V’s Guide to Coming Out

So, you think you might gay, huh? Or Trans? Bi? Anything other than straight? I’ve been there.

It’s a confusing time. Being in the closet can be lonely and isolating and in some cases, can make you feel like you’re hiding the thing that makes you, you.

Simply put, sometimes the closet gets a little claustrophobic. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably going back and forth with the idea of leaving it. Well, V’s here to help. Here are my tips on how to make this very big step seem a little less scary.

1. Come out to yourself, first.

Before making your grand entrance out of the closet, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Think about the feelings you’ve been having, if you’re sure of them and if you’re really ready to share them with other people. Once you come out, there’s no going back in. So, being sure of yourself is going to be the thing that protects you from any criticism that comes your way.

2. Do it for you, and do it on your own time.

Realize that your sexuality and your gender identity are your business, not anyone else’s. Make sure that you are coming out to make yourself happy and not because you feel like you owe people some sort of explanation.

3. Figure out how you want to come out.

Embracing your identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be a big production, but it doesn’t have to be. How did I come out? I came back from summer vacation with a girlfriend, and that was that. Consider if you want something big or if you just want to sit down with the people you love. Also, realize it’s okay to do this in baby steps. “Coming out” doesn’t have to be to the whole world at once.

4. Prepare yourself for the consequences.

While I hope everyone reading this has an amazing coming out experience, it’s important to prepare for the reality that this might not be the case for you. Prepare yourself for lots of questions, and decide what you are comfortable answering. Realize that not everyone will be supportive, and remind yourself that if they aren’t, it’s their loss and not yours. Lastly, educate yourself on what you can do and where you can go if something does go wrong.

5. Take care of yourself.

Coming out can be exhausting and stressful. So, always, but especially now, be nice to yourself. Surround yourself with the people you love and immerse yourself in your hobbies. Self-care will be the key to staying sane during this difficult time.

6. Remember that things can change.

This is so important! Many people come out and feel like they are stuck with that label for the rest of their lives. Remember that gender and sexuality are fluid, and that this is a learning process. Allow yourself to grow and develop, and come out ten thousand different times if you need to. At least you’ll be well prepared.