Telling people you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
For a lot of people, telling others about their sexuality or how they’re feeling about it is important, but also isn’t easy. If you’re thinking about telling someone, read the questions below and reflect on your own situation. Everybody’s situation is unique and everyone’s family and friends are different.
For some people, your sexuality and feelings won’t be an issue. It might be difficult to understand for others, and they may take time to accept and be comfortable with what you’re telling them. Remember, who you tell and when you tell them is completely up to you, and there’s no right way to come out.
Ask yourself the following questions if you’re thinking about telling someone you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. They’ll prepare you and help you feel comfortable with what you may be asked.
How sure are you about your sexual attractions and sexuality? “Are you sure?” is likely to be one of the most common questions you’ll be asked. Whether the answer is yes, no or maybe (all of which are OK), you need to be able to respond with confidence.
How comfortable are you with your sexuality? If you’re feeling sad, guilty or angry, you may want to seek help in understanding and coming to terms with those feelings before coming out to other people. The greater confidence you have about your own identity, the easier it will be to talk to people close to you.
Do you have support? If your family or friends’ reaction upset you, find someone or a group you can confidentially turn to for support and strength. BeLonG To is a great organisation that can provide support while you are coming out. Their youth groups are a good way of making friends and talking to others who have, or are going through a coming out process and will understand what you’re experiencing.
A person’s response may be based on stereotypes and myths about gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people. Doing some reading on the subject or speaking to someone who is knowledgeable on the issue may help you understand or answer questions you may have.