Coming out can be really scary. If you are a Gen Z like me, there is a 1 in 6 chance that you are queer. Homosexuality comes with many extraordinary experiences but also with many difficulties if you come from a conservative background. Coming out is the reality for every queer person, and I believe that sometime in the future, we will not have to come out and that this will no longer be a problem.
As a young first-generation queer Indian American who grew up with desi parents in the Bronx, I can tell you that coming out is not easy when you come from a conservative family. The advice in this article comes from my personal experience and the way I came out; coming out is not a universal issue, and not everyone will react the way my friends and family did. So without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn more about coming out.
What is coming out?
Coming out is the process of telling people about your sexuality or gender identity, and contrary to popular belief, this is not a one-time event; as a queer person, you have to come out all the time because “our” sexuality is not considered the norm. LGBTQIA+ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual) often have to come out several times in their lives, and most of the time, this process will be unique for you.
Don’t let anyone force you to come out; there is no one right way to come out; you can come out to everyone at once by sharing a message on social media or slowly come out to the people you think are most likely to accept you.
You can come out to some people and hide it from others, and that is also valid. Even if you are still hidden from some people, don’t define that; accept and love yourself for who you are. Coming out can be difficult and takes a lot of courage, especially if you come from a more conservative society.
1. You don’t have to come out
This might be redundant when it comes to a blog talking about advice for coming out, but the thing about coming out is that you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. Don’t come out unless you are 100% sure that your family will support you, especially if you are still living with them. If you feel that your family will throw you out for this, only come out when you feel comfortable and confident in doing so.
Your sexuality is yours, and whether you come out or not should be according to your own choice and free will. Some people believe it is something private that not everyone should know about. Personally, I feel that the more people that come out makes it easier for others to do it, too, and in the long run, the hope is that we no longer have to come out.
2. Don’t worry about other people’s reaction
Not everyone will accept you or react the same way when you come out, and you should be aware of that. You will lose some friendships and relationships when you come out. I know this has happened to me. My parents disowned me when I came out, and I was homeless for a while. Even today, I don’t talk to my blood relatives, and I don’t mind that because I have my own chosen family and support system.
But if someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, then let them go because you’re better off without them, and even though it makes me sad, that’s the reality of some gay people. I’m still not completely okay with the fact that my family couldn’t accept me, but I’ve been working with my therapist to overcome that, and ultimately it’s their loss, not yours! You will have your peers later in life, and I can promise you someone who has experienced the worst that you will live your life authentically.
3. Advice from a veteran
Come out when you’re ready and don’t do it if you don’t feel safe and think your parents will disown you and kick you out. You are the only person you go to bed with at the end of the day, so put your life first. You matter and are loved for the person you are.
By being more open about your sexuality, you’re also making it easier for the next generation and making their lives easier. So be the change you want to see in the world. Whatever you decide, be careful, and if you’re looking for someone to talk to, comment below.
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