A Guide To Coming Out
Being ‘in the closet’ can feel quite literal at times.
Credit: Jakob Owens
Being ‘in the closet’ can feel quite literal at times; feeling isolated due to the worry and fear of other’s judgements can make you feel lonely, even if you’re surrounded by lots of people. Many spend years feeling like they’re hiding a dirty secret that will have them banished by an angry mob if they let slip. Understandably, coming out can be hard and will be one of the most important conversations in your life, but also the most empowering. Coming out isn’t about being labelled, it’s about coming out of isolation and freeing yourself.
LGBTQ+ adult entertainment site, XTube, recently attended NYC Pride to campaign to normalise gay sex amongst other important issues. Raising awareness and changing perceptions will make this rite of passage a lot less daunting for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are their top tips on how you can take this huge step in a safe and confident way.
Come Out To Yourself
Before you start planning your closet exit it’s important to be sure of your own feelings. Instead of worrying about how other people will feel about your sexuality, think about how you truly feel first. Are you ready to take this step? You’ll likely be bombarded with questions, whether they are negative or not, you need to be able to answer them, confident in the knowledge that you are comfortable and ready to talk about it!
Telling your family and friends about your sexuality is probably something that you’ve played over in your head a hundred times. You need to think about how you’re actually going to do it. Ellen DeGeneres opted for a subtle announcement on the front of Time magazine with the caption ‘I’m gay’. Similarly, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jaureguis came out in an open letter to Trump supporters stating she was a proud bisexual Cuban-American’. However, when you choose to tell the world, make sure it’s the right way for you.
Do It For Yourself
Let’s get one thing clear, whatever your sexual orientation or romantic preference, your sexuality is your business. Ultimately heterosexuals don't need to announce they're straight, so why should you need to tell the world? You should never come out because you feel pressured. Although twelve years old is the average age that people realise their sexuality, the average age for coming out is twenty. You don’t need to come out until it feels like the right time for you.
The LGBTQ+ community has undoubtedly come a long way in changing perceptions within society. It’s 2018 and people are more open minded. However, it is important to remember that not everyone is as accepting as you would hope, so you need to prepare yourself for mixed reactions. It’s best to confide in a close friend or family member that you know will be supportive first, to give you the confidence to tell others.
Look After Yourself
If you have come out to someone and it hasn’t gone as well as you’d hoped, it’s natural to feel upset. If you have someone that you trust and feel comfortable with, try and talk about how you’re feeling. Bottling negative feelings up can have a negative effect. However, if you do feel like you’re struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice and help too.