A guide for coping with being outed.

You’ve known for years and your best friend is your all-time crush or maybe you couldn’t stop thinking about the popular girl in high school who dated the head of the football team.

The girls are making you your heartthrob and for a moment in your life, it’s your biggest kept secret. Self-acceptance was difficult enough and the struggle to announce your sexuality to the world is your biggest fear.

Will my friends and family still love and accept me? What if I am made fun of for being different? Is this just a phase? Who do I tell first and how?

All of these questions consume your mind daily as you imagine the perfect moment to confess your attraction to girls.

One thing is for sure, it’s your secret to tell and it’s your moment of liberation. So what happens when someone else imposes on your privacy and outs you?

1. Embrace it:

The news has already hit the stand and word travels fast. Although you’re devastated and you have been stripped of your privacy, you have to accept that what is done, is done. The longer you dwell on the situation, the harder it will be to gain self-confidence in the future. Embrace your sexuality because being out is liberating!

2. Find a coping method:

It can be difficult to cope with situations that are hurtful. It’s normal to feel sad, angry and distrustful but be aware of how you confront your feelings. Typically, it’s easier to drown yourself in self-pity and turn to unhealthy methods of coping such as drinking or drug abuse. Avoid these mechanisms and opt for a run or a motivational hobby.

3. Stay positive:

Even though you are hurt and have been betrayed, do your best to keep your chin up. Most likely your loved ones have already responded with, “We already knew”, so now it’s time to focus on the pros instead of the cons. On the bright side, you no longer have to fret the hard part: the big talk.

4. Seek a trustable confidant:

Whether it’s your best friend, your mom or an LGBTQ support group, it’s important that you find someone that you trust to talk to. Gaining insight from someone who cares about you and listens helps with the coping process tremendously. Bottling emotions can have a negative impact on your life and the sooner you express yourself, the sooner you’ll feel secure in your own skin again.

5. Forgive:

Forgiving isn’t always easy. Actually, it can very difficult but you don’t gain anything from holding a grudge. Even if your exploiter is apathetic to your feelings or not willing to apologize, find a way to forgive them and forget about their actions. Letting go means moving on and you have a fabulous, gay life ahead of you!