It is always difficult to come out and declare our orientation to the world, especially when you discover that you are a lesbian or gay. And once we know it, it is better to be outright with others as well as others around us.
Coming out can be a pleasant experience also, especially when you have the right relationship. However, an assessment of current circumstances with a clear mind is always helpful before taking the decision to tell people about yourself. Here are a few things that can ease the process of coming out to people with confidence and trust.
- It is never negative
Coming out usually involves facing stereotypes, social stigma and commonly accepted beliefs among people. And this often creates the fear of expressing ourselves in front of others. Focusing on our own selves and what makes us happy will eventually the ultimate difference in leading a fulfilling life. In other words, do not make a rash decision under pressure.
- Do not adopt any labels
Labeling yourself should be avoided even if people around ‘see’ you that way. It is enough to understand yourself that you are gay. Listen to what you feel and be free to identify yourself with them. Labeling oneself often allows other people to identify yourself with that and eventually changes their outlook towards you.
- Faith and Sexuality are different
Today most religions and faith has groups for homosexuals. Connecting with like-minded people often brings in new perspectives and allows the feeling of acceptance to seep in quickly.
- Tell your trusted folks first
Take baby steps towards opening out to people. Start with a most trusted person you know – a friend, parent, guardian, sibling, etc. Open up to them and talk about the things you feel right. Take it slowly when you feel the time is right and say those to the people who trust you. It will make you feel better as well as give more clarity in making future decisions.
Stereotypes are everywhere, even with the people who are straight, successful and mature. Stereotypes are people who associate with ideas that they themselves do not understand or experience. People have various notions about gay people just like an employee has about his boss with respect to his position. Once the same employee becomes a boss, only then he would understand what entails to be a person in a superior position and the ordeals he has to undergo. From far, the employee may have notions of easy life and higher power, but will fail to understand that a person of higher rank often handles more responsibilities compared to him. The same is true while being gay; you are the best judge of your own character. Chuck every other thing out of your perspective and look for valuable guidance.
Reading always helps. Learn about people and their experience they had when they came out of the closet. They will often speak about their mistakes; observe and learn from them.
- Be positive
Think about the greatest thing you can derive from coming out. It can be peace, happiness, acceptance, or all of these things. If you feel things are bottled up inside you then it results unnecessary worry and fear. Thinking about the positives will enable you to be independent and confident.
- It is an uphill climb
Not everyone will have a positive experience coming out and that is completely normal. Your feelings have value and do not undermine anybody else’s interest because you are attracted to the same gender. There is support available everywhere for gay people and one must associate with these people to ensure a positive and loving environment.
- People need Time
Give people time to understand you. Be patient with them. Help them to understand what you feel is real and show them that you are happy being you. Your confident way of life will always dispel their notions, eventually. Understand that you can only play your part to reflect who you are. Leave other out of it.
Hope the above things help you in coming out to your people. Remember – this is the right thing to do; the sooner the better.