Advice if You’re Scared to Come Out

The thing is, it really does depend why you’re scared to come out. It’s one thing if you’re a nervous teenager discovering who you actually are but in an otherwise supportive situation, it’s entirely another if you’re in a country where being queer is illegal or if you’re in a part of this country where you’re opening yourself up to potential violence.

I first came out in a largely unsupportive environment but I wasn’t at huge risk of violence.

If you’re nervous to come out the first thing you’ve got to assess is why, are you at risk? Of what? From whom? There’s a massive difference between if your parents are going to rough you up and kick you out or if you might get bullied at school. Particularly since you might have a supportive school staff… of course you might not.

The second thing, and this is linked, is to assess who your support network are and what they can be counted on for. If they’re your friends but they’re also dependent on their family (I am thinking teenagers) then they’re probably great for emotional support and that is important, but it’s likely that material support is outside of their abilities.

The third thing about coming out is, and maybe I should have said this first, are your out to yourself? Accurately I mean. Do you know who you are? Do you know what pieces of yourself your don’t know? Are you uncertain about your gender identity as yet or are you pretty confident you like particular genders but less confident about liking others? The thing is, coming out to other people almost doesn’t matter as long as you know who you are. When you know who you are then you’ve got a massive amount of strength within yourself that you can kind of sit on and act from. You can get yourself through a lot of really shitty situations when you know who you are and you’re happy with it.

The happy with it can be difficult to achieve at first, especially if you’re dealing with baggage left behind by bigotted upbringings and environments. I guess I’m saying if you can’t come out to others yet, through nerves whether they are caused by your situation or by anxieties within yourself, then use the time and reflection to come out to yourself as it’ll set you in good stead for when you’re in a good situation to come out to those around you as well.

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