What we've learnt about coming out

Everyone's journey is their own.

What we've learnt about coming out
Photo by Andra C Taylor Jr / Unsplash

The concept of "coming out" relates to the power of openly being your authentic self, of letting the world know exactly who you are. It can be a big deal, but it doesn't have to be.

Here's some of the things that we've learnt about coming out.

You don’t change as a person

Just saying the words out loud doesn’t change your personality. If you’re the type of girl who likes to do ice fishing, drink skittle shots, tie bows on puppies, collect life-size storm troopers, play with furbies, fight with conkers or do the whole planking thing, then publicly discussing your sexuality isn’t going to change any of that.

People saying “so?” is the best thing you will ever hear

"So?" doesn’t mean that they don’t care, "so?" means that they are ok with you and that it’s not a bit deal. “Cool” also works here too.

You don’t have to dress like someone you’re not

However you identify or describe your sexuality, you don't have to feel pressured into wearing something that you feel matches that identity. You can, obviously, there's no rules about this kind of stuff. Wear what you want.

Telling everyone at once is not something you have to do

There is no need to gather all your friends and family and do it in one swift motion by jumping out of a cake covered in glitter. Just telling one person is a big step so choose someone you trust. You actually don't have to tell anyone if you don't want to - coming out to yourself is enough.

Talking to people who have already come out is usually helpful

Hearing about the experiences of other people helps to give you an understanding of ways in which these kinds of conversations can be navigated. Everyone's coming out is a bit unique, so you need to figure out what works best for you.

Maybe it's just a phase?

People will respond in weird ways when you discuss your sexuality with them - mostly they're just blurting out something without thinking about it, maybe it's shock, maybe it's just trying to say something helpful, maybe it's just being dumb. You're not defined by their reactions just as your sexuality isn't defined by their perceptions of you.

Answering questions is good but can get a bit exhausting

People that care about you will probably want to talk about it and that's cool, if you feel like talking about it. You don't owe anyone any explanations. Dumb questions don't deserve answers. If people need to be educated, it's their responsibility to educate themselves.

Life goes on

It can feel like a big deal, and it is - kind of. But there's lots of other stuff going on in the world and life goes on. "You're queer? Cool - now, let's get back to these spreadsheets, we've got bills to pay."

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