What is the best way for me to come out?

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by kate8, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. kate8

    kate8 Member

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    I have a family who would be very accepting, but I’m very nervous about coming out as bisexual. I think the main reason for it is the reactions of my friends. I’m in this band with three guys, two of whom don’t believe gays should have the same rights at straight people. The other one is gay, but not out to most people. So I know he’d be very supportive, but I’m worried I’d lose the other two as friends. I also worry about my team’s reaction (co-ed team, most of them are boys). I think most of them would be cool with it, but I just don’t want them to act differently around me. I’m a junior, so I’ll only have two more years with them anyways, and I don’t want my last years with them to be super awkward. I’ve considered waiting to come out until I’m off at college, but that does seem like a lot of time to pretend I’m something I’m not. Over the past two years I’ve become more conscious of my sexual orientation bit by bit and I’ve finally accepted that I am bisexual. I’m also the kind of person who shies away from being the center of attention, and I worry that my extended family (which is pretty big and super loud) will have a huge conversation with me about how much they love me and how much they accept me. I REALLY don’t want that. I just want people to be aware of who I am without making a big deal about it. So, in my situation, when and how is the best way to come out?
     
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  2. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    So, to recap: you want to come out (because you want the way people understand you to change and you want them to know who you really are). But you don't want people to treat you any differently, don't want to have a conversation about how your family is cool with that new understanding, and god forbid people talk to you about the thing you want them to know. I'm not sure you get both; some advice on how to try below.

    Coming out is, at the end of the day, about asserting your identity and understanding of yourself, and that being more important than what other people think about you. You might lose friends over it (my fiancee did); you might feel embarrassed and exposed; you might be surprised by the positivity you find. Coming out - and being out - is a risk, because you can't control other people's feelings and behaviors. It's a good risk, though: at the same time that you might lose friends or experience awkwardness with your family, it lets you choose the friends who actually support you, be open to dating opportunities, and foster open and real relationships with the people around you.

    If you don't want a fuss, though - say that you don't want a fuss. With your family, tell a trusted member - mom, sister, favorite aunt - and let them know that they can respectfully spread the word, but that part of the message is that you don't want it to be a big thing. Designate a point person - again, your sister or mom or favorite aunt - to have the conversation with folks who need to process, or say if they want to talk about it, they can send an email or a letter, but you'd really like them to respect your wishes on this. Be prepared that they might not - and have a practiced response. "Thanks so much for your support, but I actually feel most supported and loved when you just treat me the same as always. Hey, have I told you about my badminton match next week?"

    With your friends, you can come out in small ways - no big declaration - like talking about your female celebrity crushes, making your queerer politics and opinions known, or mention the LGBT prom you're going to or the alliance you're joining. Invite the girl you're into to your shows or games, and if asked about it admit that you think she's cute. That gives them the space to engage with it if they want to, and allows you to be honest without a soapbox. It puts your potential queerness out there without being the whole topic of conversation, and lets you come out without the assumption that you've ever been in.

    At the end of the day, coming out is always the awkwardest 45 seconds of your life... and then it's over. You get to move forward knowing that people will be dealing with you with truth and honesty, and since coming out is something that you do over and over again in life (doctors, coworkers, new friends, teachers...) you know that you're going to get better at it with time and that you've made a great start. Good luck!
     
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  3. kate8

    kate8 Member

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    Thanks for the advice. It's refreshing to get someone else's take on this - it puts things in perspective. I think you're right - I'm going to have to cope with a variety of reactions and I am going to have to accept that people are going to talk. I've always been the type of person who likes to control situations, but I'm not going to be able to on this one as much as I would like, because I can't control other people and their reactions to me. I really appreciated the tips on how to come out to family and friends as well. They were very good methods of coming out for someone who tends to shy away from the spotlight.
     
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