”