Coming Out to anyone is difficult. Coming Out to yourself is the first step that you have to take. From my own experiences and from talking to many of my gay friends, or chatting with #LGBTQ people in general, each one of them has said that admitting it to yourself first is so important. Some people realise when they are very young that they are gay, others realise when they become more sexually aware when they are a teenager and others don’t work it out until they are an adult. There is no right or wrong time to work it out for yourself.
Someone on twitter asked me “How do I know if I’m gay?”. This was a question that many of you reading this will have asked yourself at some stage or you may even be asking yourself this questions now. I think things can be confusing as a teenager because you are changing, developing, hormones are racing and your sexuality becomes heightened because in some cases it’s talked about regularly. You may have a crush on someone and are not sure if it means that you are gay. You may have stronger feelings for your friend that were not there before. You may also be looking at people in the media and wanting to be near them. These are all normal feelings that many people experience.
So what makes you fully understand if you are gay? I replied to this person on twitter by saying that if you feel that you are sexually attracted to someone of the same sex as you, you have strong loving feelings for a person of the sam sex as you or you want to be with that person then your probably are gay or bisexual. It’s not for me to define someones sexuality because we are all attracted to different things but those listed are a good indication. Working this out for yourself before telling other people is, as I said, an important step. I think when you know, you know.
I for one didn’t realise until late in my teens, I put somethings down to experimenting or just good friendships when it was in fact loving feelings for someone of the same sex. Everyone has their own way of coming to terms with being gay so don’t ever be afraid of asking for advice when trying to work it out. I wish when I was a teenager someone said to me ‘do you want to talk about it?‘. Nobody did so I just carried on not really knowing about myself, I wasn’t unhappy but it took longer than it needed to to be myself.
When you do figure out what you are and what you want choose carefully who you Come Out to first. My advice would be to Come Out to someone who you trust, in a safe environment where you can be supported and be given some advice. It may be a shock for you to admit it for the first time and a very scary prospect so the first person you choose is important.
There are many different ways of Coming Out to someone. I’ve had experiences with various methods; telling someone face to face or writing it down for someone. I’ve heard of people texting it to the person they wanted to tell, others have just let people find out over time or to just be seen with a partner of the same sex. Often telling someone is a great relief, holding it in can be very difficult and draining. Most people feel the need, at some point, to tell someone and from my experience you are better for it. It may not go exactly to plan or you may not get the reaction you were expecting but generally the overwhelming feeling of ‘I’VE DONE IT’ allows you to move on in some way. As you get older it is less of a drama to tell people, I’ve learned that If you don’t like me the way I am then I don’t really need you in my life. As a young person it is harder to have this approach as you are just discovering yourself and have a need for acceptance. Hmmm that may not be true of all teenagers but from what I can see on a daily bases young people really are affected by what others say and do. Coming Out it such a brave thing to do, especially when you are a young person. So remember be brave, be you and most of all be comfortable in your own skin.
#HappyOut by The Outing
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