Coming out - what to know and how to handle it
Do you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community and still struggling with how to come out? Are you not able to come out and confront your friends and family even after trying a lot of times? We understand it is not easy. But the best thing is that there is no wrong or perfect time to come out. The best time for you to come out is when you decide to go for it!
Things to know and consider before coming out
There are several reasons you would want to come out. For instance, you are seeing someone and would like to introduce them to people. Another reason would be to connect with people who are of the same sexual orientation as you or you simply want to share the news.
For those who are trying to figure out different ways on how to come out, the following are a few important things you should know before taking any step:
It is not a compulsion
Always remember that coming out is not a compulsion but a personal choice. You need not do it out of pressure or guilt of hiding your orientation from your family or friends. Many times, people decide to come out because they face pressure from the person they are dating. However, it is important to come out only when you are mentally ready for it.
Coming out is not easy and it is a long process. If you are not prepared to face the first phase, the remaining phases would get complicated to handle.
Coming out is just the first phase
Coming out is not the struggle, it is just the beginning of the struggle. We do not want to demotivate our readers here. Rather we want to make you aware of what follows after that. Be ready to face what comes thereafter. You might lose a few friends, face some humiliation, or may lose your family members too. But, that is just a phase that will pass soon.
It is a continuous process.
Coming out is a continuous process. In our lives, we keep meeting new people and making new friends. So there will always be people in your life who will be unaware of your orientation. But again, it will be a personal choice when to tell them.
Do your research
This includes how your community is being perceived by people in the region you stay in. In many places across the globe, the LGBTQIA+ community is treated as legal and accepted with respect. However, there are many places where the same is considered illegal. Research all these points to save yourself from future troubles from the legal aspect.
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How to handle it?
One person at a time
Start by talking with people you feel close to. You do not have to tell everyone at a time. You can initially talk to 2-3 friends that you are most close to. See their reactions and how the same is affecting you. If you feel confident after talking to them, you can gradually proceed to others.
Brace yourself for all the questions
People would definitely have a lot of questions to ask you once you come out. You can surely predict some questions and prepare your answers to that. But you never know what is thrown your way. It is important to know that you do not owe anyone any justification for your orientation. Answer only when you want to.
Do not try to fit yourself into any label
Most people struggling to come out and accept their orientation try to include themselves into some labels. That is not something you need to do. Coming out doesn’t mean labeling yourself as lesbian or gay or straight or otherwise. It just means you are accepting your orientation and telling your friends and family about it.
Do not lose your self worth
Not everyone is going to accept or understand what you tell them. There are going to be rejections from people you love. You might have one or two friends. But, do not let their rejections make you lose your self-worth. It is definitely going to hurt. Address it, cry over it, and then move on!
It is not the end of the world
Just because people are not understanding your feelings does not mean the end of the world. There will always be one or two people, who will understand you and stand by your side even it means being against the world. That is the kind of people you need in your life. When people do not intend to be in your life, let them go. If they cannot accept you for what you are, they do not deserve you.
However, you should also the other person to process the information. You cannot expect a supportive response right away because not everyone knows how to respond properly even if the person is quite open-minded.
If you have decided to come out but not sure about how to do it or still do not feel like your people would understand it, you can always take some more time. It is not important to come out at the cost of your mental peace. When something is stuck in our head and we are not able to do anything about it, we highly stress over it again and again. So the best thing to do in such a situation is taking some more time and not forcing yourself repeatedly.
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