How did you come out? Is there a 'right time'?

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by Lady Kiki, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Lady Kiki

    Lady Kiki Member

    Aug 11, 2015
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    I'm closeted, I realised some years ago I was gay and in the past few accepted it, but I'm not out to anyone. I want to tell some close friends that I am, I feel like this is something I'm holding onto and by letting even one other person know it will be some sort of emotional release.

    I'm in my mid 30's, have been in my job a long time, and although I haven't dated for the past 10 years, everybody assumes I'm straight. I feel that right now everyone has an established image of who I am, and although I know it's probably not as big a deal to them as it is to me, I feel absolutely terrified about revealing something very personal to them. Every time I try to tell a friend, the words don't fall out of my mouth, their kids are running around, it's too public a place, or you anxiety prevents me from even bringing it up.

    So my question is, how did you find the time to come out? How did you feel after it? How was everyone's response? I know every situation is different and mines will be too, but hearing real life stories might fill me with confidence.

    EDITED TO ADD: should I happen to meet someone and start dating then I would absolutely come out, or not so much come out as just say who I'm dating, no big deal. I'm not ashamed or hiding exactly, I'm just rubbish at talking about personal things.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  2. eaura

    eaura Member

    Nov 30, 2014
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    It wasn't until I met my partner that I felt I wanted to talk about her openly, and with that I took the opportunity to be more direct about being gay. I was never closeted but realised I hadn't actually said it bluntly to certain family and friends. The settings weren't ideal, there were people around, I'm sure I talked too fast or could have chosen a better moment, but a weight was lifted. I'm a bit rubbish at talking about my personal life too, so their responses were typically one of respect and appreciation that I had taken the time, and relationships improved after I had. I think people assume it's the gay rite of passage to have this official conversation, it's not, there is no right time or way. The bottom line is you should know that whenever the time is right for you, you have the right to be comfortable and open to express and celebrate all parts of yourself, regardless of whether you're seeing someone or not, you owe it to yourself too.
  3. sundancer

    sundancer Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
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    I just told them. Everyone is busy, you just have to make it a priority to own who you are.

    I've certainly experienced spectacular fall outs after coming out (or soon thereafter) but on the positive side the majority of them are very welcoming and open to the idea. Some of them may be like, "Oh really?" and feign shock and horror but later when you leave they're like, "I always knew __ was gay!" but they think it's polite to pretend they didn't know.
  4. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    It sucks we have to "Stress" about the coming out conversations we don't want to have. I tried to keep it casual...If i was getting drinks with a friend and catching up and was asked so, dating anyone? I would say "well actually, ive been dating girls"... Im a pretty private person so I was very uncomfortable and annoyed that I had to have these conversations...but they all went well. I never had one negative thing said to me and I actually had instances where a couple friends would tell me about their "lesbian hook ups" they had in college and were more so excited about the thoughts of me dating a hot girl. After I did come out, i actually became a lot closer with friends because they were so glad I trusted them with information and wanted to let them in my life...Everyone is different, and obviously my story is very different! But I thought the worst would happen, yet it was quite the opposite.
  5. Tamara05

