Coming out

in a homophobic environment

Coming out is a process. Some people talk to their friends or family members when they start questioning. Others prefer to be 100% sure before they start to tell anyone. Most people tell their close friends first. Some have a close relationship to their sibling(s) or some other family member. You definitely don’t have to come out to everyone all at once. Decide for yourself who you trust the most and who you want to tell first. You’re never really done coming out. You will face situations in which you have to come out your entire life. The more often you have to do it, the easier it will get.

Preparation

There are some things you need to consider before you come out. Here a coming out checklist:

     ☐ Are you sure and confident about your identity?

     ☐ Are you sure you’re ready to come out?

     ☐ Is it safe (physically & emotionally)?

     ☐ Do I have somewhere to go, if needed?

     ☐ Are you financially independent?

     ☐ Do you have emotional support?

Coming out tips

  • Drop hints first. If your parents pick up on them, they will start to think about the possibility of you being gay/bi/trans. This way it will come as less of a shock.
  • Pick the right moment. Don’t tell them when they’re in a bad mood or don’t have much time.
  • Let them know how important this is to you. This is probably a big deal to you and they should know that. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Show them that you don’t take this lightly. Empathy is a strong and fundamentally human emotion. No one likes to see their child in pain, no matter for what reason. Use this to your advantage.
  • Be prepared for a negative reaction. If your parents have a negative opinion on homosexuality, chances are big that they won’t be happy about you coming out.
  • Come out in a letter. If you don’t feel like facing your parents or if you’re afraid that you won’t be able to speak your mind in that moment, consider writing them a letter. That way you can write everything down you want say without being interrupted or forgetting something. Confrontation can be scary, especially if a negative reaction is likely.
  • Give them time. You’ve probably been struggling with your sexuality/gender identity for a while but for your parents it could be completely new information. Don’t expect them to accept it immediately. They might need some time to get used to the idea. Especially if they grew up thinking that homosexuality is wrong.

 

Arguments

„It’s not natural“
Biologists frequently see homosexual behavior in other animal species. Homosexual behaviors have been noted in every primate species so far studied, and in man’s closest living relatives, the bonobo chimpanzees, bisexual behavior is universal.
Love does not necessarily have to be linked to reproduction. Not everyone wants to have children.

„It’s a sin“
„God loves all his children“ The most important thing about religion is love.

„It’s a choice“
„When did you decide to be straight?“. Why would someone choose to be different and to be potentially discriminated against because of that? Even if loving someone were a choice, why would that be a bad thing? You can’t help who you fall in love with.

Resources

Human Rights Campaign Guide 

Planned Parenthood 

The Trevor Project

Stages of Coming Out

Coming Out in Middle School