The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Coming Out
If you are an older Gen Z like me, there is a 1 out of 6 chance that you might be queer. Being queer comes with a lot of amazing experiences but also a lot of struggle if you come from a conservative background. Coming out is the reality of any queer person, and I feel that at some point in the future that we’ll no longer have to come out be this will become a non-matter. As a queer, first-generation Indian kid, who grew up with Desi parents in the Bronx, I can tell you that coming out isn’t easy when you come from a conservative family.
So without further ado, let’s learn more about coming out. The advice from this post comes from personal experience and how I came out; coming out isn’t a universal issue, and not everyone will react the same as my friends and family did.
What is coming out?
Coming out is the process of telling people your sexuality or gender identity, and contrary to popular belief, this is not a one-time fair; as a queer person, you will have to constantly come out to people because “our” sexuality is not considered as the norm. LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) people often have to come out multiple times throughout their life, and more often than not, this process is going to be unique to you.
Don’t let anyone coerce you to come out; there is no right way to do so; you can come out to everyone at the same time by sharing a post on social media or slowly coming out to people who you feel are more likely to accept you. You might be out to some people and closeted to others, and that is valid too. Even if you are still closeted to some people, this doesn’t define you, just accept and love yourself for who you are. Coming out can be difficult and takes a lot of courage to do, especially if you are from a more conservative society.
Not everyone will accept you or react the same way when you come out, and you have to be aware of this. You will lose some friendships and relationships when you come out. I know I did, my parents disowned me when I came out, and I was homeless for a while. To this day, I still don’t take to my blood relatives, and that’s okay with me because I have my own chosen family and support system now.
But if someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, then let them go because you are better off without them, and as much as this saddens me, this is the reality of some queer people. I’m still not completely okay that my family couldn’t accept me, but I’ve worked with my therapist to get through this, and it is ultimately their loss, not yours! You will have your people later on in life, and I can promise you that, take it from someone who has been through the worse, live your life as your authentic self.
Why should you come out?
Dealing with your sexuality and gender identity on your own can be really difficult, and letting people in, can create a support system and will help you cope with your identity better. It can be quite liberating to come out, and having a support system allows you to a sigh of relief because you know you have someone to talk to about this specific issue. I first came out to my best friend, who, to this day, is my go-to person to talk to whenever I feel down, and she is my support system.
So, find your person, and they will be your support system, and they will help you deal with whatever is going on with your head. Coming out can also help you connect to the other queer people, and this is where you flourish as a queer person. Don’t let anyone pressure you to come out; come out when you are ready and safe, take your time and trust your guts; if you don’t have a good feeling about it, then don’t come out. No matter if you come out or not, your gender identity and sexuality are valid, and this is something that you should never forget.
No, there is no right or wrong time to come out, and you don’t have to have a specific reason to do so. Coming out is a personal process, and you should do what feels good for you. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, then you can always call the Trevor Project hotline, and there will always be someone out there to talk to you.
Come out when you are ready and don’t do it if you feel unsafe and if you feel that your parents will disown and throw you out. You are the only person you will go to bed with at the end of the day, so put yourself first. You matter, and you are loved for the person that you are. By being more open about your sexuality, you are also making it easier for the next generation to come out, and this makes their life easier. So be the change you want to see in the world. Whatever you decide, be safe and if you are searching for someone to talk to, then comment below.
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