    Tamara05 Member

    May 25, 2015
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    I was lucky when it came to coming out.. I was living in a different city and ended up texting my parents to let them know I had a girlfriend, they ended up telling the rest of the family and my mum was proud as punch telling her friends..
    When it came down to telling my friends, I told 1 and then by the end of the week everyone knew.. I had the same " I always knew you were gay" comment from friends.
    The only person who did take time getting used to it was my dad, and he admitted it was because he was old fashioned. it took 4 years but he has finally accepted it 100%
  6. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2013
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    The right time to come out is when the safety of the closet - emotional, financial, personal, professional - are no longer worth the price you pay to hide. That safety and that price are different for every person in every situation, so your "right time" will be different than mine. Here are some questions I ask myself before coming out (because coming out is a thing I get to do in every new situation, not one giant step I took that permanently tatooed "out queer" on my face at 14):
    - Will my personal safety be at risk if people know I am queer? (Example: Some people, youth especially, face violence, bullying, and homelessness for coming out.)
    - Will my financial and job security be at risk if people know I am queer?
    - Will the response/derailing/disrespect I get hinder my ability to do what I need to do in this space? (Example: I teach teenagers outside of school. I do not dramatically come out to them at any point, though I also do not lie. To do my job well is to focus on their safety and comfort in a new space, and sometimes me being out will distract from that.) On the other hand, will the lie/omission of the truth hinder my ability to do what I need to do in this space? (Example: I do not belong to religious or spiritual communities where I cannot be out, because that gets in the way of why I'm there.)
    - What effect is will people knowing my sexuality have on my personal life, relationship with friends and family, and my happiness in these existing relationships? (And how much do you care? Many folks feel that the friendships and support they lose by being honest is not worth lying for; others feel, especially with family relationships, that the relationship is intrinsically valuable even if it includes the lie.)
    - What effect is the lie/omission of the truth having on my personal life? My friendships? My mental and physical health? My happiness?

    At the end of the day, if you will be just as safe after coming out as you are in the closet - do it. It's the awkwardest 15 seconds of your life, but go ahead and time yourself saying, "Hey, so I like girls and I'm still the same person as always and I love you!" because that is basically all you need to say. On the other side of that declaration, you will no longer need to engage in straight-lady nonsense if you don't want to, won't have to complicate meeting the girl of your dreams with coming out to your friends and family, you won't have to stress when you want to gush about your crush. And you might feel more comfortable dating if you getting spotted or running into a friend doesn't force the conversation, because you've already chosen to be honest on your terms.

    I came out as a teenager, - at 13 at school when I started going to queer youth dances, 15 at home when I wanted permission to go on dates with my first girlfriend, and then, like I said, I've come out just about every day of my life since then. I was lucky to know I was safe and okay, to have a GSA at school, to have grown up with two-mom families in my friend group, but it was still unbelievably embarrassing. It was also really, really quick - I think I (adorably) prefaced it by reminding my mom that she was always going to love me no matter what.

    But that first awkward declaration was good practice for the ones I get to do all the time - in the doctor's office, at work, waiting for my wife at a restaurant. ("Are you sexually active?" Yes. "What birth control are you using?" Lesbianism. Come on ladies, I know you feel me.) It gets easier, and I find myself caring less about how other people are feeling about my identify and my life - which, when it lets me go about my life kindly, honestly, and authentically, is a pretty good thing.
    XoNathyoX and rainydaze like this.
  7. Emmarose

    Emmarose Active Member

    Aug 17, 2015
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    I've only said it to a couple of people on the phone and not people I know very well - still it felt good to say it and speak my truth -
    Also good practice

    How about doing it on the phone ? The first time or -- giving the person a card to read whilst u are there ?
    At the end of the day people's sexuality is really there business - I don't know if I'm going to be open about it in the future or more private - at the end of the day I don't go around saying what I like in bed :)
  8. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2016
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    I had a concrete plan on how to come out but it didn't go that way. I was 16, one night an interview shown on TV made my mom state her general dislike towards LGBT people and culture and I just came out. NOT the best idea but now that I look back, even if I were able to follow my plan it would've been the same result. She's still homophobic and won't change,... Hopefully not every one of you had a tough coming out.
  9. Lady Godiva

    Lady Godiva Active Member

    Feb 7, 2016
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    I am fighting with this new dimension since one year now, and I am over 30. Go wonder.. I should do like Tamara05 and text my parents from abroad :) Kidding aside, events have led me to open to a lesbian friend older than me - and from her to her girlfriend, as she was also a central pillar of our group. I also made a sort of "coming out" with my boyfriend. When I met him, I stated how important it was for me to be honest with each other and so, when that friendship has changed, I told him right away what I was feeling/living. I know many people could stand up now and point the finger saying such things do not exist or that I didn't behave at best falling when dating someone.. And you know what I'd reply? That finding ourselves preys of an emotion so strong and so incredible is not a fault. Lying is a fault. Faking it is a fault.
    If love has many shades, that's because we have eyes able to pluck them all ..

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